What is a Bailable and Non-Bailable offence?

What is a Bailable and Non-Bailable offence?

An offence can be classified as a Bailable or a Non-Bailable offence. In general, a bailable offence is an offence of relatively less severity and for which the accused has a right to be released on bail. While a non-bailable offence is a serious offence and for it, the accused cannot demand to be released on bail as a right. More specifically, Section 2(a) defines Bailable Offence as well as Non-Bailable Offence as follows –

Section 2 (a) – Bailable offence” means an offence which is shown as bailable in the First Schedule, or which is made bailable by any other law for the time being in force: and “nonbailable offence” means any other offence.

Interesting thing is that the definition itself does not refer to seriousness of the offence. It simply makes those offences as bailable which are listed as so in the First Schedule of Cr P C. These offences include offences such as obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties, bribing an election official, and providing false evidence. Non-bailable offences include offences such as murder, threatening a person to give false evidence, and failure by a person released on bail or bond to appeal before court. However, a quick look at the list of bailable and non-bailable offences shows that bailable offences are of relatively less severity.

indictment of the charges based on the same facts or that are a part of a series of offenses of the same nature. Section 218 states that for all the offences committed by the accused should be tried separately
Separate charges for distinct offences:

Sections 218 to 224 deal with joinder of charges and they must be read together and not in isolation. They all deal with the same subject-matter and set out different aspects of it. When they are read together as a whole, it becomes clear that Sections 221 and 222 cover every type of case in which a conviction can be sustained when there is no charge for that offence provided there is a charge to begin with.

Section 218 lays down two fundamental rules regarding framing of charges. First, there should be a separate charge for each distinct offence, and second, there should be a separate trial for each such charge except in four cases mentioned in sub-section (2), namely, which are covered under Sections 219, 220, 221 and 223 of the Code. Excepting the cases falling under any of these four sections, any joinder of charges in the same trial will be wholly illegal and it will vitiate the trial.

The object of Section 218 is to save the accused from being perturbed in his defence if several charges which are in no way connected with one another, are lumped together in one trial. That apart the mind of the Court is also likely to be prejudiced against the accused if he were tried in one trial upon different charges resting on different evidence.


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