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Law Commission of India recommended significant suggestions to change the bail provisions under CrPC, 1973

Team SoOLEGAL 25 May 2017 4:00pm

Law Commission of India recommended significant suggestions to change the bail provisions under CrPC, 1973

In a major development, new report of Law Commission of India related to bail system, made significant suggestions to change the bail provisions keeping in mind that the poor people do not get bail, and even when bail is granted, it is difficult for them to get sureties.

The Commission headed by Justice BS Chouhan, Report No.268 titled ‘Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 – Provisions relating to Bail’ stated that the existing system of bail in India is inadequate and inefficient to accomplish its purpose.

The Commission has suggested a series of Amendments in Criminal Procedure Code.

“The Law Commission was asked to make a standalone Bail Act, subsequently the Commission was asked to make the changes in the Cr.P.C. itself. The 21st Law Commission of India made suggestions to change the bail provisions keeping in mind that the poor people do not get bail, and even when bail is granted, it is difficult for them to get sureties”, states the Commission press release.

Major Suggestions by the Commission

  1. During arrest without a warrant , a person would be informed by the arresting officer that he is entitled to free legal aid and may move an application for bail, orally as well as in writing (as far as possible), in whatever language he understands.
  2. Under trial in s. 436A of Cr.P.C. where the a person accused is involved in an offence the imprisonment up to seven years, he should be released on bail on spending one-third period of the highest punishment prescribed for that offence. For other offences carrying higher punishment, he may be released on bail after serving half of the maximum punishment prescribed for that offence. While the existing provision provide for serving of half of the sentence so prescribed in all cases, including minor offences. To make sure effective compliance of s. 436A of Cr.P.C. it is suggested that the Secretary to the District Legal Services Authority (a judicial officer) be a Nodal Officer.
  3. To make effective of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court, it has been recommended that the bail application may normally be decided by the subordinate court within one week and the High Courts shall frame rules accordingly.
  4. In 2009 section 437A of Cr.P.C was inserted, in view of the recommendations of the Law Commission made in 1996. This was done to give effect to the judgment of the Gujarat High Court in Harish Laxman Solanki of 1994. The said judgment was over ruled by the Full Bench of the Gujarat High Court in Omprakash Tekchand Batra vide judgment dated 14.08.1998. The Full Bench had held that imposing such conditions in exercise of s. 482 Cr.P.C. was unconstitutional, illegal and void ab initio. The provision s.437A, was inserted without taking note of the Full Bench Judgment. The Allahabad High Court in Nannu’s case dated 13.02.2012, has made suggestions for taking only personal bond of the person acquitted of all the charges, giving undertaking to appear before the higher Court, if so required. The Commission recommends the substitution of the said provision by providing that after acquittal of all charges leveled against a person, his personal bond be taken which will serve the purpose. Imposing any other condition may be violative of his constitutional and legal rights.

Read the Report here.

Law Commission of India   Criminal Procedure Code   CrPC 1973   Bail  

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