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Report No. 268

Annexure - C

Consultations on Bail Project

The Law Commission of India for the study on subject of Bail consulted various stakeholders. It had the opportunity to consult experienced Judicial Officers, Police officers, Prosecution etc.

1. Consultation with Judicial Officers

A consultation was held on 21 January 2017, with judicial officers representing various states across the country on bail related matters at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. In the course of consultation, discussions were carried out on identification of relevant criteria for considering bail applications, questions of the appropriateness of particular offences being bailable or non-bailable and the treatment of foreigners applying for bail, apart from a number of points on specific legal provisions in the Cr.P.C. At the event, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Hon'ble Mr. Justice U.U. Lalit of the Supreme Court provided guidance on the subject matter.

The discussion was moderated by Hon'ble Justice Ms. Mukta Gupta of the Delhi High Court. The Judges started the discussion by stating that 'bail' is an instrument that must be used to further the cause of justice and protect soceital interests and not sub serve the same. The Judges also discussed the abuse of the anticipatory bail law and its recent precedents. The Panel also pointed out that the provision limiting the custody granted to the investigative authorities for completing the investigation to the first fifteen days runs afoul to the purposes of the justice. Growing number of economic crimes and the ineffective bail provisions to deal with the same was also discussed.

It was identified that Sections 379 and 498A IPC were identified as offences that should be shifted from the category of non-bailable to bailable for offences up to a certain value in organised crime. Sections 279, 324, 325, 363, 374, 417, 419, 435, 436, 489C, 490 and 506 IPC were identified as offences that should be shifted from the bailable category to the non-bailable one. In Section 304A IPC it was suggested that differentiation should be made for bail in matters related to corporate and medical negligence. Differentiation also needs to be made between the two classes of punishment in Section 312 IPC, both of which have been made bailable.

All connected offences like Sections 313, 314 and 315 IPC related to miscarriage are non-bailable. The differentiation should be made along the lines of Sections 312 and 316 IPC. At the discussion a questionnaire was circulated in which a total of 40 responses were collected. Answers pointed out that there is a need for provisions for compensation where there has been wrongful incarceration. A number of the responses to the specific questions were also elaborated upon with remarks regarding the appropriateness of the investigation period of 60/90 days, proposed power of granting custody beyond this period and a power to cancel bail etc.

Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Provisions relating to Bail Back

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