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Report No. 135

2.21. Grant of bail to women - Section 437, Cr. P.C.-

Some questions relating to bail also fall to be considered. At present, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, when dealing with the question of bail, does take into account the fact that women deserve special consideration. While directing the court not to release a person on bail where he is accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life, the Code [in section 437(1)] takes care to provide that this prohibition shall not apply where the accused is a woman (there are other exceptions, which are not material for the present purpose).1

In general, the courts have taken due note of this provision and women are not ordinarily denied bail, even if the offence committed is a serious one. Nevertheless, the absence of a more specific provision emphasising the duty of the court to take into account the fact that the accused is a woman, can be regarded as a lacuna in the present law. We are of the opinion that the time has come to emphasise this aspect, and that it is desirable to amend the relevant section of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the purpose.

1. For text of section 437(1), see para. 2.22, infra.

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