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Section 436A CRPC Applicable To Special Acts In Absence Of Any Specific Provision: Supreme Court

Anila Sabu ,
  15 July 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :

Satender Kumar Antil Vs Central Bureau Of Investigation

Date Of Order:
July 11, 2022


Petitioner: Mr. Sumit Choudhary, Adv. Mr. Sujeet Beniwal, Adv. Dr. Amardep Gaur and Adv. for M/S. V. Maheshwari & Co., AOR
Respondent: Mr. Krishnam Mishra, Adv. Mr. Rajeev Kufmar Dubey, Adv. Mr. Ashiwan Mishra and Adv. Mr. Kamlendra Mishra, AOR


In the lack of any specific provisions, the Supreme Court noted that Section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure would likewise apply to the Special Acts.

Important Provisions

1. Article 21 of the Constitution of India

The major goal of Article 21 is the Right to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty, which is a right guaranteed against State Action as opposed to violation of such right by private individuals.

2. Code of Criminal Procedure

  • Section 41
  • Section 41A
  • Section 60A
  • Section 87
  • Section 88
  • Section 167 (2)
  • Section 170
  • Section 204
  • Section 209
  • Section309
  • Section 436 A

Brief Facts

  • The learned Magistrate claims that if there are good reasons to believe that a person has committed an offence that carries a death sentence or a life sentence, Section 437(1) does not allow him to release them on bail.
  • In other words, the learned Magistrate has determined that all offences that carry a life sentence as a penalty fall under the definition of "offence punished with death or imprisonment for life" in Section 437(1).
  • The experienced attorney for the intervener argued that the Magistrate lacked the authority to issue bail because the offences under Sections 467 and 409 IPC carried potential life sentences as punishment.
  • The learned Counsel stated that, without the special circumstances specified in Section 437(1) Cr.P.C., the Magistrate cannot grant bail for an offence that carries a death or life sentence.

Questions Raised

  • Whether specific guidelines or explanations, as well as other criteria’s governing the issuance of bail, are accurate.
  • Whether it is possible to change the fact that, statistically, more than 2/3 of jail inmates are considered to be under-trial criminals

Arguments Advanced By The Appellant

  • The appellant proposed that the respondents should end the prosecutions and release the defendants whose trials are taking longer than expected.
  • The appellant argued that under Section 437(1) Cr.P.C., the Magistrate cannot grant bail if the offence carries a death or life sentence, unless there are extraordinary circumstances listed therein.

Arguments Advanced By The Respondent

  • In contrast to the appellant's argument, the respondent argued that accused parties whose trials have been delayed beyond what is reasonable and are likely to be delayed further should be freed on bail with any conditions the Court deems suitable to impose.
  • The respondent argued that only the Court of Sessions may try cases under Section 302, which carries a death sentence or a life sentence. The violation of Section 409 carries a life sentence in jail or a 10-year sentence together with a fine. The same goes for the violation of Section 467, which carries a life sentence or a 10-year sentence plus a fine. Both of these offences are triable by a Magistrate of First Class, despite the fact that the maximum punishment that may be imposed is life in prison, in accordance with Part I of Schedule appended to the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • The respondent also stated that a number of offences, including those covered by Penal Code Section 326, are subject to trial by Magistrate of the First Class and may result in life imprisonment or other harsher penalties. I

Analysis By The Court

  • The bench noted that Act 25 of 2005 added Section 436A to the Code. In accordance with this clause, a person who has been detained for a period equal to half the maximum sentence allowed for that offence must be released by the court on his or her personal bond, with or without sureties.
  • For the aim of expanding the definition of bail to cover the investigative stage and subsequent stages, this word must be given an expanded meaning.
  • The court further observed that there is not even a need for a bail application in a case of this sort, especially where the reasons for the delay are not traceable against the accused. The word "shall" clearly emphasise the necessary fulfilment of this rule.
  • According to the court, both other courts and the investigating agencies are to follow these instructions.
  • The court consequently determined that it was acceptable to give a list of 12 instructions, which they considered were subject to State amendments.


Through the judgements held through this case we can see that the gravity of the charge has been considered, but the severity of the punishment imposed by the statute has also been recognised as a factor.

As a result, though the economic offences have not been fully removed from the aforementioned criteria, rather they have created a different kind of offences.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

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