May 2, 2024

The fundamental component of India’s criminal justice system is the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC). It provides the procedures and regulations required for ensuring equity, transparency, and the defense of the rights of those affected and the perpetrators. However, the default bail clause is one part of the CRPC that has provoked a lot of controversy and disagreement.        

Default Bail

  • This is a right to bail that develops for a person in judicial custody if the police don’t finish their investigation in a timely manner.
  • Another name for it is Statutory Bail.
  • Provided the investigation is not completed by the end of this period, the person will be bailed by the court “if he has agreed to and does furnish bail”. We call this default bail.

default bail under crpc 

  • Section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code is the default bail section.
  • It stipulates that if the investigation is not finished in a given amount of time after an accused person is arrested and held in jail, the accused person will be released on bond.
  • Default Bail” refers to the accused’s right to be freed on bond if the investigation is not finished within the allotted period. In order to qualify for a default bail, the accused has to have remained in jail for the duration of the investigation’s statutory period and not have been released on bond during that time.

Section 167(2): default bail under crpc

  • Under Section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, a magistrate may order an accused person to be detained for 15 days.
  • After the initial 15 days of police custody, the accused may be placed under judicial custody with the consent of the magistrate.
  • In judicial custody, the accused may not be held for longer than ninety days if the authorities are looking into a crime that carries a death, life, or minimum ten-year sentence, or sixty days if they are looking into any other offense.
  • Other special laws, such the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, may alter this time limit.
  • The 180-day period is specified in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

default bail crpc: Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Presumption of Innocence: The essential tenet of “innocent until proven guilty” is upheld by default bail. It makes sure that those who are charged with a crime but are not found guilty are not kept in pre-trial custody indefinitely.
  • Preserving Civil Liberties: Individuals’ rights and civil liberties are safeguarded by Default Bail. It upholds the values of justice and fairness by making sure that no one is denied their freedom without a formal trial and adequate evidence.
  • Stopping Abuse of Power: Default bail serves as a defense against the investigating authorities abusing their authority. It stops law enforcement from wrongfully detaining people without providing proof or filing charges in a timely manner.


  • Danger of Granting Bail to People Who Might Be Dangerous: Default bail is given when the prosecution neglects to press charges within the allotted time frame. In situations like this, granting default bail could be risky if the accused is dangerous or a threat to the community. It might jeopardize public safety and make law enforcement less efficient.
  • Negating the Investigation Process: The investigation process may be compromised by default bail conditions. It could be difficult for the prosecution to compile a compelling case if the accused is freed on default bail without any charges being brought. This could impede the fair resolution of cases and result in a lack of justice.
  • Negate the Rights of the victims: Default bail may make it more difficult for victims to receive prompt justice and may result in unequal treatment of the various parties to the case.

landmark judgment on default bail

  • In the case of Ritu Chhabaria v Union of India, in order to shield accused people from the “unfettered and arbitrary power of the State,” it was decided that the right to default bail according to Section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is a fundamental right derived from Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • In the case of CBI v Anupam J. Kulkarni, according to a Supreme Court decision, a magistrate may order police detention for a maximum of 15 days after the accused is taken into custody. Beyond this point, any further detention must be in custody of the court, unless the same accused is a party to another case arising from a different occurrence or transaction. The magistrate may hesitate to grant police custody under certain circumstances.

There must be a balance between the accused’s rights and the effective conduct of the investigation. Depending on how difficult a scenario is, the present system may be changed rather than having a single system that works for all situations.

Default Bail FAQs

  1. What happens after default bail?

Default bail is an unalienable right of the accused; but, in order to exercise this right, the accused must follow the specified procedure and appear before the court. The accused will not be freed automatically, and the mere passing of the time does not satisfy the requirements for the granting of default bail.

  • What are the criteria for default bail?

In order to be eligible for default bail, the accused needs to have remained in jail for the duration of the investigation’s statutory period and not been granted release on bond during that time.

  • Can default bail be rejected?

If an accused person is prepared to post bail, they have the inalienable right to default bail under Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, this right must be used before the investigating agency files a charge sheet or requests an extension of time to finish the investigation.

  • What is the difference between default bail and regular bail?

Even after the investigation is over and the charge sheet is turned in, the default bail cannot be revoked. Only the same justifications and factors that apply to the cancellation of a regular bail may be used to cancel a default bail.

  • What is the time period for default bail?

Ninety days in the event that the investigating authorities are looking into a crime for which there is a death, life sentence, or a minimum ten-year prison sentence. If any other offense is being investigated by the investigative authority, sixty days.

  • What is 60 days default bail?

According to Section 167 of the CrPC, the accused is entitled to bail by default if the investigating agency does not file a charge sheet within sixty days of the date of remand.

  • Is accused entitled to default bail after 60 days?

Section 167(2)(a)(ii) will apply in all situations where the maximum sentence is not life in prison or death, and the minimum term is less than ten years. In the event that no charge sheet is submitted, the accused will be eligible to get “default bail” after sixty days.

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