Interim Bail

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In layman’s language, bail can be defined as the release of an accused person, waiting for the trial,  in exchange for security to ensure their presence in the later hearing. Bail is of different types including Regular Bail, Anticipatory Bail, Interim Bail, and Default Bail. Navigating the complex criminal justice system can be daunting, and one crucial aspect that often arises is the concept of interim bail. In this article, we will explore What is interim bail, What are the characteristics of interim bail, What are the grounds for granting interim bail, and Case laws related to interim bail.  

What is Interim Bail?

An interim bail is a short-term temporary relief to individuals entangled in legal proceedings before the hearing for the grant of regular or anticipatory bail. The period for interim bail can be extended, but if the accused individual does not pay the court to confirm or extend the interim bail, they will lose their freedom and may end up in jail or face a warrant. This type of bail can only aid accused people who believe that they are falsely accused of a crime. Often, the legal process can be protracted, leaving individuals facing charges in a state of uncertainty and distress. Interim bail serves as a lifeline during such times, providing a brief respite until the final adjudication of the case.

There is no separate Section of interim bail in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, but certain restrictions also apply in this instance. Section 438 of the CrPC deals with directions for the grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest which means a person can apply for bail if he/she has a reason to believe that he/she may be arrested on an accusation of committing a non-bailable offence (anticipatory bail-Section 438(1)). On the other hand, Section 438(2) of the CrPC illustrates that when the High Court or the Court of Session makes a direction to grant bail as mentioned under Section 438(1), it may include such conditions in such directions in the light of the facts of the particular case, as it may think fit, are discussed as follows:

  • “a condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer as and when required;
  • a condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat, or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer;
  • a condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the Court;
  • such other condition as may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted under that section.”

What are the Characteristics of Interim Bail?

The important characteristics of interim bail are as follows:

  • Offered for a temporary and short time period.
  • After the expiration of the bail term, the accused will be taken into custody without a warrant.
  • Granted when an application for anticipatory or regular bail is pending before the court.
  • Canceling interim bail does not entail any special procedure.

What are the Grounds for Granting Interim Bail?

In the Parminder Singh and Ors. v. The State of Punjab (November 02, 2001) case, the Delhi High Court listed certain scenarios where interim bail should be granted which are as follows:

  • “no likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice,
  • no chance of tampering with the evidence,
  • a clear case for custodial interrogation is not made out, and
  • the application for a grant of anticipatory bail cannot be heard at an early date.”

Some common grounds upon which interim bail can be granted to an individual are as follows:

  • In case the accused has a serious medical condition (such as terminal illness, mental health issues, and surgeries requiring prolonged recovery) requiring urgent or specialized or immediate treatment that cannot be provided within the prison premises then the court can grant interim bail to facilitate medical care.
  • The interim bail may be granted to an accused considering the humanitarian factors such as familial responsibilities, age, health of the family members, etc. For instance, if the accused is the sole breadwinner of a family, and their continued detention would result in significant hardship or deprivation for dependents (family members), then interim bail may be granted to overcome such issues.
  • The Court may grant interim bail to the accused if the investigation is taking an unreasonable amount of time despite his cooperation with authorities. 

Apart from these, there are certain scenarios where the Courts consider granting interim bail to the prisoners. Recently in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Court granted interim bail to the prisoners to prevent overcrowding of the convicts and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Related Case Laws

The top court, in this case, reiterated that a judge considering a regular bail application has an inherent power to grant interim bail. It also held that “interim bail should be granted pending disposal of the final bail application since arrest and detention of a person can cause irreparable loss to a person's reputation.” 

In this case, the Supreme Court held that “in the power to grant bail there is inherent power in the court concerned to grant interim bail to a person pending final disposal of the bail application. Of course, it is in the discretion of the court concerned to grant interim bail or not but the power is certainly there. In the present case, if the petitioners surrender before the Court concerned and make a prayer for grant of interim bail pending final disposal of the bail application, the same shall be considered and decided on the same day.”


Interim bail stands as a testament to the principle of justice tempered with compassion. It recognizes that while legal processes unfold, individuals should not suffer unduly, especially when compelling reasons exist to grant temporary relief. However, it's important to note that the granting of interim bail is at the discretion of the courts and is subject to stringent conditions aimed at ensuring the integrity of the legal process. Ultimately, interim bail strikes a delicate balance between the rights of the accused and the interests of justice, providing a ray of hope in the midst of legal chaos.


1. Who can cancel the Bail?
2. Is it possible to extend interim bail?