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497. When bail may be taken in cases of non-bailable offence.

(1) When any person accused of non-bailable offence is arrested or detained without warrant by an officer-in-charge of a police station, or appears or is brought before a Court, he may be released on bail, but he shall not be so released if there appears reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of an offence punishable with death or [imprisonment for life or imprisonment for ten years].

Provided that the Court may direct that any person under the age of sixteen years or any woman or any sick or infirm person accused of such an offence be released on bail:

Provided further that a person accused of an offence as aforesaid shall not be released on bail unless the prosecution has been given notice to show cause why he should not be so released.

[Provided further that the Court shall, except where it is of opinion that the delay in the trial of the accused has been occasioned by an act or omission of the accused or any other person acting on his behalf or in exercise of any right or privilege under any law for the time being in force, direct that any person shall be released on bail--

(a) who, being accused of any offence not punishable with death, has been detained for such offence for a continuous period exceeding one year and whose trial for such offence has not concluded; or

(b) who, being accused of an offence punishable with death, has been detained for such offence for a continuous period exceeding two years and whose trial for such offence has not concluded.

Provided further that the provisions of the third proviso to this subsection shall not apply to a previously convicted offender for an offence punishable with death or
 
imprisonment for life or to a person who, in the opinion of the Court, is a hardened, desperate or dangerous criminal or involved in terrorism.]

(2)    If it appears to such officer or Court at any stage of the investigation, inquiry or trial, as the case may be, that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed a non-bailable offence, but that there are sufficient grounds for further inquiry into his guilt, the accused shall, pending such inquiry, be released on bail, or, at the discretion of such officer or Court, on the execution by him of a bond without sureties for his appearance as hereinafter provided.

(3)    Ah officer or a Court releasing any person on bail under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall record in writing his or its reasons for so doing.

(4)    If, at any time after the conclusion of the trial of a person accused of a non-

bailable offence and before judgment is delivered, the Court Is of opinion that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of any such offence, it shall release the accused, if he is in custody on the execution by him of a bond without sureties for his appearance to hear judgment delivered.

(5)    A High Court or Court of Session and, in the case of a person released by itself, any other Court may cause any person who has been released under this section to be arrested and may commit him to custody.
 

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