What is anticipatory bail ?

What is anticipatory bail ?

Anticipatory bail is a legal provision in India that allows a person who has reason to believe that they may be arrested in the future for a non-bailable offense, to apply for bail in advance before their arrest. The purpose of anticipatory bail is to prevent the arrest of a person, and to allow them to apply for regular bail after arrest.

The provision for anticipatory bail is provided under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Anticipatory bail can be granted by a High Court or a Sessions Court. Once granted, the anticipatory bail remains in force until the person is arrested, or until the bail is cancelled by the court.

An application for anticipatory bail can be made by the person who is likely to be arrested, or by any person on their behalf, to the High Court or the Sessions Court within whose jurisdiction the offence has been committed. The application must be accompanied by an affidavit, stating the grounds on which the bail is sought. The court may call for additional information or documents, such as the First Information Report (FIR) or the statement of the person who is likely to be arrested, before deciding on the application.

The court will consider several factors when deciding whether to grant anticipatory bail, including the nature and gravity of the offence, the likelihood of the person absconding, and the possibility of the person tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses. The court may also consider the person's antecedents, character, and standing in the community.

If the court grants anticipatory bail, it may impose conditions, such as the deposit of a bond, the surrender of the person's passport, or the restriction on the person's movements. The court may also require the person to report to the police station or the court at regular intervals.

It is important to note that anticipatory bail is not a matter of right, and the court has discretion in granting or denying the bail. However, the court must exercise its discretion judicially and in a reasonable manner, and must provide reasons for its decision.

The grant of anticipatory bail is subject to the principle of reasonable restriction, which means that the court will impose such conditions as are necessary to ensure that the accused does not misuse the liberty granted to him, and that the investigation of the case is not hampered.

Anticipatory bail is a powerful tool for protecting the rights of citizens, and it serves as a safeguard against arbitrary and unjust arrests. It also helps to ensure that the accused person has an opportunity to prepare for their defense, and to protect their reputation and livelihood before their arrest.

Format of an Anticipatory bail


Sanjay son of Sh. _______





1st Application for grant of Anticipatory bail U/s 438  Cr. P.C. in case FIR No.____ dated ____ U/s 285 IPC & 25 Arms Act & 307 IPC (added later on), P.S.______


  1. That the applicant/petitioner has been falsely implicated in the above noted case though there is no any evidence with the prosecution to connect the applicant with the crime in question.
  2. That alleged FIR has been lodged at the statement of ASI of P.S. ________ stating as under:-“…………………………. To, the SHO, P.S. ________  Today I (ASI) alongwith ASI ____________ were present on crime & Petrol Duty at ______________
  3. That as stated by the complainant in the alleged FIR admittedly the petitioner and the complainant had very old business ties and the petitioner’s firms M/s __________ & M/s ____________used to supply material to the complainant’s firm M/s __________ for the production of Poultry Minerals.
  4. That as a matter of fact the relations between the complainant and the petitioner became so close that they were on visiting terms with each other’s family and due to the same the petitioner helped out the complainant in the year 1999 to 2001 by supplying material on profit sharing as the complainant was unable to pay as he was under heavy debts.
  5. That relations between the petitioner and complainant strained when the complainant refused to settle accounts and repay the money for the material supplied by the petitioner by putting the matter on hold on one pretext or the other.
  6. That admittedly the facts stated in the FIR are true to the extent that a Panchayat of respectable was convened at the residence of _________ to sort out the differences and to settle the accounts between both the petitioner and the complainant. But as a matter of fact the complainant had requested that he will pay the petitioner’s outstanding within next three years as he was under heavy debts at that time.
  7. That now the complainant in order to usurp the money of the petitioner has lodged the present FIR and the present FIR is nothing but a tool very cleverly crafted by the complainant in- collusion with police to exert pressure on the petitioner to waive off his debts.
  8. That the entire version as stated in the FIR is nothing but an imaginary concocted story, so much so that none of the fact as stated therein corroborate each other and further it cannot be believed upon as all the incidents as are alleged therein were ever reported to police or any report was ever lodged and mere allegation that police did not act upon could not be believed upon.
  9. That even the alleged FIR was lodged with an inordinate delay of about 24 hours, the same is never explained by the complainant. 
  10. That the petitioner is a very respectable businessman, an Income Tax payee  and if he is arrested his entire reputation will be tarnished and will be unnecessarily harassed by the police.
  11. That nothing is to be recovered from the possession of the petitioner.
  12. That the petitioner undertakes to join the investigation as and when directed by this Hon’ble court. 
  13. That there is no likelihood of his tempering with the prosecution evidence nor evading to take the trial.
  14. That on the basis of the alleged FIR the police of P.S. _______ is bent upon to arrest the applicant /petitioner.
  15. It is, therefore, prayed that the petitioners may kindly be granted anticipatory bail and SHO/I.O, of ____________ may kindly be directed to release the petitioner on bail in the event of his arrest, in the interest of justice.
           Dated                                                                                  Applicant/Petitioner

                                                 Through counsel

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