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Bail Provisions under Special Laws: UAPA Act

Bail Provisions under Special Laws: UAPA Act


In the previous articles, we discussed the changes in bail provisions, regular bail provisions, anticipatory bail provisions under the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and bail provisions under the NDPS Act. In this article, we will delve into the bail provisions under another special law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Bail Provisions under the UAPA Act

The UAPA enables this under Section 43D by statutorily extending periods of pre-trial detention and police custody, and raising a bar against bail in case there are reasonable grounds to believe that the allegations against the accused are prima facie true. For non-citizens, the UAPA bars the right to bail.

Landmark Judgments

Several landmark judgments have shaped the interpretation and application of the UAPA’s bail provisions:

  • Angela Harish Sontakke v State of Maharashtra (2016): The Supreme Court granted Sontakke bail in 2016, stating that the alleged offence must be balanced against how long the accused had suffered in jail, and how likely a swift trial was.
  • National Investigation Agency v. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali (2019): The Supreme Court provided its first interpretation of Section 43D (5) in the 2019 Watali judgment. The Court held that the ‘degree of satisfaction’ the Bench must have while determining if a prima facie case exists for bail is ‘lighter’ under the UAPA than in other criminal legislations.
  • Union of India v K.A. Najeeb (2021): The Supreme Court held that despite restrictions on bail under the UAPA, constitutional courts can still grant bail because the fundamental rights of the accused have been violated.

Impact of the Provisions

The bail provisions under the UAPA have significant implications. They provide a clear framework for the grant of bail in cases involving unlawful activities. These provisions aim to balance the need for effective law enforcement with the rights of the accused.


This article provided a detailed analysis of the bail provisions under the UAPA Act. The stringent parameters for the grant of bail under this Act represent a significant aspect of the legal process in cases involving unlawful activities. This concludes our series on bail provisions under the BNSS and special laws. We hope you found these insights into this important legal topic informative and helpful.

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