There is difference between general bail and anticipatory bail. General bail comes under section 436 (bailable offence) and 437 ( for non bailable offence) of CrPc, where as anticipatory bail comes under section 438 of Cr.Pc. The term ‘Anticipatory Bail’ is not clearly defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC ), 1973. However, this term is widely used in parlance of litigation but which does not owe its origin to a statute. Neither section 438 of Cr.PC nor its marginal note so describes it but, the expression ‘anticipatory bail’ is a convenient mode of conveying that it is possible to apply for bail in anticipation of arrest. In fact ‘anticipatory bail’ is a misnomer. It is not a bail presently granted by the Court in anticipation of arrest. When the court grants anticipatory bail it means that in event of arrest the person shall be released on bail.
The provision for anticipatory bail was brought into force in order to protect innocent, poor and needy people. However, it has been misused by the criminals and politicians to their advantage by using money, power and access to law. There is dire need to look into these provisions so that innocent is not penalized and criminals are not escorted free.