The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPc)
436 A. Maximum period for which an undertrial prisoner can be detained.
1[Maximum period for which an undertrial prisoner can be detained. Where a person has, during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial under this Code of an offence under any law (not being an offence for which the punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments under that law) undergone detention for a period extending up to one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence under that law, he shall be released by the Court on his personal bond with or without sureties:
Provided that the Court may, after hearing the Public Prosecutor and for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, order the continued detention of such person for a period longer than one-half of the said period or release him on bail instead of the personal bond with or without sureties:
Provided further that no such person shall in any case be detained during the period of investigation inquiry or trial for more than the maximum period of imprisonment provided for the said offence under that law.
Explanation.- In computing the period of detention under this section for granting bail the period of detention passed due to delay in proceeding caused by the accused shall be excluded.]
Cr PC (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Notes on Clauses)
There has been instances, where under-trial prisoners were detained in jail for periods beyond the maximum period of imprisonment provided for the alleged offence. As remedial measures section 436a has been inserted to provide that where an under-trial prisoner other than the one accused of an offence for which death has been prescribed as one of the punishments, has been under detention for a period extending to one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment provided for the alleged offence, he should be released on his personal bond, with or without sureties. It has also been provided that in no case will an under-trial prisoner be detained beyond the maximum period of imprisonment for which he can be convicted for the alleged offence.
1. Ins. by Act 25 of 2005, sec. 36.