Cognizable Offence and Non-Cognizable Offence in CRPC

Cognizable Offence and Non Cognizable Offence

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Procedural Law, also known as the Criminal Procedure Code, of 1973, governs how a person can approach the authorities in order to obtain justice. For instance, different kinds of offences, the procedure for arresting an offender for various criminal offences, the procedure for investigation, the procedure for granting bail, and so on.

The Code of Criminal Procedure is proposed as a means of enforcing criminal law. According to the First Schedule of the IPC, cognizable offences include murder, theft, rape and culpable homicide, while bailable offences are identified as non. The 1st Schedule of the IPC & other laws divides criminal offences into cognizable & non-cognizable categories.

Indian legal system comprises three categories

  • Legislation of substance (Substantive Law)
  • Law of Procedure (Procedural Law)
  • Law of Evidence (Evidentiary Law)

Offences under any penal codes that are liable to imprisonment for 3 years or more are cognizable, while those punishable by imprisonment for less than three years are non-cognizable.

The Cognizable offences defined u/s 2(c) & Non-Cognizable Offences are described in 2(1) of the Code.

Types of Offences

The Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which is mentioned in the IPC, covers all of these offences. Rape, theft, murder, kidnapping, forgery, & other crimes are examples.

The I.P.C. defines legal significance and determines whether or not an act is a criminal offence. The Criminal Procedure Code lays out the stages for starting a criminal prosecution/ investigation (CrPC). The Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) specifies the manner & location in which an investigation and trial of an offence must actually occur.

Offences are Classified

Depending on the severity and nature of an offence committed, it may be classed under one of the following heads:

  • Offences that are bailable & non-bailable
  • Offences that are cognizable & non-cognizable.
  • Offences that can be compounded and those that cannot compoundable (non-compoundable)

distinction between a cognizable & a non-cognizable crime

  1. A cognizable offence is one whereby the police can take cognizance of a crime without the need for court official permission. In non-cognizable, police have no power to arrest a person for an offence/ crime without obtaining court permission.
  2. If someone commits a cognizable offence, the police will arrest them without even a warrant. In a non-cognizable offence, a warrant for arrest has been issued.
  3. In cognizable cases, no court order is required to begin an investigation or interrogation. First and foremost, court permission or order is considered necessary before an interrogation or investigation can begin in the case of a non-cognizable offence.
  4. Criminal offences that are cognizable are the most serious, whereas non-cognizable offences are less serious.
  5. Rape, kidnapping, theft, counterfeiting, murder, & other crimes are all considered cognizable. Non-cognizable offences, on the other hand, include fraud, dishonesty, assault, defamation, & so on.
  6. For a cognizable offence, someone could register an FIR (First Information Report) or make a formal complaint to the magistrate. In a non-cognizable offence committed, the only remedy available is to file a formal complaint to the judge or magistrate.

Role of Police Investigation in Cognizable Offence

A cognizable offence is one where an officer can detain or make arrests without a warrant or without the order of a magistrate under the 1st schedule or any other law in existence at the time. Sexual assault, rape, dowry death, murder, theft, kidnapping, criminal breach of trust, waging or trying to attempt to wage war against the Indian government, and abetting & aiding the waging of war against the Govt are all crimes examples of cognizable offences.

A police officer can make an arrest as soon as the offence has been committed when it comes to these types of criminal offences. He can also perform a preliminary investigation before filing an FIR. Police can make arrests & bring the culprit before a magistrate.

In Lalitakumarai v. Government of Uttar Pradesh

The Supreme Court held that officers must accordance with the law register an FIR upon obtaining a complainant if the info reveals a cognizable offence and that no preliminary inquiry is allowed in such a particular instance. Any magistrate authorized u/s 190 of Crpc can direct an officer on duty at a police station to begin an investigation in cases, as per Sec. 156(3) of Crpc.

The officer in charge of the police has the authority to conduct a medical exam Of the victim of rape. If an investigation or interrogation is not completed within 24 hours, it is liable to Punishment u/s 167 of the Crpc. Police detention or custody can last up to 15 days. This is known as police custody, & if the valid cause for detention is satisfied, the custody must not exceed 90 days only for the most serious crimes punishable by death, capital punishment, or ten years in prison, & custody must not exceed 60 days for other criminal offences.

Role of Police Investigation in Non-Cognizable Offence

A non-cognizable offence is one for which a police officer doesn’t really have the authority to detain or arrest any person without a warrant, according to section 2(l)A police officer is not authorized to arrest or investigate the suspect. The police officer in charge must seek an order from the magistrate u/s155(2).

Non-cognizable offences include cheating, forgery, defamation, public nuisance and assault, among others. For making an arrest in such cases, the following steps should be followed: required to file a complaint, investigation, interrogation, police report, and charge sheet to be filed in court, as well as trial.

To begin an investigation, the aggrieved party must file a complaint with the appropriate police station. Once the investigation is concluded, the officer must submit the charge sheet in the courtroom. The court may impose orders regarding the issuance of a warrant to arrest the alleged perpetrator following the trial, so the officer must obtain incomplete evidence in support of documents.


The role of the police officer is absolutely essential, and the use of police power must be honest and truthful rather than arbitrary. Whenever a police officer receives information about a cognizable crime instantly, he must file an FIR right away because the state has a responsibility to take cognizance of the crime. The police officer’s job is to keep society in order.

When a cognizable crime occurs, simply filing an FIR just isn’t enough; the crime must be investigated thoroughly. Because power and influence over the police result in favouring the accused & unfair treatment or injustice to the affected persons, and a separate FIR department must be established.

In the case of a non-cognizable offence, public & voluntary organizations can assist the victim in filing an FIR. There must be no distinction between cognizable and non-cognizable offences, and all offences must be required to be registered.


Trial of An Offence Before a Court Session

FIR (First information report under C.R.P.C, 1973)

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