CRPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) Explained

By Team Legal Helpline India, September 22, 2019

CRPC or Code of Criminal Procedure is the basic book for a criminal lawyer. CRPC was created during the British rule in 1882 and subsequently amended in 1898.

After independence CRPC was amended in 1973 and notified w.e.f. 1/4/1974 and still remains in force after some amendments in 2005. A CRPC  is the principal legislation for dealing with criminal cases and the process of deciding criminal cases.  

CRPC provides the complete machinery for the investigation of crime, apprehension of suspected criminals, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence of the accused person and the determination of punishment of the persons proved guilty.

Code of Criminal Procedure – CrPC Overview

CRPC also deals with the aspects of public nuisance, prevention of offenses and maintenance of the wife. It also deals in child and parents as the said issues are also related to the maintenance of law and order in society.

CRPC consists of 484 sections and 56 schedules which are divided into 37 chapters. For a better reading, the understanding of CRPC, its contents and the processes prescribe therein.  

Code of Criminal procedure CRPC mainly categorizes offenses into two broad categories which are cognizable and non-cognizable offenses and the process of handling the cognizable as well as non-cognizable offenses by the investigating agencies and the courts. Their punishments, their process, and all related issues.

Cognizable Offenses under CRPC (Code of Criminal Procedure):

The Cognizable offenses are those offenses for which a police officer may arrest without a court order or the warrant issued by the court. Cognizable offenses are described in the First Schedule of CRPC.

They give ample and wide-ranging powers to the police officer looking at the gravity as described under the category. The process of handling the cognizable offenses is also described in CRPC in details.

Non Cognizable Offense under CRPC:

non-cognizable offenses are described in the First Schedule of the CRPC and contemplate the offenses in which the police officer may arrest only after being duly authorized by a warrant. Under CRPC, non-cognizable offenses are, generally, relatively less serious offenses than cognizable offenses as described under CRPC.

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Difference between cognizable and non-cognizable offenses CRPC:

The main and basic difference between cognizable and non-cognizable offenses under CRPC is that the cognizable offenses are reported under section 154 CRPC whereas non-cognizable offenses are reported under section 155 CRPC.

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For non-cognizable offenses, the Magistrate is empowered under the CRPC to take cognizance under section 190 Cr.P.C. Further, the Magistrate is also empowered under section 156(3) of the CRPC to direct the police to register the case and investigate the allegations.

The processes as described under the CRPC for handling cognizable, as well as non-cognizable offenses, are by and large same and one needs the services of good Indian criminal lawyer for handling the same effectively.

It is very important to point out the CRPC defines cognizable as well as a non-cognizable offense but the substantive offenses are described under Indian Penal Code which defines and describe the offenses, the punishment and the circumstances leading to the commission of such offenses.

While summing up, we can easily say the CRPC defines cognizable as well as non-cognizable offenses whereas IPC defines the offenses and the punishments.

It is thus clear that CRPC defines the categories of cognizable or non-cognizable offenses whereas IPC defines the offenses and the punishment for the same. CRPC and IPC thus constitute the major processes for handling the criminal cases before the criminal courts however there are other specific offenses described under special Acts to deal with a separate set of offenses.

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In most of the special acts, the process and category of the offenses are adopted by CRPC hence we can say that CRPC is the substantive and vital Act dealing with criminal cases. One needs a very skilled and qualified criminal lawyer for handling the cases of CRPC.

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