Thursday, 30 June 2022

Cognizable and non-cognizable offence

 Cognizable and non-cognizable offences


There are many offences that are  mentioned under IPC which is covered by Criminal Procedure Code CRPC. The nature of offence is categorised based on the degree or say frequency of the offence committed . The frequency of the offence can be recognised by the punishment of the offence mentioned in the section.Here, we are talking about cognizable and non-cognizable offence in particular. Cognizable offence is defined under section 2(c) of CRPC and non-cognizable offence is defined under 2(l) of CRPC. CRPC schedule 1 explains how the offence should be categorised under cognizable or non-cognizable offence. CRPC provides the place and manner, where should the investigation and trial of an offence shall take place. Offences are Classified depending on the nature of an offence and they are as follows:

Classification of offences are as follows-

1.Bailable or non-bailable offence

2.Cognizable and non-cognizable offence

3.Compoundable and non-compoundable offence


Cognizable offence

Cognizable offences is a offence where a person can be arrested by a police officer without a warrant. All offences under cognizable offences are considered as serious in nature and of high frequency . The police officer is under legal duty to investigate the crime without the order from magistrate. All cognizable offences are non-bailable in nature. Let’s take some examples of cognizable offence:

1.Murder (IPC Section 302)

2.Rape (IPC Section 375)

3.Dowry death (IPC Section 304B) 

4.Theft (IPC Section 378)

5.Kidnapping (IPC Section 360)

In cognizable offence complaint about the crime is not necessary , hence , police has the liberty to start the enquiry immediately . Under section 154 of CRPC a police officer is bound to register an FIR in case of cognizable crime committed or complaint to the magistrate. They are mostly non-bailable offences and not every court can conduct the trial of the case.


Non-cognizable offence

Non-cognizable offence is offence where a person cannot be arrested by a police officer without a warrant. Offences under non-cognizable offences are considered non-grievous in nature. The police officer cannot take legal action without the orders from court or magistrate. Non-cognizable offences are punishable with less than three years of imprisonment or fine according to the offence committed. In Non-cognizable offence complaint about the crime committed is necessary for the police enquiry to initiate. All non-cognizable offences are bailable in nature. Let’s take some example of non-cognizable offences.They are mostly bailable offences and any magistrate or magistrate of first class can conduct the trial of the case.

1.Cheating (IPC section 415)

2.Forgery (IPC section 463) 

3.Defamation (IPC section 499)

4.Causing miscarriage (IPC Section 312)

5.Assault (IPC section 351)

In such offence the victim can only make a complaint to the magistrate.

In non-cognizable Offences there is are proper steps to be followed for an accused to be arrested. The police officer files the chargesheet in the court which is then followed by a trial. After the trial if the accused is found to be guilty then the court passes the order to issue the warrant for the accused to be arrested.


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