Cognizable and non cognizable offences regulation essay

Cognizable offences have already been defined under Section 2 (c) of the Criminal Process Code as follows; " ‘cognizable offence’ means an offence that, and ‘cognizable circumstance’ means a case where, a officer may, in accordance with the First Timetable or under any different law for the moment in effect, arrest without warrant"

A non-cognizable offence offers been identified under Section 2 (l) of the Criminal Procedure Code as follows, "’non-cognizable offence’ means an offence for which, and ‘non-cognizable circumstance’ means a case where, a police officer does not have any authority to arrest without warrant"

Now which offence falls beneath the group of cognizable offences and which falls beneath the category of non-cognizable offences can be determined according to the classification granted in the First Plan of the Criminal Method Code. The First Plan has classified all works punishable beneath the Indian Penal Code, 1860 into Cognizable and non-cognizable offences. Although the Code alone will not give any reasoning as to this classification, certain habits can be traced if the First of all schedule is studied carefully. All offences that have a punishment greater than 3 years beneath the Indian Penal Code are believed to become cognizable offences and all offences that have a punishment of significantly less than 3 years are non-cognizable offences. Subsequently, it really is deduced that non-cognizable offences happen to be relatively less serious in aspect than cognizable offences.

Consequently, in the event of cognizable offences, the police officers can arrest the accused person with no warrant or authority issued by a magistrate. They can initiate investigation by themselves accord plus they needn’t wait for the prior authorization of a magistrate. In fact, they have got a legal duty to initiate investigations. This duty has got been endowed upon them by Section 156(1) of the Criminal Treatment code which reads; "Any officer responsible for a law enforcement station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable circumstance which a Courtroom having jurisdiction over the neighborhood area within the limitations of such station would have capacity to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII. " Section 156 (2) even more reads, "No proceeding of a police officer in any such circumstance shall at any level be called involved on the ground that the case was one which such officer had not been empowered under this section to research. "

On the other side, cops necessarily need prior authorization of a magistrate to initiate investigations in situations of non-cognizable offences. Non cognizable offences are considered more in the type of private wrongs and therefore the collection of data and the prosecution of offender will be kept to the initiative and efforts of private citizens.

Bailable and Non-bailable offences

Section 2 (a) of the Criminal Method Code defines bailable and non-bailable offences as "an offence which is proven as bailable in the Initial Schedule, or which is made bailable by any other law for the time being in force; and "non-bailable offence" means any additional offence" In here too, the code does not give any reason concerning on what criteria has such classification been based upon. It merely lays down a seemingly arbitrary classification of the same. However, it can be logically deduced that serious offences are non-bailable whereas all much less considerable offences are bailable.

Similarly, all offences that have a punishment of more than 3 years beneath the Indian Penal Code are considered to be non-bailable offences and all offences that have a punishment of less than 3 years will be bailable offences. This too is at the mercy of the exception of presence of a contrary legislation. With that kind of schedule, it will be difficult to section off time to study for the gmat… If a person accused of a bailable offence is definitely arrested or detained without warrant he has a right to be released on bail. In case he’s accused of a non-bailable offence, therefore his bail is subject to the discretion by the authorities.

Warrant circumstance and Summons Case

According to Section 2 (x) of the Criminal Procedure Code, a warrant-circumstance "means a case associated with an offence punishable with loss of life, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding 2 yrs"

According to Section 2 (w) of the Criminal Technique Code, "a summons circumstance means a case associated with an offence, not being a warrant case"

This classification helps to determine the sort of trial procedure to be adopted in the event. Naturally, the trial process in case of a warrant case is much more elaborate than that of a summons case. This classification is also useful at the level of issuing process to the accused person in the beginning.


The current classification of offences is a major cause for the large incidence of arbitrary and unnecessary arrest in our nation. The scheme of classification can be outdated and redundant.

There is a serious need for revaluation for the classification between cognizable and non-cognizable and bailable and non-bailable offences. The type and quantum of punishment mounted on these offences also needs to be revaluated. It is not that the theory for reclassification has never come up before, but given today’s situation of our judicial system, it becomes even more relevant that it be done now. For instance, many minor offences against property are still classified as non-bailable, whereas it really is obvious that classifying them as compoundable offences and relying on methods such as for example ‘plea-bargaining’ may be more effective and agreeable to address the injury due to the same [1].

Also, it’s been noted that the main part of the backlog instances in the courts involves regulatory offences such as dishonour of cheques, site visitors violations, etc. Nowadays, these acts were made offences under special laws whereby the legislature had felt that instead of public policy, these functions were better off classified as criminal even though they are more comparable to civil wrongs. However, the actual fact that they can create a maximum backlog was envisaged by neither party. Hence, there exists a need for the best review and revaluation of criminal laws. It has been advised that the offences be classified into a) The Social Welfare Code, b) The Correctional Code, c) The Criminal code and d) the Economic and different offences code.

This way of classifying the offences according to their nature is considered to be far more useful than a blanket categorization of offences. This re-classification is proposed to be done based on the gravity of the offences, appropriate methods for investigation and dispute-resolution along with the proportionate character and quantum of fines and punishments.


Considering the need for reclassification of offences, the Malimath committee offered the following suggestions for the same.

Its primary advice was to remove the distinction between cognizable and non-cognizable offences and generate it obligatory on the authorities to investigate all offences according which a complaint is made. However, this is not an extremely practical option as it will lead to an additional backlog of cases and will improve the burden on the authorities.

Section 262 of the Criminal Procedure Code offers the procedure for summary trials, Section 263 provides for the record in conclusion trials and Section 264 offers judgement in cases tried summarily. The Malimath committee advised increasing the amount of instances falling within the category of cases trialable by following the summary treatment presented by Sections 262 to 264.

It as well recommended increasing the number of offences that are categorized as the category of "Petty Offences" that can be dealt with by following a procedure approved by Section 206 of the Code. Section 206 reads "If, in the judgment of a Magistrate bringing cognizance of a petty offence, the case could be summarily removed under section 260, the Magistrate shall, except where he is, for reasons to be recorded on paper of a contrary view, concern summons to the accused requiring him either to appear in person or by pleader before the Magistrate on a specified day, or if he really wants to plead guilty to the charge without appearing prior to the Magistrate, to transmit prior to the specified date, by post or by messenger to the Magistrate, the said plea on paper and the quantity of excellent specified in the summons or if he desires to appear by pleader and plead guilty to the charge through such pleader, to authorise, in writing, the pleader to plead guilty to the charge on his behalf and pay the good through such pleader: Provided that the amount of the fine specified in such summons shall not really exceed one hundred rupees.

(2) For the purposes of the section, "petty offence" means any offence punishable just with fine certainly not exceeding 1000 rupees, but will not include any offence consequently punishable under the AUTOMOBILES Work, 1939, (4 of 1939) or under any different law which provides for convicting the accused person in his absence on a plea of guilty. "

It advocated increasing the quantity of offences, for which an arrest needn’t be made and increasing the amount of offences where arrest could be made only with the buy of the court and reducing the number of cases where arrest can be made without an order or warrant form the Magistrate.

The Malimath committee further advised increasing the amount of offences which will be bailable and reducing the quantity of offences which are not bailable.

A compoundable offence is certainly one in which the trial courtroom can compound the offence and dispose the case without trial. A non-compoundable offence is an offence in which the court cannot compound the circumstance without trial. A compoundable offence is definitely always a lesser level offence punishable with a shorter jail term or good. The Malimath Committee suggested increasing the quantity of offences which can be brought within the category of compoundable offences, to inspire settlements without trials.