Definitions under The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
BAILABLE OFFENCE & NON-BAILABLE OFFENCE – S. 2(a)
- An accused charged with a bailable offence has the right to be released on bail under section 436 of the Cr.P.C.
- However, the Court is empowered to refuse the bail for a bailable offence if the accused fails to comply with the conditions of the bail bond.
- Voluntarily causing hurt. (S.323)
- Causing miscarriage. (S.312)
- Attempt to commit suicide. (S.309)
- Being a member of unlawful assembly.
- Bribery in relation to elections.
Non – Bailable Offence
- An accused charged with a non – bailable offence has no right to be released on bail, however, his release on bail rests on the discretion of the Court hearing his bail application.
- The Court may refuse to grant bail in a non – bailable offence if the credential of the accused/applicant are doubtful.
- Murder (S.302)
- Dowry Death (S.304-B)
- Rape (S.376)
- Kidnapping (S.363)
- Attempt to murder. (S.307)
COGNIZABLE & NON – COGNIZABLE OFFENCE
Cognizable offence – S.2(c)
- A police officer may arrest the accused charged with a cognizable offence without a warrant.
- A police officer means only such particular class of officers as bestowed with unqualified power to arrest without warrant.
- An offence which is only punishable with fine is never a cognizable one.
Non – Cognizable Offence – S.2(l)
- An offence for which the Police Officer has no authority to arrest without a warrant.
- Such offences are less serious in nature.
- Allegation made orally or in writing;
- To a Magistrate;
- Against a known or an unknown person.
- *A complaint does not include a police report.
Any person can file a complaint
- No specific authorization is required to file a complaint.
- A complaint may be filed in the name of Union or State.
- Mere technicalities shall not hamper the ends of justice, when otherwise the accused is found guilty.
ALSO READ: Sexual Offences Under IPC (Section 375-376E)
Essentials of a Complaint
- An oral or written allegation;
- That some person known or unknown has committed an offence;
- It must be made to the Magistrate;
- It must be made with the object that he must take an action.
Exceptions – What does not constitute as a Complaint
- First Information Report;
- Charge sheet;
- Petition u/s. 125 Cr.P.C.
Orally or in Writing
- No form of complaint has been prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- A complaint may be made orally or in writing.
INQUIRY – S.2(g)
- Inquiry u/s. 2(g) means every inquiry conducted by the Magistrate or Court.
- Inquiry does not include a trial.
Inquiry vis-à-vis Trial
- Inquiry stops when the trial begins.
- Inquiry includes application of mind for determination of any issue arising in a particular case.
- Trial would mean determination of guilt or otherwise relating to an offence.
- The expression inquiry is thus of wide import and includes every other proceeding than trial.
Inquiry vis-à-vis Investigation
- Inquiry and investigation are different terms.
- Investigation is carried out by the police and Inquiry is carried out by the Magistrate or the Court.
INVESTIGATION – S.2(h)
Meaning & Scope
- Proceeding for collection of evidence;
- Conducted by a Police officer or by any person authorized by the Court.
- Investigation falls under the domain of the investigating agency; while inquiry falls under the domain of the Court or the Magistrate.
- Judiciary cannot interfere in the investigation by the Police.
ALSO READ: Stages in Commission of Crime
Steps involved in investigation
The following steps are involved in investigation of an offence:
- Proceedings to the spot;
- Ascertaining all the facts and circumstances;
- Discovery and arrest of suspected offender;
- Collection of evidence;
- Examination of various persons;
- Formation of opinion, followed by a charge sheet.
Illegality in investigation
- An illegality in the course of investigation does not vitiate the trial.
- An investigation officer may go beyond the code, in order to collect evidence and further assist the Court to meet the ends of justice.
JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS – S.2(i)
Meaning & Scope
Judicial proceedings include:
- Judicial proceedings do not include:
Presentation of Challan
- When the challan is presented in the Court, it takes form of a judicial proceeding.
Taking of Evidence
- It is not necessary that the Judge or Magistrate concerned must be actually recording evidence in order to amount to judicial proceedings.
SUMMONS – CASE & WARRANT – CASE
Summons Case – S.2(w)
- An offence for which the punishment is less than 2 years of imprisonment is called a summon case.
- Therefore, the determining factor for deciding the character of a case as warrant or summons case would be the measure of punishment.
Warrant Case – S.2(x)
A warrant – case would be the one for which the following punishment is prescribed:
- Death penalty; or
- Imprisonment for life; or
- Imprisonment for more than 2 years.
- The division between summons – case and warrants – case marks off ordinary cases from serious ones and determines the mode of trial.
POLICE REPORT – S.2(r)
- A Police report means a report forwarded by a police officer to a Magistrate under S.173(2).
- No other kind of report has been contemplated u/s. 173(2).
Contents of a Police Report
- The name of the parties;
- The nature of information;
- The name of persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case.
- Whether any offence appears to have been committed;
- Whether the accused has been arrested;
- Whether the accused has been released on bond;
- Whether the investigation relates to an offence u/s. 376.