Cognizable Offence defined under Section 2 of Criminal Procedure Code 1973, an offence in which the police officer take suo motu cognizable of crime, and he can arrest the convict without a warrant and start an investigation without the permission of the court, as per the first schedule or under any other law for the time being in force.
Type of Offences
Offences are classified depending on their nature and gravity, below is the following heads:
- Bailable and non-bailable offences
- Cognizable and non-cognizable offences
- Compoundable and non-compoundable offence.
All such offences are mentioned in the Indian Penal Code and are also covered by the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
For Example: Theft, Murder, Kidnapping, forgery, rape, etc.
Offence legal meaning and whether an act will constitute a criminal offence or not is provided in the I.P.C. the procedure of initiating prosecution/proceeding for a criminal offence is provided in CrPC.
CrPC provides the manner and place, where investigation inquiry and trial of an offence shall take place.
Difference between Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offence
- It is an offence in which a police officer can arrest the convict without a warrant.
- Police can start a preliminary investigation without the permission of the court or the registered FIR.
- Heinous crimes like Murder, Theft, Dowry death Etc.
- Victims can file FIR or make a complaint to the magistrate.
- It is defined under Section 2(c) of the CrPC, 1973.
- It is a non-bailable Offence.
- The police are bound to register the FIR even without the permission of the Magistrate.
- Example – waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting the waging of war against the government of India, Murder, Rape, Dowry Death, Kidnapping, Theft, and Criminal breach of trust.
Non Cognizable Offence
- In which police cannot arrest without a warrant.
- Police cannot investigate without the permission of the court.
- Crimes are not so serious like Forgery, cheating, defamation, etc.
- The victim can only make a complaint to the magistrate.
- It is defined under Section 2(I) of the CrPC, 1973.
- It is a bailable offence.
- The police officer isn’t bound to register the FIR or cannot register the FIR without prior permission of the Magistrate.
- Example –Assault, Cheating, and Forgery.
The role of the police is important while exercising the power of police should be genuine and honest and not arbitrary. If information related to cognizable offence is received by the police officer immediately he should file an FIR without any delay because the state has to take cognizance of commission of cognizance offence. The police officer needs to maintain law and order in society. Under cognizable offence mere FIR is not enough, the crime should be properly investigated. There should be a separate FIR department that needs to establish because political influence over the police results in injustice to aggrieved parties. Under non-cognizable offences, the voluntary and public agencies can help the victim in getting FIR lodged. There should be no partial difference between non-cognizable and cognizable offences and should be made compulsory registration of all crimes.