The law relating to criminal procedure applicable to all criminal proceedings and is contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

    It came into force on 1st April, 1974.

    It  extends to whole of India except State of Jammu & Kashmir.


    •   COMPLAINT.

      Section 2(d) defines complaint under CrPC.

      Complaint includes any allegation which made orally or in writing to a Magistrate, with a view of taking action under this code, that the person has committed an offence.

    A complaint, however, does not include a police report.

    However, if a report is made by a police officer, about a case wherein after investigation it was known that a non-cognizable offence has been committed, such report from the officer will be deemed to be a complaint.


    For an accurate understanding, the offences have been explained in the form of Difference.

    PointsCognizable OffenceNon-Cognizable Offences.
    MeaningCognizable offence is an offence where the police officer has authority to arrest without warrant.Non-Cognizable offences are those offences for which arrest of the accused needs a warrant by the police officer.
    NatureCognizable offences are generally non-bailable.Non-Cognizable offences are generally bailable.
    SeriousnessThese offences are more serious.These offences are less serious.
    Arrest by Police Officer.Police officer is authorized to arrest without warrant.In this case, police officer is authorized to arrest with warrant.

       Investigation is conducted by a police officer or by a person who    is authorized by a Magistrate. It includes the proceedings for the collection of all evidences.

    Inquiry as per Section 2(g) of the Code means every inquiry, other than a trial which is conducted by a Magistrate or Court.

    In any criminal trial there are three stages, namely;

    1. The first stage includes Investigation, wherein a police officer investigates a case and forms an opinion whether an offence has been committed. He further sends the case to Magistrate.
    2. In the second stage, the Magistrate inquires into the case. If he finds out that no prima facie case appears, he dismisses the complaint or discharges the accused.

    However, if the Magistrate finds out that there are relevant evidences and facts which in turn form a case, he frames charges and calls upon the accused to plead the same.

    • Final and last stage is reached only when the Charges are framed. The Magistrate shall then try the case by himself, or commit it for trial to the Court of Session or the High Court, as the case maybe.

      Bailable Offences.

    A bailable offence is an offence which is shown as a bailable offence in the First Schedule of the Code of which is made bailable by law.

    The First Schedule to the Code of Criminal Procedure gives a list of bailable offence, for example:

    • Rioting,
    • Bribery,
    • Being a member of an un-lawful assembly,
    • Simple hurt,
    • Public nuisance & so on.

    Bailable offences are less serious and non-cognizable.

    An offence is said to be bailable when the crime committed, is punishable with imprisonment for less than 3years or with fine only. Police officer is authorized to arrest with warrant.

    Non-Bailable Offences.

    A non-bailable offence means offences which are other than that of bailable offences.

    Example of non-bailable offences:

    • Murder,
    • Counter fetching coins,
    • Culpable homicide,
    • Sedition,
    • Counterfeiting of Government stamps & so on.

                 Non-Bailable offences are grave and serious and also are   generally cognizable. A non-bailable offence is the one which is punishable with a death penalty or life imprisonment for 3 years or more.

                  Police officer is authorized to arrest without warrant.

    •   SUMMONS.

    A summons is a form of process issued by a Court, calling upon a person to appear before Magistrate, or to produce a document or thing.

    Following are the essentials of a Summons:

    • Summons should be in writing.
    • It must be in duplicate too.
    • It shall be signed by the presiding officer of Court.
    • It must contain the seal of the Court.

              If any summons does not comply with all the above mentioned requirements, the same shall be avoid. The same can be objected to by the person to whom it is served.

              In addition, Summons should be clear and specific, as to its description of the Court, the place, date and time at which the person Summoned is to attend.

              Further the provisions relating to Summons as described under sections 62-65 of the Code.

              Section 62 – Service of Summons.

    A Police Officer or an Officer of the Court or other Public Servant shall serve the summons. If required by the Serving Officer, the person who is served the summons must a sign a receipt on the other copy.

              Section 63 – Service of summons on corporate bodies and societies.

    The service of summons on corporate bodies can be brought effect to by serving the same on the secretary, local manager or any other principal officer, addressed to the Chief Officer of the Corporation in India.

              Section 64 – Service of summons when person not found.

    If after due diligence, if the person summoned is not found, the summons may be served leaving a duplicate with the adult male member of his family residing with him. He too, must sign a receipt if required.

    However, it is important to be note that a servant of the family cannot be considered as a family member for the purpose of serving of summons.

              Section 65 – Substituted service.

    In case the service cannot be effected by exercise of due diligence, the serving officer can perform substituted service by affixing one of the duplicates to some conspicuous part of the house in which the person ordinarily resides. In the above case, the Court, has the right to make the necessary enquiries may either declare the summons to have been properly served or may order service of fresh summons, in a manner which is most appropriate.


      The issue of a warrant is more of a drastic step as compared to issue of summons. Ordinarily, a warrant of arrest is issued only in serious cases. It is issued only after issuance of summons, if the summons has been duly disobeyed or the accused has wilfully neglected the service of summons.

    Following are the requirements for a valid warrant of arrest as mentioned in Section 70 of the Code:

    • Must be in writing.
    • Must include full name and description of the accused.
    • Must state the offence which is charged on the accused.
    • Must be signed by the presiding officer
    • It must be properly sealed.

                It is further provided that, the Court which issues a warrant if it deems fit, may make an endorsement on the warrant that if person in warrant    a bond with sufficient sureties for his attendance before the court, the officer executing the warrant can take such a Security and release the person from custody.

    In addition, Section 76 states that the police officer or any person executing the warrant shall bring the person arrested before the Court as early as possible and such delay shall not in any case extent 24 hours excluding time necessary for journey from the place of arrest to Magistrate’s Court.

    •   FIR  ( First Information Report)

      Section 154 deals with what is commonly known as FIR.

      First Information Report means the information given to the officer in charge of a police station relating to the commission of offence. The offence having been committed shall be a cognizable one. The same is entered in the book which is to be kept by such officer.

    The report of commission of offence in form of FIR sets criminal law in motion.

    The object of FIR is mainly to obtain early information of alleged criminal activity and to also record the circumstances. It helps to take record of the criminal activity before it is forgotten or embellished.


       Section 438 contains a provision enabling Courts to direct the release of a person on bail prior to his arrest, which is known as anticipatory bail.

    Section 438 states that if any person has a valid reason to be believed that he may be arrested on accusation of being committed a cognizable offence, he has the right to apply to the High Court or Sessions Court for an anticipatory bail.

    Such bail if granted, includes the following conditions:

    • Condition that the person should appear and be available for interrogation by police officer as and when demanded or required.
    • A condition that the person shall not make any inducement or threat to any person who has knowledge of the case or the facts related to the case.
    • The person is also restricted from leaving India without prior permission of Court.
    • Such other conditions as imposed.

    When the Court grants an anticipatory bail, it should ensure that a balance is maintained in a way that on one hand the person is protected from unnecessary humiliation and on the other hand, the faith of the public and society in administration of justice is not lost or even shaken.


    The Criminal Procedure Code mainly lays downs the basic rule of practice and procedure for framing of charge. Framing of charge is the most basic step of a case. Utmost care must be observed while framing a charge against a person. Any discrepancy in this aspect would lead to miscarriage of justice. Every person has the right to know what charges are made against him. It is only fair for the accused to know what charges have been made so that even has gets affair chance to defend.

    Before pronouncing the judgment, the Court has power to alter or add to the charge at any time during the continuity of the case. However, if the Judge or Magistrate are of the opinion that there are no prima facie evidences to support the case, then the accused must be discharged and all the charges against him shall be dropped.