What is Cognizable and Non Cognizable Offence? What are its differences?
Any prohibited act or a crime can be referred as an Offence. More importantly, when an act is punishable by the legal system, the act is considered an offence. In order to report an offence, it is necessary to register the complaint with the appropriate authority, e.g., the police or magistrate. In order to understand the machinery of law, one should be aware of Cognizable and Non-cognizable Offences, and the difference between them.
What can be referred as a Cognizable Offence?
Offences can be categorized according to the clauses mentioned in the Criminal Procedure Code. Based on these clauses, offences can be divided into three types: Cognizable offences are listed in the Criminal Procedure Code. These offences are mentioned below: On 12 November 2013, the case of Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of UP, the Supreme Court of India that ‘the police must compulsorily register the FIR on receiving a complaint if the information discloses a cognizable offence, and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation’. Moreover, the police cannot deny filing a case terming it as unreliable or unbelievable, as held in Smt. Gurmito vs. the State of Punjab And Ors 1996 CriLJ 1254 P&H. In addition, in case the FIR is refused on the condition that the place of occurrence does not fall within the territorial jurisdiction of the police station, the police officer can be charged with neglect of duty. The officer-in-charge is required to register a FIR as per section 156(3) of CrPC. This has to be directed by the Magistrate, even when the Magistrate overtly does not mention it. This was held in the case of Mohd. Yousuf vs. Afaq Jahan, (2006), SCC 627.
Firstly, Cognizable Offences and Non Cognizable Offences:
- Offences that are bailable and non-bailable are known as Cognizable Offences and Non Cognizable Offences.
- Next, there exist offences which will call a ‘summons case’. In addition, there are offences which will call a ‘warrants case’.
- An offence is recognized as a Cognizable offence when the police officer is entitled to take the First Schedule in consideration or any other law for that matter and may use force to arrest an individual or individuals without warrant.
- Those offences are recognized as cognizable offences which are considered severe in nature. A few examples of such offences are, namely, Homicide (302 IPC), Kidnapping (363 IPC), Rape (376 IPC), Dowry Deaths (304-B IPC), any offence that seems unnatural (377 IPC), Theft (379 IPC), Criminal Breach of Trust (379 IPC).
- As mentioned in Section 154 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, while filing a case under cognizable offence, the officer in charge requires the First Information Report or FIR relevant to the cognizable offence. Such a case can be registered without the approval of the Magistrate, Thereafter, it can be filed in the General Diary of the police and the investigation can commence immediately.
- The police officer may start investigating devoid of the Magistrate’s permission when an offence is categorized as Cognizable.
What can be referred as a Non-Cognizable Offence?
The offences which are mentioned in the first schedule of the Indian Penal Code as well as are bailable in character, are referred as Non Cognizable Offences. In case of such offences, the police are not entitled to arrest any accused individual in the absence of a warrant. In addition, the police may not start any kind of investigation without acquiring prior authorization from the court. Crimes under this Code may include -assault, cheating, forgery, public nuisance, hurt, defamation and more. The legal proceeding commences on registering a criminal complaint with the city magistrate. Thereafter, the magistrate orders the relevant police station to start an investigation. Once this starts, a charge sheet is filed with the court, pursued by the trial. The court will pass its judgment regarding the predicament of a warrant, whether to arrest the accused or not.
Differences Concerning Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offence
There are several points that mark out the differences between cognizable and non-cognizable offence. Those are as follows:- In concise, a few procedures are followed during a filing of non-cognizable offence. In offences for arrest, the steps followed are - Thus, when an ordinary citizen desires to start criminal proceedings against an offence, may resort to cognizable or non-cognizable offences. "What is Cognizable and Non Cognizable offence? "What are its differences” is a crucial read to gather a complete understanding of the terms.
Firstly, in the Cognizable offence, the police officer is entitled to take the First Schedule in consideration or any other law for that matter and may use force to arrest an individual or individuals without warrant. On the other hand, in case of non-cognizable offence, the police are not entitled to arrest any accused individual in the absence of a warrant. In addition, the police may not start any kind of investigation acquiring prior authorization from the court.
- A warrant is not necessary to make an arrest in the cognizable. The police can arrest a person without any warrant. However, in case of non-cognizable offence, a warrant is a must to make an arrest.
- The cognizable offence does not demand court’s permission to start an investigation. Whereas, non-cognizable offence demands courts order to start an investigation.
- Cognizable offences are dreadful crimes, whereas non-cognizable offences are not so severe in nature.
- The cognizable offence includes murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, counterfeiting, dowry death, theft, criminal breach of trust and more. However, non-cognizable offences include assault, cheating, forgery, public nuisance, hurt, defamation and more.
- In case of cognizable offence, FIR can be filed or a complaint can be made to the magistrate. In case of non-cognizable offence, a complaint can only be made to the magistrate.
(a)First, the filing of complaint/F.I.R.
(b)Second, the investigation starts,
(c)Third, creating a Charge sheet,
(d)Fourth, charge sheet is filed in court.
(e)Fifth, the trial is being held at court.
(f)Last, is the declaration of a final order of arrest when the case has been made out.