So you are confused in the terms Cognizable offence and Non Cognizable offence difference, right? Don’t worry, we will first look at what these two terms are and where they are given in CrPC, then we’ll look at major differences between Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offences. Sit back, relax, and read:
Cognizable offences are offences for which a police officer may, according to Schedule I of the Criminal Procedure Code or under any other law for a temporary period until that law is in force, can arrest with no warrant. It means there is an urgency to arrest the person. It is given under Section 2(c) of CrPC.
Non Cognizable Offence:
Non-Cognizable offences are offences for which a police officer has no such authority to arrest without a warrant. It is given under Section 2(l) of CrPC.
It means non-cognizable offences are less serious in nature and there is no such urgency to arrest a person without a warrant.
Let’s make it easier for you to understand the Basic Differences between cognizable & Non-Cognizable Offences by categorizing into table:
|COGNIZABLE OFFENCES||NON-COGNIZABLE OFFENCES|
|1.||All serious offences are cognizable.||non-cognizable offences are of a less serious nature.|
|2.||Offences are punishable with imprisonment for 3 years or more.|
Example – Waging war, murder, theft, extortion, etc.
|Offences are punishable with imprisonment for less than 3 years or with a fine.|
Example – Absconding to avoid service of summoning, giving false information to a public servant, etc.
|3.||A police officer may arrest without a warrant.||A police officer has no authority to arrest without a warrant.|
|4.||A police officer can investigate without an order from a magistrate.||A police officer can’t investigate without order or direction from a magistrate.|
|5.||These are public Wrongs, prosecution of an offender is left to the initiative and efforts of the State.||These are private wrongs, prosecution of an offender is left to the initiative and efforts of private citizens.|
Let’s make it even easier for you to remember the key points of differences between cognizable & Non-Cognizable Offences:
|Basis of Difference||COGNIZABLE OFFENCE||NON COGNIZABLE OFFENCE|
|3.||Arrest||Without warrant||Warrant Compulsory|
|4.||Duty of Police Officer||Police officers have to investigate even with no order from the magistrate||Police officers can only investigate after an order from the magistrate|
|5.||Nature of Wrong||Public Wrong + Prosecution at the discretion of State.||Private Wrong + Prosecution at the initiative of parties.|
I hope you understood the crux of the Cognizable Offences and Non-Cognizable Offences and can now explain the key differences between cognizable and non-cognizable offences.
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