Section 2(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 defines cognizable offence. It is such offence where the police officer may arrest an accused without warrant as per the First Schedule of the Act or under any other law for the time being in force. 2(l) of the Act defines non-cognizable offence. In this case the police officer cannot arrest without warrant.
Arrest is a tool in the hands of a police officer to prevent the accused from escaping the clutches of law. It helps the police officer to prevent further commission of offence as a precautionary method. A warrant is a written order issued by a Magistrate to a police officer commanding him to arrest a person. In most serious crimes there may not be sufficient time to obtain a warrant from the Magistrate. By the time police officer obtains warrant the accused may escape. So the necessity to obtain warrant is not required in serious crimes. Thus it can be concluded that cognizable offences are serious crimes and non-cognizable are less serious crimes.
Cognizable offences are serious and Non-cognizable offences are less serious.
  • In Cognizable offences, the person can be arrested without warrant while it is not possible in non-cognizable offences.
  • In cognizable, the police officer can begin investigation without an order from a Magistrate. But in non-cognizable it is not generally possible.
  • Complaint is not necessary in cognizable where it is generally necessary in non-cognizable offence.

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  1. if non cognizable offences are non serious then why is there a need for an arrest warrant

  2. need for arrest warrant is there ony because non cognizable offences are not of serious nature.
    It means that no police oficer can arrest you in cases of non cognizble offences merely on the basis of accusation against you. (while in cognizable cases police can always arrest you). and if police want to arrest you in non cognizable case they will have to apply to magistrate for issuance of warrant and oly if warrant is issued, arrest can be made in non cognizable offence.

  3. One of my friends, a girl, is being continuously troubled by her ex-boyfriend, since she broke up with him. She changed her mobile number because of that. But he has started sending her mails on her office id. He repeatedly sends her friends requests and messages from different IDs on social networking sites. Earlier the messages used to be abusive but now he's asking her to come back by emotionally traumatising her. And the biggest problem is that he has taken a rented accomodation just a few yards away from the place where she lives with her roommates, so that everytime he sees her alone on the road, he tries to forcefully stop her! She has asked him to stop troubling her on a number of ocassions, but he refuses to stop. He even hurt her physically on a couple of occasions. She's afraid to approach Police for fear of hurt, insult and embarrasment to herself and her family. I've not been able to help her much for the same reason. Is it a cognizable offence? And what can I do to help her while also addressing her fears, which are reasonably obvious?

    1. whatever has been done to your friend is not a cognizable offence but you and her can report this to the police as this is a form of media harassment that has come with the modern technology...the police will help you out

  4. well it is not a cognizable offence, firstly.
    and for the matter of fact, some person is troubling your friend u may insist her to complaint it to the Police since there have been repeated incidents of misbehavior... Police will do the rest...

  5. If it is a non-cognizable offence, how'll the police be able to help? Moreover, recently she called the PCR van by dialling 100, when he forced her to stop once again, but nothing happened. She again received abusive mails from him the next day and this time he threatened her with dire consequences. Looking at the state of matters, she's not very convinced that the Police can help!

  6. what acts are under congnizable offence?

    1. For cognizazble offence, police can arrest a person without warrant of court for urgency. For cases like murder, kidnapping, theft, etc. police can arrest a person immediately.

  7. Anonymous,

    The girl (your friend) cares more about her dignity, and possible embarassment of her and family, than her life or the life of other girls which this person who is clearly prone to violence, how do you expect some stranger on the Internet to help you or her ?

    Anyways, I will make the first step.

    1) Law Cannot protect her from embarassment or her family, BUT it will save her life (from that violence prone individual) and also other lives which might be effected in future.

    2) The procedure depends on the city, location, and which kind of area you live in India.

    3) If done properly, the guy can be arrested and clearly stay there for sometime and then to jail direct. But that will need a proper lawyer which I believe you should do.

    All the best and I hope the girl does the right thing by taking proper action against this guy and NOT end up a NEWS ITEM in local news paper !


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