Classification of offences between cognizable and non-cognizable offence is on the basis of power of police to arrest and investigate the matter. There are following differences :-

Basis

Cognizable Offence

Non-Cognizable Offence

Provision

Section 2( c) of Cr.P.C.

Section 2( l) of Cr.P.C.

Definition

“Cognizable offence” means an offence for which, and “cognizable case” means a case in which, a police officer may, in accordance with the First Schedule or under any other law for the time being in force, arrest without warrant.

Section 2 (l) “Non- cognizable offence” means an offence for which, and “non- cognizable case” means a case in which, a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant.

“First Schedule or under any other law for the time being in force” are missing in the definition of Non-Cognizable Offence.

Offences other  than IPC

Second part of the First Schedule of the Code deals with offences other than that of IPC and provides that if the offence is punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for 3 years or more that offence shall be treated as cognizable offences.

Second part of the First Schedule of the Code deals with offences other than that of IPC and provides that if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for less than 3 years or with fine only that offence shall be treated as non- cognizable offences.

Arrest

Arrest without warrant

Arrest with warrant.

Nature of  offences

Generally cognizable offences become serious and public matters.

Generally          non-cognizable offences become less serious and private matters.

FIR

Under section 154 FIR is registered related to cognizable offences.

Information      as      to      non- cognizable cases is recorded under section 155.

Power of investigation

Section 156 – After recording the FIR under section 154, any officer in charge of police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case.

Section 155 – No police officer shall investigate a non- cognizable case without the order of a Magistrate having power to try such case or commit the case for trial.

Q. No. 8 – Distinguish between Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offence.

(UP (J) Mains 2015), (JJS 2019), (DJS 1973, 2006), (RJS 1979), (HJS 1999), (UPJS 1987) 

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