Cognizable Non-Cognizable offence, Bailable Non Bailable offence

July 7, 2023

An offence is a transgression of the law, by action or omission made punishable by any law for the time being in force. Civil Offences are against private persons(individuals) but criminal offenses are against the state.
Types of offenses: –
1) Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offences
2)Bailable and Non- bailable Offences
It is to be noted that it is not a punishment that determines the nature of i.e Cognizable or Non-Cognizable Offences, bailable or non-bailable offenses but that’s to be looked up in SCHEDULE 1 of Code of criminal procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as CrPC) for any offense mentioned under the Indian Penal Code, and SCHEDULE 2 of CrPC is to be referred when an offense is not mentioned in Indian penal code,1860 but otherwise mentioned.
Section 2 of CrpC defines Cognizable and Non-cognizable offence as follows-
1) Cognizable offense:-
As per S.2(c) of CrPC, cognizable offence are such offences where a police officer can arrest the accused person without an arrest warrant and according to section 154 of CrPC, police officer can start an investigation even without the due permission of the Magistrate. Any offense is cognizable or not that has to be identified from Schedule 1 or 2 of CrPC as discussed above.

2) Non-Cognizable Offences: –
As per S-2 (l) of CrPC in case of non-cognizable a police officer has no authority to arrest the accused without an arrest warrant, and in case of such offenses, the police officer can start an investigation only with the previous permission of the magistrate who is empowered to commit or try a case as per section 155(2) of CrPC.

It is important to bear in mind that this is not necessary that cognizable offences are always non-bailable offences and non-cognizable offences are bailable offences. Any offence is bailable or not bailable that also has been identified from Schedule 1 and 2 of CrPC. Therefore, there may be a case that any cognizable offense is a bailable offence and vice versa.

3) Bailable Offences: –
Offenses where the accused may be able to secure his release upon the payment of security upon bail bond, in such cases the grant of bail is a matter of course and right.

4) Non-Bailable Offence: –
Non-bailable offences are those offences in which bail is not granted as a matter of right rather it is the discretion of the court to grant or not to grant bail upon considering certain factors like past antecedents, nature of crime etc. Here accused has to apply for bail before the High Court or Court of Session under section 439 of CrPC or he may apply before Judicial Magistrate under section 437 of CrPC.

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