Cognizable vs Non Cognizable Offence: Difference and Comparison

We are living in a world where frauds and offences are very common. Daily we read news of some offence that happened in a place. The reason could be anything, technology or irresponsibility.


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But the main one is bad intentions or lack of morals. No one learns from birth. Therefore, they can be avoided by giving a proper upbringing to the child.

Not all offences are the same or get the same punishment. They are mainly categorized as Cognizable Offence and Non-Cognizable Offence. Most people are not aware of this and what they mean. Hence, in this article, definitions and differences have been cleared.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cognizable offenses are serious crimes, allowing police to arrest without a warrant and initiate an investigation.
  2. Non-cognizable offenses are less severe, requiring a warrant for arrest and a magistrate’s permission to investigate.
  3. The distinction affects the legal process, police authority, and potential consequences for the accused.

Cognizable Offence vs Non Cognizable Offence

Cognizable offences are those in which the police officer has the authority to arrest the accused without an arrest warrant. It includes heinous crimes such as murder. Non-cognizable offences are those that require an arrest warrant to arrest the accused and include less heinous crimes such as forgery.

Cognizable Offence vs Non Cognizable Offence

Cognizable is the type of offence that is very serious in nature for making the arrest no warrant, no permission is required, and also investigation can be started as soon as the information of the crime is learned. Section 2(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 defines this type of offence.

Non-Cognizable Offence is a type of offence that is not serious in nature, and proper procedure is required before making any arrest that includes getting a warrant and permission from the court and is defined under 2(I) under the Criminal Procedure Code 1973.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCognizable OffenceNon Cognizable Offence
WarrantNot required for arrestEssential for arresting
Starting of investigationA preliminary investigation can be started without the permission of the court.No investigation can be done without the permission of the court.
Magistrate involvementPermission of magistrate is not required for filling the FIRPermission is required for filing FIR.
Defined under SectionSection 2(c) under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.Section 2(I) under Criminal Procedure Code 1973.
Crimes exampleMurder, rape, dowry death, etc.Forgery, cheating, defamation, etc.

What is Cognizable Offence?

It is a type of offence in which a police officer can arrest the convict for investigation; he does not require a court’s permission for the purpose. It is defined under Section 2 (c) of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973. They are heinous crimes, including rape, murder, human trafficking, etc.

The police officer can arrest the convict as soon as the offence is committed. For example: if someone has come to the police station or even the police got news of rape happened, they can make an arrest of the convict without filing any complaint or the FIR and soon start the investigation.

For this, he does not even have to ask for permission from the magistrate. Under this, the convict does not get bail.

Although most people are in favour of this sometimes, as there is no guarantee that the convict accused has actually committed the offence, therefore sometimes, an error can be made, which further results in hatred of the population towards the government and system.

Several amendments have been made to prevent this and make sure the real convicted gets the punishment as soon as possible.

cognizable offence

What is Non-Cognizable Offence?

It is a type of offence opposite to the cognizable offence or the offence that is not heinous. They are not very serious in nature. In this type of offence, a proper procedure of making a complaint and filing an FIR is required. This is defined under Section 2(I) under the Criminal Procedure Code 1973.

For example, if someone has committed fraud or cheating, a complaint or FIR has to be filed against the convict, and permission from the magistrate is required to file the FIR. After getting the warrant, the police can start the investigation also before the arrest. Permission from the court is required.

This type of offence includes minor crimes, such as fraud, cheating, defamation, etc. The convict can have bail under this offence.

Therefore the punishment is not very harsh under this type of offence. However, police can take some serious action in case of emergency but cannot make any arrests.

All the rules it has sometimes created disadvantages for the police as the convict can get help or rush as nothing can be done before getting a warrant or permission.

non cognizable offence

Main Differences Between Cognizable Offence and Non Cognizable Offence

  1. Under a cognizable offence warrant is not required to arrest the convict; police can arrest him even without it, while a warrant is a must in the case of a Non-cognizable offence. No one can be arrested without a warrant against him.
  2. Like warrant registration of FIR is not important for starting a preliminary investigation, even though there is no need for permission of a court of the same purpose, while in Non-Cognizable Investigation, permission of the court is a must, no investigation could be done without it.
  3. If some have done a Cognizable offence, a complaint or Fir can be filed to a magistrate, while in the case of a non-cognizable offence, only a complaint can be filed to a magistrate.
  4. Cognizable offences are defined under section 2(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, while Non-Cognizable Offense is defined under 2(10 of the criminal procedure code, 1973.
  5. The permission of the magistrate is not required for filing an FIR. In fact, the officer is bound to file FIR in case of a Cognizable Offense, while permission is required before filing an FIR in case of a Non-Cognizable Offense.
  6. The cognizable offence is a non-bailable offence. Therefore, the convict cannot be granted bail, while under a non-cognizable offence, the convict can get bail as it is a bailable offence.
  7. The cognizable offence includes heinous crimes such as murder and rape, while the non-cognizable offence includes crimes such as fraud and cheating, i.e., not very serious.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 05 06T081130.477

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