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The administration of India was taken over by the British Crown after the revolt of 1857 and subsequently the Criminal Procedure Code was enacted in the year1861. The code was further enacted in the years 1872, 1882 and 1898 to ensure uniform application over Indian as well as British subjects. This code was continued until in 1973 the present code was enacted. The Code of Criminal Procedure is commonly known as Criminal Procedure Code. It is the main legislation on procedure for administration of substantive criminal law in India. It provides the mechanism for the investigation of crime, apprehension of suspected criminals, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence of the accused person and the determination of punishment of the guilty. It also deals with the prevention of offences, maintenance of wife, children and parents and also public nuisance. At present, the respective act contains of 484 sections, 2 schedules and 56 forms, the section is divided into 37 chapters. The Code of Criminal Procedure is applicable in the whole of India. The Parliament’s power to legislate in respect of Jammu and Kashmir was curtailed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India, but after the parliament revoked Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, it became applicable to Jammu and Kashmir as well, however it is provided that other than those relating to Chapter VIII, X and XI thereof, shall not apply to the State of Nagaland and to the tribal areas. The bodies that function under this code our- Supreme Court of India, High Courts, District Court and Session Judge  and Additional District Judges, Judicial Magistrates, Executive Magistrates, Police, Public Prosecutors, Defense Counsels and Correctional Services Personnel. These bodies have certain powers also so that they can serve justice to the society. Criminal Procedures are designed as such that they guarantee constitutional due process to those individuals charged with a crime and their constitutional rights are protected. The Powers provided to the different authorities under this code are present so that these respective authorities can serve justice to every single individual properly and also keep a check that no one’s basic rights are infringed.

Power under CrPC to different authorities

When a common man aggrieved in a criminal case starts looking for justice he deserves, the very first authority he looks up to is the Police. The police are the first authority from where any road for justice begins. When a common citizen who has bare minimum legal knowledge approaches the police authority, s/he thinks that this is where they will be heard and the justice will be served but it’s a long road, providing justice to the victim and punishing the accused is a very complicated process. Every step is taken diligently so that no innocent person is sacrificed or hurt in the process. After reaching the police, then only a person realizes that there are a whole group of judicial authorities present for them to serve justice. 

After the police authority, the very authorities which a person approaches are the lower courts that are, sub-divisional magistrate, executive magistrate, and the district magistrate. After this if the person is still feeling aggrieved and thinks that he had not gotten the justice he is seeking for he can approach the Chief Judicial Magistrate, is the person is still not satisfied with the decision of the court, he can approach the Court of Session, after this, the next superior authority to approach after the court of session is the High Court and after approaching all these authorities if the person still believes that his rights are still not satisfied then he can approach the supreme authority of our country that is the Apex Court or the Supreme Court.

Provisions related to Powers of Police under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973


Section-36 of this code discusses the powers of superior officers of police; it says that the police officers superior in rank to an officer in charge of a police station may exercise the same powers, throughout the local area to which they are appointed, as may be exercised by such officer within the limits of his station.

Section-41 This section speaks about the power where the police may arrest any person without a warrant and order from a Magistrate.

Also the police officer while arresting a person under this section should write his/her reason in writing for making such arrest.

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Section-41A Under this section a police officer can issue a notice to a person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, credible information has been received, etc., directing him/her to appear in front of the police officer.

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Section-41B This section speaks about the procedure of arrest and the duties of the police officer making the arrest.

Duties of the officer under this section:
    a) To bear a clear and accurate identification of his name to facilitate easy identification.
    b) Prepare a memorandum of the arrest which should be attested by the witness who is a family member of the person arrested and signed by the person arrested.
    c) It also has the duty of informing the arrested person unless the memorandum is attested by the family member that he has a right of informing one person of his choice about his arrest.

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Section-42 In this section, it is given that the police have the power to arrest a person who in the presence of a police officer has committed or has been accused of committing a non-cognizable offense refuses to tell his name and residence or gives false (which the police officer has a reason to believe) name and residence on demand of the officer. So, to ascertain his name and residence police can arrest him.

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Section- 47 This section speaks about the power of the police or a person acting under an arrest warrant to search a place entered by the person who is being arrested.

Section-51 When a person is arrested by a police officer or a private person under a warrant or without a warrant, where he can make bail or not take bail or take a bail but is unable to furnish bail, such a person may be searched by the respected police officer.

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Section-52 The police officer or a person making an arrest may under this code that the power to seize offensive weapons belonging to such person.

Section-53 Under this section the police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector request the medical practitioner for examination of the accused, if the accused is being arrested under such offense where it is believed that medical examination can be taken as evidence.

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Section-60 Under this section it is given that if a person escapes from lawful custody, then the person from whom custody he has escaped holds the power to pursue arrest such a person in any place in India.

Section-74 Under this section, a warrant that is directed to a police officer can be executed by another police officer whose name is endorsed upon the warrant by the officer to whom it is directed.

Section-91 Under this section, if an officer of a police station or a court believes that the production of some document is necessary for trial or investigation, such officer can write an order or such court can issue summons to the person in whose possession such document is believed to be, requiring him to attend and present it at the time and place stated in the order or the summon.

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Section-102 This section prescribes the power to any police officer to seize any property which is found in the circumstances which point towards the commission of an offense or which is alleged or suspected to be stolen.

Section-129(1) Under this section, any officer in charge of a police station or in the absence of such officer in charge any police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector or the executive magistrate may command any unlawful assembly or assembly of people likely to cause to disruption of the public peace to disperse.
129(2) On the command, if such assembly does not disperse then the police in charge of the executive magistrate may proceed to disperse such assembly by force.

Section-149 Under this section, it is given that every police officer may come in between and shall try the best of his ability to prevent the commission of a cognizable offense.

Section-150 In this section, it is mentioned that every police officer who receives the information of a design to commit any cognizable offense shall communicate such information to his superior or any other officer whose duty is to prevent or to take cognizance of the commission of such offense.

Section-151(1) this section prescribes that knowing of a design to commit any cognizable offense can arrest the person designing so, without the warrant or the order of magistrate if he believes that arresting is the only way to prevent the commission of such offense.

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Section-153 (1) This section speaks that any officer in charge of a police station may enter without any warrant in a place within the limit of the station to inspect or search for any weights and measures or any instrument used for weighing, kept in that place when he has a reason to believe that these instruments in that place are fake.

(2) And if he finds such weights, measures, and instruments of weighing fake, he may seize them and inform the magistrate having the jurisdiction about the same.

Section-154(1) Under this section, it is given that every information provided by the informant related to the commission of a cognizable offense, if provided orally, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, then the same should be read over to the informant and then it shall be signed by the person giving it. After that, the substance should be entered into a book to be kept by the respective police officer in such a form as the state government may prescribe it.

Section-155(1) This section mentions that, When the officer in charge of a police station receives information of commission of a non-cognizable offense within the limits of such station, he shall enter or cause to be entered the substance of the information in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as prescribed by the State Government in this behalf and refer the information to the magistrate.

(2)  It says that no officer, shall investigate such offense without the order of a magistrate having the power to commit the case for trial.

(3) Any police officer receiving such an order may exercise the same powers in respect of the investigation (except the power to arrest without warrant) as an officer in charge of a police station may exercise in a cognizable offense case.

Section-156 Under this section, it is prescribed that;
 (1) Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable offense case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area, within the limits of such station would have the power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII of the code.

(2)  It is also given that, no proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate.

Section-158 It is given that, (1) every report sent to the Magistrate under section 157 shall, if the State Government so directs, be submitted through such superior officer of police as the State Government, by general or special order, appoints in that behalf.

(2) Such superior officer may give instructions to the officer in charge of the police station as he thinks fit, and shall, after recording such instructions on such report, transmit the same without any delay to the Magistrate.

Section-160 Under this section, it is given that, any police officer making an investigation under this chapter may by order in writing require the attendance of any person, who from the information provided appears to be acquainted with the circumstances and facts of the case, before himself, being within the limits of his own station or the adjoining station and such person shall attend as required.

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Section-161 This section talks about the examination of a witness by the police, it says, any police officer or any police officer not below the rank that the State government by general or special order prescribe in this behalf, acting on the requisition of such officer may investigate under this chapter and may examine orally any person who is supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.

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Section-165 This section talks about the search by a police officer, it says, whenever an officer in charge of a police station or a police officer making an investigation has reasonable grounds for believing that anything necessary for the purposes of such investigation into any offense which he is authorized to investigate may be found in the place located within the limits of the police station of which he is in charge, or to which he is attached, and that such thing in his opinion cannot be otherwise obtained without undue delay, such officer may, after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying in such writing, so far as possible, the thing for which search is to be made, search, or cause the search to be made, for such thing in any place within the limits of such station.

Section-166 This section speaks of the situation when an officer in charge of a police station may require another to issue the search warrant, it says, An officer in charge of a police station or a police officer not being below the rank of sub-inspector making an investigation may require an officer in charge of another police station, whether in the same or a different district, to cause a

Search to be made in any place, in any case in which the former officer might cause such search to be made, within the limits of his own station.

Section-168 This section says that, when an investigation is being done by the subordinate police officer under this chapter, he shall report the result of such investigation to the officer in charge of the police station.

Section-172 Under this section, it is given that, every police officer making an investigation under this chapter shall enter his proceedings in the investigation in a diary day by day mentioning the time at which he received the information, the time at which he began with the investigation and closed it, the places or places visited by him and a statement of circumstances ascertained through his investigation.

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Section-173 This section talks about the report of the police officer of a complete investigation, it says every investigation under this chapter shall be completed without any unnecessary delay, and on its completion, it shall be put forward to the magistrate empowered.

Section-174 Under this section talks about the police to enquire in the case of suicides, etc, if such raises suspicion of commission of an offense and investigate the matter and make a report of the cause of the death, describing the wounds, fractures, bruises, and other marks of injury as may be found on the body, and stating that in what manner, or by what weapon or instrument (if any) such marks appears to be inflicted.


Section-175 It is given under this section, that a police officer proceeding under section 174 may by order summon two or more persons for the purpose of investigation and also any other person who appears to be acquainted with the facts of the case. Every person that is being summoned is bound to attend and answer every question truly other than the questions, answers to which, would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty.


Section-441 This section says that, before any person is released on bail or on his own bond, a bond for such sum of money as the police officer or court may deem fit shall be executed by such person and he is released it should be conditioned by one or more sureties that such person shall attend at the time and place mentioned at the bond and shall continue to attend until and unless directed by the police officer or the court.

Click here for Various Magistrates under CrPC

Click here to go through the bare act of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

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