Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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Raghav Arora   07 May 2021

Non cognizable and cognizable offence trial

Hello experts. This is a sort of academic query again.

Reading Trials, I came across a case in the notes 'State of UP Vs Bahori 2017' whereby the petitioner under 482 has asked the Court to quash the proceedings against him since the proceedings must have been carried out as proceedings for a Non-Cognizable offence and the procedure for a case through complaint should have been followed, however the procedure followed was one where the cognizance is taken after police investiagtion and in the manner that is presribed for cases that come on a police report.

Here I came across many other terminologies like Warrant Case and Summons case, which again were confusing. Some people suggested that Warrant cases mean cases which attarct a punishment of 2 years + while some said 6 months +

Can someone please take out time and explain this to me?

I know it is a lengthy query and the answer to it would also be lengthy. Would be grateful if someone could help!

 1 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     08 May 2021

warrant-case is defined to mean a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years. A summons-case means a case relating to an offence, not being a warrant-case.

The code classifies all offences into cognizable and non-cognizable, and the trial procedure into summons-cases and warrant-cases. This division is based on the nature and measure of punishment attached to the offence.

The Code of Criminal Procedure prescribes two procedures for the trial of a warrant case by Magistrates, namely, one adopted by the Magistrate in case instituted on a Police Report while the other in case instituted otherwise than on a Police Report. But in trial of summon case, only one procedure followed, whether instituted on a Police Report or a complaint.

The procedure for summons cases is simpler and speedier. While the procedure for warrant cases are complicated and slower. Warrant cases deal with offences graver than those in summons cases.

In a warrant case, the accused gets more than one opportunity to cross- examine the prosecution witnesses. While in a summons case he gets only one opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses.

 The Magistrate empowered to convert a summons case into a warrant case under the Code. While a warrant case cannot converted into a summons case.

 In warrant case, framing of a formal charge necessary. In summon case, framing of a formal not necessary in a summons case.


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