CrPC or The Criminal Procedure Code – A Comprehensive Outline

What is CrPC? What is the Full Form of CrPC?

The full form of CrPC is The Criminal Procedure Code, which is formally called as The Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Indian criminal process is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure, which was promulgated in 1998 and is applicable to all criminal prosecutions in the country. Relevant Provisions of the Central and State Legislatures have altered the Code from time to time, and the Code is no exception. One of the key suggestions of the Commission, according to the 1969 Law Commission report, is to allow for the separation of the Judicial power on an all-India basis in order to promote consistency in this regard.

Courts Under The Code of Criminal Procedure

Now, according to the CrPC, magisterial powers are divided between two groups of Magistrates: “Judicial” Magistrates who are under the supervision of the High Court and “Executive” Magistrates who are under the responsibility of the State Government.

The State Government may appoint as many Executive Magistrates as it deems necessary in each district and metropolitan region, with one of them serving as the District Magistrate in each district and metropolitan area. As an Additional District Magistrate, the State Government may appoint any Executive Magistrate who meets the qualifications of a Distt. Magistrate under this Code or any other legislation currently in effect, as ordered by the State Government. Whenever, as a result of the vacancy in the office of the District Magistrate, any officer succeeds partially to the ministerial administration of the district, those very authority shall, currently awaiting the commands of the State Government, start exercising all of the powers and conduct all the responsibilities respectively bestowed and decided to impose by this Code on the District Magistrate until the orders of the State Government are issued.

Why Do We Need CrPC?

Basic understanding of criminal law tells you that it concerns much of what constitutes an offence and how much punishment one may expect for committing such an offence. However, most criminal punishment restricts a person’s freedom. A democracy’s most fundamental freedoms and rights are violated when someone is imprisoned. The state’s machinery for maintaining order and administering justice must be started and the things to remember by these institutions must be regulated by law.

CrPC or The Criminal Procedure Code - A Comprehensive Outline
CrPC or The Criminal Procedure Code – A Comprehensive Outline

The Criminal procedural code covers the full period from the time a crime is committed to the moment the punishment against the crime is imposed and the case is concluded. A breach of criminal law, such as an offence under Indian Penal Code, is the trigger for the state’s enforcement mechanism, which is what this term alludes to. Other claims may be prosecuted and adjudicated in accordance with this document’s guidelines. There are rules in place for the investigation and trial of various offences, subject to other legislation in effect regulating the method in which these crimes are probed, investigated, or prosecuted.

Law Commission and CrPC

This was not concerned with a detailed examination of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but it actually made some recommendations regarding the law of criminal procedure, some of which necessitated amendments to the Code. The first Law Commission (hereinafter termed to as “The Commission”) presented its Report (the Fourteenth Report) on the Reform of Judicial Administration, alike civil and criminal, in 1958; it wasn’t even particularly worried with a detailed examination of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but it did In the following years, the reformed Law Commission (which has existed since 1961) undertook a comprehensive investigation of the Code, not only to give tangible shape to the proposals given in the Fourteenth Report, but also with the goal of trying a broad revision. When the Law Commission submitted its Forty-first Report, which included a full report on the Code’s amendment, it was in September of 1969 that it received widespread attention.

When the Commission (41st Report.) made its recommendations, the Government carefully considered them, keeping in mind among other things, the following fundamental considerations:

(i) an accused person should receive a fair trial in order to comply with the generally accepted natural justice;

(ii) every step should be taken to avoid postponement in investigation and trial, which is harmful both to those who are accused and the general public; and

(iii) the procedures themselves should not be overly complicated and time-consuming.

Scope of The The Criminal Procedure Code

The purpose of the Criminal Procedure Code (subsequently referred to as the Code) and to provide a mechanism for the punitive action of offences against substantive criminal law while also ensuring that the accused receives a fair trial in order to determine whether or not he is guilty of the charges against him.

While the substantive law governing punishment for crimes is set down mostly in the Indian Penal Code as well as other provisions of the act currently in force [s. 2(n)], the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) provides the machinery for enforcing such punishment, unless otherwise provided for by a special Act or by the Constitution.

Each chapter of the Criminal Procedure Code contains extensive regulations pertaining to the manner in which an alleged infraction is discovered and the manner in which it is tried and penalised by a competent Court.

Object of The Criminal Procedure Code

One of the most important goals of criminal law is to safeguard society against criminals and lawbreakers, which is why it is called criminal law. In order to do this, the law issues threats of punishment to future lawbreakers as well as efforts to force present lawbreakers to endure the penalties stipulated for their crimes.

The result is that criminal law encompasses both the substantive criminal law and the procedural (or adjectival) criminal law when taken in its broadest meaning. In contrast to procedural criminal law, substantive criminal law defines offences and provides penalties, while procedural criminal law is responsible for administering the substantive law.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), coupled with other penal statutes such as the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, the Dowry Prohibition Act, and so on, form the basis of our substantive criminal legislation. It goes without saying that substantive criminal law, by its very essence, cannot function independently. A person who commits an offence is not generally labelled and penalised; nor does the offender be interested in acknowledging his or her guilt and suffering the appropriate punishment, in most cases. Therefore, the procedural criminal law has already been established to oversee the management and implementation of substantive criminal law throughout its administration and enforcement process. Even if there were no procedural laws, substantive criminal law would be virtually completely ineffective. The reason is that, in the absence of an enforcement mechanism, the fear of punishment posed by substantive criminal law to those who transgress the law would remain meaningless in reality. Empty threats have no deterrent impact, and the law of crimes will have no purpose or rationale if there is no deterrent effect in place. So what’s the point of exhaustively delineating the offences of “stealing” and “murder” and prescribing “deterrent” consequences for them if the perpetrators of these crimes are not apprehended, convicted, and punished?

The Criminal Procedure Code is Comprehensive

The Code is a comprehensive document that provides a comprehensive framework for investigating and trying cases, as well as for appealing rulings. In addition, it has procedures at each level to address mistakes, failures to provide justice, and abuses of the process, all of which are overseen by the High Court. This is shown in the well-known case of Muthiah v. State.

According to the Supreme Court’s decision above, when a matter is not specifically addressed in the Code, the High Court can bring up immense power to correct errors made by the lower courts and pass whatever orders are deemed necessary, as well as to prevent abuse of the court’s process and procedure. However, where there is a particular provision in the Code to repair the faults, the High Court cannot utilise inherent authority and it cannot go against the special provision of the Code through which using inherent power is authorised..

Offences Under the CrPC

Cognizable and Non-Cognizable

A police officer can arrest someone for a cognizable offence in line with the very first schedule of the code without a court-ordered warrant. For non-cognizable instances, a warrant is required before a police officer may make an arrest. Non-cognizable offences are typically considered less severe than cognizable offences in terms of the penalties they carry. A violation of the Criminal Procedure Code is reported under section 154, whereas a violation of the Code is not reported until section 155. Under section 190 Cr.P.C., the Magistrate has the authority to take cognizance of offences for which there is no statute of limitations. It is within the Magistrate’s power to order police to register and investigate a case and to submit a challan/report for cancellation under Section 156(3) of the CrPC.

Bailable and Non-Bailable

Bailable offences are those that allow defendants (those defending themselves in criminal cases) to be released from custody upon payment of a bail bond if the case goes their way. As a matter of course, bail is granted in certain circumstances.

If a person is being detained without the ability to post bail i.e. non-bailable, he or she cannot demand that bail be granted to him or her automatically. There are exceptions to this general rule, such as when the defendant is under the age of 16, is a woman, is ill or infirm, or if the court finds that it is equitable and appropriate to grant rather than deny bail for any other specific cause.

Summons and Warrants Case

If the matter is a summons case, a Magistrate must issue a summons to the accused under Section 204 of the code before taking notice of the offence. He has the authority to issue a warrant or summons in the event the case looks to be one requiring one. As defined in Section 2(w) of the Code, a summons-case is one that is not a warrant-case. In Section 2(x) of the Code, a warrant-case is defined as any case involving an offence punished by death or imprisonment for more than two years.

Trail Under the Code

  1. There are several precise protocols that must be followed throughout a trial; they are in place not just to ensure that the guilty are punished, but also to ensure that the innocent are given every chance to establish their innocence.
  2. The aggrieved party does have the ability to file an appeal and contest the judgement within the statutory time limit if the accused is found to be innocent or guilty.
  3. In most cases, an appeal may be taken from a Magistrates Court to the Sessions Court, from Sessions Court to the High Court, as well as from the High Court to the Supreme Court of India.

As well as passing post-conviction orders, the Court may also consider factors such as the offender’s age and character, his or her antecedents, and the conditions wherein the offence was perpetrated when making its decision. If the court that convicted the accused finds it necessary to discharge the offender, it will do so either on the condition that the offender maintains good behaviour or after a thorough admonition.

The Criminal Mechanism Code (CrPC) is a comprehensive law aimed to ensure that the accused receives due process by establishing a procedure for cognizance, arrest, bail, evidence collecting, trial, and finding of innocence or guilt. The mechanism that has been established is essentially a method to guarantee that the rights of people are safeguarded against the powerful governmental apparatus. It has also been strengthened as a result of Supreme Court decisions and legislation that has been passed to make it stronger.

Conclusion on The CrPC

The main goal of the Criminal Procedure Code, among several other things, is to provide a fair trial in which the rights of the accused are neither violated nor are they unjustly given preference over their opponents. It’s crucial that all parties involved in the case be present in court so that the judge can hear what they have to say.

Therefore, an entire chapter of the Code is dedicated to the procedure of summoning, warranting, proclamating and attaching the property of anybody who is relevant to the case, whether an accused or a witness. These two are utilised when the first two fail to provide adequate outcomes. There are those who believe that arresting and detaining a person, particularly an accused one, is the easiest approach to assure their presence.

To do so is to violate Article 21’s right to personal liberty, which is a foundational right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. The right to a fair trial is at the heart of criminal law, and no one may be denied this right unless there are compelling grounds to do so.


  1. Commentaries on Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Allahabad: Law Publishers India, 2009.
  2. Criminal Procedure Code 1973 Vol. 2. India: LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur, 2010.
  3. Kelkar, R. V. Outlines of criminal procedure. 2nd ed. Lucknow: Eastern Book Co., 1984.

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