Cognizance of Offences

By Shubhyanka Rao, RMLNLU

‘Editor’s Note: One of the basic steps in any criminal case is taking cognizance of such actions. Only after taking the cognizance of offences, the judiciary comes into picture. If we apply the dictionary meaning it simply refers to becoming aware or getting the knowledge of any such offences. This was also enunciated by the apex court, in the case of R.R.Chari v. State of U.P were it defined it as the application of judicial mind. Section 190- 199 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 describe the methods by which, and the limitations subject to which, various criminal courts are entitled to take cognizance of offences. Section 190 (1) states about the powers and conditions under which any magistrate of first and second class specifically empowered in this behalf can take cognizance. However if a magistrate in good faith erroneously take cognizance of offence, such proceeding would not become void per se subject to the condition that it was done upon information received or upon his own knowledge. Section 191 also gives the power to transfer the case. This has been broadly given to the accused, Chief Judicial Magistrate and the magistrate. But there are certain cases which are exclusively triable by Court of Session according to S.26 read with the First Schedule. The Magistrate taking cognizance of such offence is required to commit the case for trial to the Court of Session after completing certain preliminary formality. And lastly section 195-199 puts the limitation on taking cognizance by magistrate. Thus we conclude that this power has been delicately balanced between the hands of judiciary and the common man.’

 INTRODUCTION

Criminal law has always been most effective branch of the law which has helped in dealing with most brutal of the crimes and has been there to protect the society from falling in the state of anarchy. It consists of two branches known as substantive law and procedural law. While substantive law defines the various kinds of offences and the punishment to be given to the offenders, the procedural law is intended to provide a mechanism for the enforcement of the substantive criminal law. In the absence of such a procedural law, the substantive law will be rendered worthless as nobody would be able to chart out the way of prosecuting the offenders and they will be let off. So it can be concluded that both the laws complement each other.

The core purpose of criminal procedure is to provide the accused a full and fair trial in accordance with the principles of natural justice. There are various steps which should be followed in order to dispense justice and bring the guilty to the book. These include pre-trial procedures such as information, arrests, search and seizures etc; determining jurisdiction of police and courts regarding investigation and trial; bail; trial procedure including cognizance of offences, initiation of proceedings etc; review procedures and finally the execution of final decision. Though the word ‘cognizance’ (rooting from Old French “conoisance”, based on Latin “cognoscere”) or the words ‘taking cognizance’ have not been deciphered and defined in the procedural law, the same derive definite connotation from plethora of precedents and gain perceptive explanation and incisive exegesis from judicial pronouncements. While plain and dictionary meaning thereof is ‘taking note of’, ‘taking account of’, ‘to know about’, ‘to gain knowledge about’, ‘awareness about certain things’ etc. – and in Tamil “(transliteration:- “gavanikkapada vendiya vishayam”. “gavanam”), in law, the common understanding of the term ‘cognizance’ is “taking judicial notice by a court of law, possessing jurisdiction, on a cause or matter presented before it so as to decide whether there is any basis for initiating proceedings and determination of the cause or matter ‘judicially'”. Thus, legal sense of taking judicial notice by a court of law or a Magistrate is altogether different from the view and idea a layman has for it; however, a broad and general comprehension is ‘judicial notice by a court of law on a crime which, according to such court, has been committed against the complainant, to take further action if facts and circumstances so warrant’ – in Tamil, (transliteration:- “Sattapadi nadavadikkai edukka thakka kutram thodarpana vazhakkai koapil eduppadhu kurithu aaraidhal”).

In the language of the Hon’ble Apex Court employed in its earliest decision (Ref: R.R.Chari v. State of U.P [1], “taking cognizance does not involve any formal action or indeed action of any kind but occurs as soon as a Magistrate as such applies his mind to the suspected commission of offence”.

In India, the procedure to be followed for criminal proceedings is determined by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It has a full section dedicated to the cognizance of offences by the Magistrates and has also dealt with the restrictions placed on his power of cognizance regarding certain offences. These sections explain in detail the persons who are authorized to make a complaint with regard to any offence against marriage and a Magistrate can take cognizance of the offence only if those certified persons are the complainants. He is not empowered to take suo moto cognizance of these offences unless there is a grave and sudden need to take action.In this project, researcher will be discussing about various the power of Magistrate to take cognizance of various offences and then he will be discussing about the restrictions placed on him under S. 198 & 198A of the code. Then he will be dealing with to the viability of these restrictions and will be analyzing if these restrictions have been useful and have served their purpose or have they been a deterrent for the police and the victims on their way to achieve justice and prosecuting the perpetrators of various marriage related offences.

  • SCOPE OF COGNIZANCE OF OFFENCES BY MAGISTRATE

Any Magistrate of the first class and any magistrate of the second class may take cognizance of any offence. Section 190- 199 of the code describe the methods by which, and the limitations subject to which, various criminal courts are entitled to take cognizance of offences. Section 190(1) provides that, subject to the provisions of S. 195-199, any magistrate of the first class and any magistrate of the second class especially empowered in this behalf, may take cognizance of any offences-

a)      Upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence.

b)      Upon a police report of such facts.

c)      Upon information received from any person other than a police officer, or upon his own knowledge, that such an offence has been committed.

S. 190(2) – The Chief Judicial Magistrate may specially empower any magistrate of the second class as mentioned to take cognizance of such offences as are within his competence to inquire into or try. The term complaint has been defined in S. 2(d) as meaning: ‘any allegation made orally or in writing to a magistrate, with a view to his taking action under this code that some person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offence, but does not include a police report.’ It also explain that A report made by a police officer in a case which disclose, after investigation, the commission of a non cognizable offence shall be deemed to be a complaint; and the police officer by whom such report is made shall be deemed to be the complaint. In the case of P. Kunhumuhammed v. State of Kerala [2] it was said: the report of a police officer following an investigation contrary to S. 155(2)[3] could be treated as complaint under S. 2(d) and S. 190(1)(a) if at the commencement of the investigation the police officer is led to believe that the case involved the commission of a cognizable offence or if there is a doubt about it and investigation establishes only commission of a non- cognizable offence. If at the commencement of the investigation it is apparent that the case involved only commission of a non-cognizable offence, the report followed by the investigation cannot be treated as a complaint under S. 2(d) or 190(1)(a) of the Code. The expression ‘police report’ has been defined by S. 2(r) as meaning “a report by a police officer to a magistrate under S. 173(2)” i.e., the report forwarded by the police after the completion of investigation.

Ajit Kumar Palit v. State of W.B.[4]: What is taking cognizance has not been defined in the Code.  The word ‘cognizance’ has no esoteric or mystic significance in Criminal Law or procedure. It merely means ‘become aware of’ and when used with reference to a court or judge. ‘to take notice judicially’.

Tula Ram v. Kishore Singh[5]:Taking cognizance does not involve any formal action, or indeed action of any kind, but occurs as soon as a magistrate, as such applies his mind to the suspected commission of an offence for the purpose of proceeding to take subsequent steps towards injury or trial. Also, When a magistrate applies his mind not for the purpose of proceeding as mentioned above, but for taking action of some other kind, like ordering investigation under s.156(3) or issuing a search warrant for the purpose of investigation he cannot be said to have taken cognizance of the offence. And the word cognizance has been used in the Code to indicate the point when the magistrate or a judge first takes judicial notice of an offence.

Pitambar Buhan v. State of Orissa [6]: Taking cognizance includes intention of initiating a judicial proceeding against an offender in respect of an offence or taking steps to see whether there is basis for initiating a judicial proceeding.

Ordinarily a private citizen intending to initiate criminal proceedings in respect of an offence has two courses open to him. He may lodge an FIR before the police if the offence is cognizable one; or he may lodge a complaint before a competent judicial magistrate irrespective of whether the offence is cognizable or non-cognizable. The object of the Code is to ensure the freedom and safety of the subject in that it gives him the right to come to court if he considers that a wrong has been done to him or to the Republic and be a check upon police vagaries. [7] As observed earlier when a complaint is filed before a magistrate, the magistrate may simply order investigation by the police. The police may then investigate the case and submit the report to the magistrate. In such a situation, when the magistrate then proceeds with the case, a question of some importance arises as to whether the magistrate had taken cognizance of the offence on the complaint before sending it for investigation or whether the case was sent to the police without taking cognizance of the offence and the cognizance was taken only on the report submitted by the police. There are certain advantages to the complaint if cognizance was taken on a complaint. For instance, in the event of an acquittal of the accused in a complaint case, the complainant gets a right of appeal. It’s now well-settled that when a petition of complaint is filed before a magistrate the question whether he can be said to have taken cognizance of the offence alleged in the complaint under S. 190(1) depends upon the purpose for which he applies his mind to the complaint. If the magistrate applies his mind to the complaint for the purpose of the proceeding with the complaint, he must be held to have taken cognizance of the offences mentioned in the complaint but on other hand if he applies his mind to the complaint not for any such purpose but only for the purpose of ordering an investigation or for issuing search warrant, he cannot be said to have taken cognizance of the offence.

It has been explained that the magistrate while taking cognizance of an offence, is becoming aware of the commission of that offence and that awareness continues. So a magistrate would be entitled to take cognizance of a complaint case after having taken cognizance of the case on police report. It has also been opined that even if this involved taking cognizance twice, there is no harm as no provision in the Code prohibits it. [8] However it is settled that a court can take cognizance of offence only once and after that it becomes functus officio.

If cognizance is to be taken on a police report under S. 190(1)(b) the report must be one as defined in S. 2(r). That is the report must be one forwarded by a police officer to a magistrate under S. 173(2) and not any other report like preliminary report or an incomplete challan. And it is for the magistrate to decide whether the police report is complete. His power cannot be controlled by the investigating agency. On receiving police report the magistrate may take cognizance of the offence under S. 190(1) (b) and straightaway issue process. This he may do irrespective of the view expressed by the police in their report whether an offence has been made out or not. The magistrate has not to proceed mechanically in agreeing with the opinion formed by the police, but has to apply his mind and persue the papers placed before him. He has to apply his mind to all the details embodied in the police report and to other documents and papers submitted along with the report. It may be noted that the magistrate takes cognizance of the offences and not the offender. The magistrate is not bound by the conclusion drawn by the police and it is open to him to take cognizance of an offence under S. 199(1)(b) on the basis of the police report even though the police might have recommended in their report that there were was no sufficient ground for proceeding further or that it was not a fit case where cognizance should be taken by the magistrate. It has been ruled that the magistrate can take cognizance of an offence if he is satisfied about the material.

According to S. 190(1)(c) the magistrate can take cognizance of any offence upon the information received from any person other than a police officer or upon his knowledge. The object is to enable magistrate to see that justice is vindicated notwithstanding that the persons individually aggrieved are willing or unable to prosecute. Hence the proper use of the power conferred by this provision is to proceed under it when the magistrate has reason to believe the commission of a crime but is unable to proceed ordinary way owing to absence of any complaint or police report about it. Therefore the word ‘knowledge’ as used in the clause (c) should be interpreted rather liberally so as to subserve the real object of the provision. It has been opined that if a magistrate takes action under S. 190(1)(c) without having jurisdiction then such trial would be vitiated.

S. 190 provide that under the condition specified in the section certain magistrate ‘may’ take cognizance of offences. There are varying opinions of the Courts on this point. Considering the observation of the Supreme Court in this connection it may be fairly concluded that ‘a magistrate has certain discretion but it must be judicial in nature, it is limited in scope’. And taking cognizance does not depend upon the presence of the accused in the court. In fact he does not have any role at this stage. There is no question of giving him a hearing when final report of the police is considered. Nor does refusal to take cognizance of an offence leads to discharge of the accused. It may be noted that a magistrate can take cognizance of any offence only within the time-limits prescribed by law. Even after the period of limitation such offences can be taken cognizance of by the court if the delay is condoned prior to taking cognizance. The power to take cognizance of an offence may not be confused with the power to inquire into or try a case.

  •  COGNIZANCE TAKEN BY A MAGISTRATE NOT EMPOWERED

If any magistrate not empowered to take cognizance of an offence under S. 190(1)(a) and 190(1)(b), does erroneously in good faith take cognizance of an offence, his proceeding shall not be set aside merely on the ground of his not being empowered.

Purshottam Jethanand v. State of Kutch [9]: If a magistrate takes cognizance of an offence and proceeds with a trial though he is not empowered in that behalf and convicts the accused, the accused cannot avail himself of the defect and cannot demand that his conviction be set aside merely on the ground of such irregularity, unless there is something on the record to show that the magistrate had assumed the power, not erroneously and in good faith, but purposely having knowledge that he did not have any such power. On the other hand if a magistrate who is not empowered to take cognizance of an offence takes cognizance upon information received or upon his own knowledge under S. 190(1)(c) his proceeding shall be void and of no effect. In such a case it is immaterial whether he was acting erroneously in good faith or otherwise.

  • TRANSFER OF CASES AFTER TAKING COGNIZANCE

This includes Transfer on application of the accused under S.191, Power of the Chief Judicial Magistrate to transfer a case under S.192 (1) and Magistrate empowered to transfer a case under S. 192(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure.

  1. Transfer on application of the accusedwhen a magistrate takes cognizance of an offence under clause (c) of subsection (1) of S. 190, the accused shall, before any evidence is taken, be informed that he is entitled to have the case inquired into or tried by another magistrate, and if the accused or any of the accused, if there be more than one, objects to further proceedings before the magistrate taking cognizance, the case shall be transferred to such other magistrate as may be specified by the Chief Judicial Magistrate in this behalf.
  2. Power of the Chief Judicial Magistrate to transfer a caseS. 192(1) provides that any chief judicial magistrate may after taking cognizance of offence, make over the case for inquiry or trial to any competent magistrate subordinate to him. The section enables the chief judicial magistrate to distribute the work for administrative convenience. This section has conferred special power on the CJM as normally the magistrate taking cognizance of the offence has himself to proceed further as enjoined by the Code. But an exception has been made in the case of CJM, may be because he has some administrative functions also to perform. The transfer can be ordered only after taking cognizance by the transferring magistrate. The object of this section is that senior magistrate may find it convenient to when a magistrate transfers a case under S.192, it is not an administrative order. It is judicial order in as much as there should be application of mind by the magistrate before he passes the order look at most of the cases in the first instance but after taking cognizance send them for disposal to their subordinates.
  3. Magistrate empowered to transfer a caseAccording to S. 192(2) “Any Magistrate of the first class empowered in this behalf by the Chief Judicial Magistrate may, after taking cognizance of an offence, make over the case for inquiry or trial to such other competent Magistrate as the Chief Judicial Magistrate may, by general or special order, specify, and thereupon such Magistrate may hold the inquiry or trial.” This subsection enables the CJM to clothe a first class magistrate with powers like his own under S. 192(1). This again is useful in order to relieve the CJM of unnecessary burden.
  • COGNIZANCE OF OFFENCES BY COURT OF SESSION

No court of session shall take cognizance of any offence as a court of original jurisdiction unless the case has been committed to it by a magistrate under S. 193 of the Code. When an offence is exclusively triable by a court of session according to S.26 read with the First Schedule the Magistrate taking cognizance of such offence is required to commit the case for trial to the Court of Session after completing certain preliminary formality. Sometimes the posts of CJM and ADJ are held by one individual. In such a case the CJM was required to take cognizance and try economic offences. It was ruled that S. 193 did not apply to that case. For proper distribution of the work in the court of session and for administrative convenience, it has been provided that an Additional Session Judge or Assistant Session Judge shall try such cases as the Sessions Judge of the division may, by general or special order, make over to him for trial or as the High Court may, by special order, direct him to try under S.194 of the Code.

  •  LIMITATION ON THE POWER TO TAKE COGNIZANCE

Sections 195-199 are exceptions to the general rule that any person having knowledge of the commission of an offence, may set the law in motion by a complaint, even though he is not personally interested or affected by the offence. The general rule is that any person having knowledge of the commission of an offence may set the law in motion by a complaint even though he is not personally interested in, or affected by the offence. To this general rule, Sections 195 to 199 of Cr. P.C. provide exceptions, for they forbid cognizance being taken of the offences referred to therein except where there is a complaint by the Court or the public servant concerned. The provisions of these sections are mandatory and a Court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of any of the offences mentioned therein unless there is a complaint in writing as required by the section concerned. There is absolute bar against the Court taking cognizance of the case under Section 182 of IPC except in the manner provided in Section 195 of Cr.P.C. Where the complaint is not in conformity with the provisions of this section, the Court has no power even to examine the complainant on oath because such examination could be made only where the Court has taken cognizance of the case. The absence of complaint as required by the section is fatal to the prosecution and it is an illegality which vitiates the trial and conviction.

The Supreme Court, in Bashir-ul-Haq v. State, held that Section 195 of Cr.P.C. requires that without a written complaint of the public servant concerned no prosecution for an offence under Section 182, IPC can be launched nor any cognizance of the case taken by the Court.

Since Section 195 and the succeeding four sections i.e., Sections 196, 197, 198 & 199 impose restrictions on the power of Magistrate to take cognizance of offence under Section 190, therefore, at the stage of taking cognizance of an offence, the Magistrate should make sure whether his power of taking cognizance of the offence has or has not been taken away by any of the clauses of Sections 195-199 of the Code. Any person may set the criminal law in motion by filing a complaint even if he is not personally affected by the offence committed. However, certain restrictions or limitations have been imposed on the wider powers of the magistrate’s power to take cognizance under S. 190 of the code and these restrictions have been placed under S. 195-199 of CrPC. Sub-section 1(a) of Section 195 provides that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under Sections 172 to 188, IPC or of abetment or attempt or criminal conspiracy to commit such offence. Sections 172-188, IPC relate to offence of contempt of lawful authority of public servants, for example absconding to avoid service of summons, preventing service of summons, not producing a document when so required by a public servant, knowingly furnishing false information, refusing to take oath etc.

The provision of Section 195(1)(a) being mandatory, any private prosecution in respect of the said offences is totally barred. Only the concerned public servants can make a complaint and initiate proceedings in respect of these offences. The power to make the complaint can be exercised only by the public servant who is for the time being holding the office or is a successor-in-office of the public servant whose order is disobeyed or lawful authority disregarded and thus an offence under Sections 172 to 188, IPC has been committed. The bar or limitation imposed by sub-section 1(a) of Section 195 equally extends to both cognizable as well as non-cognizable offences. It may be noted that all the offences covered by Sections 172 to 188 of IPC except the one under Section 188, are non-cognizable offences. It may be noted that Section 195 being mandatory taking cognizance of any offence referred to therein without a proper complaint by the concerned public servant would be an illegality which cannot be cured by Section 465 of Cr.P.C. Clause (b) of Section 195(1) relates to prosecution for offences against public justice. No Court shall take cognizance of any such offence or of attempt or abetment or of any criminal conspiracy to commit any such offence, when such offence is alleged to have been committed in, or relation to, any proceeding in any Court, except on a complaint in writing of that Court or of some other Court to which that Court is subordinate.

In the case of Mahesh Chand Sharma v. State of U.P., the appellant filed a complaint alleging that the respondents (accused persons) had fraudulently mutated their names in the land record. The land in question was purchased by the appellant under a registered sale deed. The accused persons had colluded with the Area Lekhpal and acted behind the back of the appellant. Held, the offence committed did not relate to Court proceedings which is the essential requirement for applicability of Section 195(1)(b) (ii). The appellant had lodged the complaint as soon as he came to know about the evil designs of accused persons. The Apex Court ruled that the impugned order quashing taking of cognizance against accused by wrongly applying provision of Section 195 and resorting to Section 340 (which relates to procedure in cases mentioned in Section 195) was not proper.

As provided in sub-section (3); term ‘Court’ for this purpose means a civil, revenue or criminal Court and includes a tribunal constituted by Central or State Act. But it does not include a commission appointed under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952.

The Supreme Court, in Santosh Singh v. Izhar Hussain, observed that every incorrect or false statement does not make it incumbent upon the Court to order prosecution. The Court should exercise judicial discretion taking into consideration all the relevant facts and circumstances. It should order prosecution in the larger interest of justice and not gratify the feelings of personal revenge or vindictiveness or serve the ends of a private party.

In the case of R. Ruthinam v. Kamla Vaiduriam, a minor girl was in the custody of a person who was asked to produce the girl before the Madras High Court. The person produced a substitute girl identifying her and asserting her to the same girl. Therefore, the High Court was justified in lodging a complaint against that person for giving false evidence and misleading the Court. Where a forged agreement of sale was filed before the Deputy Registrar Cooperative Societies (Housing) at Hyderabad, a private complaint for an offence under Section 467, IPC was held to be maintainable, as the cooperative Registrar is not a Court within the meaning of Section 195 of the Code. In a case where the accused were alleged to have forged certain documents and filed a civil suit on the basis of those forged documents, it was held that procedure contemplated in Section 195 (2)(b) must necessarily be followed because offences under Sections 474 and 474-A of IPC are integral parts of the offences covered by Section 195 of the Code and form the same transaction.

A document is said to be ‘produced in Court’ when it is placed before the Court for the purposes of being tendered in evidence or for some other purpose. Prosecution of a person for giving false statements, by and large, depends upon the gravity of the false statement and the circumstances under which such statement was made, also the object of making it and the impact it has on administration of justice. It has been held that a person cannot be prosecuted for the offence of perjury unless he has stated on oath, facts on which his first statement was based and then denied those facts on oath subsequently. There cannot be a prosecution for alleged forgery under Section 195 (1)(b)(ii) where a document alleged to be forged was not itself produced in Court but a copy only of such document was produced.

The Supreme Court in Sachidanand Singh v. State of Bihar, has clarified that a prosecution for the offence of forgery would be possible under Section 195 (1) (b) (ii) only where the forgery was committed while the document was in custody of Court, i.e., custodia legis, but mere production of the document would not attract the bar of this section and in that case prosecution may be launched by any person.

Section 195 (4) deals with the subordination of Courts. It is different from the subordination of Courts generally for the purpose of Cr.P.C. which is dealt with in Sections 15 and 23 of the Code. Under this section, the Court to which appeal ordinarily lies from the appealable decrees or sentences of the Court, is the Court to which such Court is subordinate and in case of Civil Court from whose decrees no appeal lies, it is subordinate to the principal Court having ordinarily original Civil jurisdiction, within whose local jurisdiction such Civil Court is situate. It has been held that the Court of single Judge of the High Court is subordinate to the Division Bench of the High Court which hears appeals from such Court in certain cases.

The two provisos to sub-section (4) deal with (1) subordination of Court whose appeal to more than one Court lies; and (2) subordination when there is dual jurisdiction i.e. where appeals from a Court may in certain cases go to a Civil Court and in other cases to revenue Court. In such cases the subordination must be decided according to the nature of the case in connection with which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

These restrictions have been placed on sound policy considerations and have been considered important for faster disposal of cases. S. 198 lays down an exception to the general rule that a complaint can be filed by anybody even if not connected to the victim and modifies this by saying that only aggrieved person or person specified under the section can file a complaint relating to offences relating to marriage. The object of this section is to prevent a Magistrate of his own motion inquiring into cases of marriage, unless the husband or other authorized person complains so, but once a case has been placed before him, a Magistrate is free to proceed against any person implicated. It must be understood that this section neither confer any power of cognizance on the court nor a right to complain on the aggrieved person.

CONCLUSION

The researcher concludes that Section 190 of the Code empowers the magistrate to take cognizance of an offence in cases where the victim does not lodge an FIR in the police station due to any reason or in cases where the police refuse to admit FIR reported by any victim. Thus, this provision is meant to safeguard the interests of the victims while keeping a check on the unfettered powers of the police. The clause is divided in three exclusive parts which empower the magistrate to take cognizance upon receiving a complaint of facts or upon a police report of such facts or upon information received from any person other than a police officer, or upon his own knowledge, that such offence has been committed.

The real distinction between sub-clause (c) and sub-clauses (a) and (b) of section 190(1) is that, in the two latter cases an application is made to the Magistrate to take cognizance of the offence either by a complaint or by the police, while in the former case the Magistrate takes cognizance suo motu either on his own knowledge or on information received from some person who will not take the responsibility of setting the law in motion. In this case, the law partly out of regard for the susceptibilities of the accused and partly to inspire confidence in the administration of justice allows the accused right to claim to be tried before another Magistrate.

And that these restrictions under S. 195-199 of CrPC, were put in place so as to maintain the dignity of affected families and also to solve the matters within the family members. Had everyone been allowed to file a complaint, then it would have resulted in chaos in the families and loads of cases would have been registered which might be out of spite to show that family in bad repute. Though magistrate can take cognizance of the complaint filed by the persons as mentioned under this section, he can also grant other person’s leave to file a complaint. By these sections, only the most affected persons are given right to file a complaint as they are considered to be aggrieved at most. Though the thinking of legislature was noble while enacting the legislation, there seems to be some gaping holes in the code, mostly with regard to remedies asserted to women, by which many husbands have been set free. It is to be understood that the object of CrPC is not let an accused go but to punish him for his deeds. So the government must introduce some amendment so as to make these provisions effective.

 Edited By Parul Padhi

  1. AIR 1951 SC 207
  2. 1981 Cri LJ 356 Ker HC
  3. According to S. 155(2), no police officer shall investigate a non-cognizable case without the order of a magistrate having power to try such case or commit the case for trial.
  4. AIR 1963 SC 765
  5. (1977) 4 SCC 459
  6. 1992 CriLJ LJ 645 (Ori HC)
  7. Chinnaswami v. Kuppuswami, AIR 1955 Mad 534
  8. Kesavan Natesan v. Madhavan Peethambaran, 1984 Cri LJ 324 (Ker HC)
  9. AIR 1954 SC 700

3 Replies to “Cognizance of Offences”

  1. Good evening,
    I have a important question.
    Can a magistrate of lower court(Judicial magistrate) take cognizance of the same offence twice.
    If once cognizance was taken in june 2013 then can again take cognizance of same offence after one year to add a new person as accused??
    while taking first cognizance, application u/s 190 was on hold and taken the cognizance.

    1. Yes, u/s 319 during inquiry or trial if it appears from the evidence that any person not being the accused has committed any offence the court may add such person as accused.

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