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Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): What It Is And How It Works

Code of Criminal Procedure


Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): What It Is And How It Works

It is the framework under which India’s criminal justice administration system operates.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) lays down the processes under which law enforcement agencies investigate a crime and courts decide a case. The CrPC documents the manner in which law enforcement agencies can go about apprehending an accused person and collecting evidence for the case. It gives the hierarchy of courts which are in place to take up criminal offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other applicable laws. It also defines the powers of courts, judges and magistrates when it comes to passing a sentence in a case.

How It Works

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines the actions which amount to criminal offences and lays down the nature of punishment such offences attract. Once a criminal offence comes to light, the police or other law enforcement agencies register a case under the relevant section of the IPC. Thereafter, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure determine how they go about pursuing the case.

The Code of Criminal Procedure enacted in 1973 has 37 chapters and 484 sections. These deal with a whole range of matters like the constitution of criminal courts and offices, the power of courts and powers of the police. It lays down the different ways in which the police can arrest a person and the steps to be taken after that. It defines processes like summons, arrest warrant and search warrant.

(Also Read- India’s Laws: The Journey Of A Bill In The National Legislature)

 Jurisdiction And Functioning Of Courts

Sections in the Code of Criminal Procedure define the jurisdiction of the criminal courts in inquiries and trials; the process to be followed while initiating proceedings against an accused person; the process of trial in a Sessions court and the process of trial in a magistrate’s court. An entire chapter is devoted to recording of evidence and examination of witnesses. The process of trial and inquiry and the options available to courts and law enforcement agencies is explained in detail.

The code defines how courts of law punish the accused once their guilt is established or acquit a person if the prosecution fails to come up with adequate evidence. Provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure also try to ensure an accused’s right to a fair trial, including the process of appeals.

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