The Code of Criminal Procedure
General Introduction and Legislative History of the Code:
The British crown took over the government of India during the uprising of 1857, and the Criminal Procedure Code was adopted in 1861.
Except for the High Court, the 1861 Act exempted European nationals from the jurisdiction of criminal courts.
The code was revised in 1872, 1882, and 1898 to ensure that it applied equally to British and Indian people.
The legacy of British India persisted till the current Code came into force in 1973.
The Code of Criminal Procedure applies across India. However, other than those relating to Chapters VIII, X, and XI, the provisions of this Code shall not apply (a) to the State of Nagaland or (b) to tribal areas, but the concerned state government may, by notification, apply such provisions or any of them to the whole or part of Nagaland or such tribal areas, as the case may be, with such supplemental, incidental, or consequential modifications as may be specified in the notification.
This new Code, which came into existence has been the way forward for the nation in terms of clearing various ambiguities regarding the proper procedure which must be followed in case of criminal offences, and regarding the investigations and adjudication of laws concerning the same.
We require a statute that establishes the state's machinery for maintaining law and order and administering justice, as well as regulating the procedures followed by these institutions. The Criminal Procedure Code refers to the operation of these institutions from the time a crime is committed to the time the penalty for the crime is given and the case is completed.
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 creates the necessary machinery for apprehending criminals, investigating criminal cases, their trials before the Criminal Courts and imposition of proper punishment on the guilty person. The Code enumerates the hierarchy of criminal courts in which different offences can be tried and then it spells out the limits of sentences which such Courts are authorized to pass. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is applicable to all criminal proceedings.
A Brief Overview of the Various Provisions of This Code:
The CrPC provides the machinery for investigating crime, apprehending suspected offenders, gathering evidence, determining the guilt or innocence of the accused, and determining punishment for the guilty. It also addresses public disturbance, crime prevention, and the upkeep of a wife, kid, and parents.
The IPC describes crimes and their penalty, while the CrPC stipulates how the trial should be handled in a fair and proper way. The procedures under the CrPC are written in such a way that the trial process does not violate or infringe on an individual's rights; as a result, the CrPC overlaps with the Indian Constitution in many ways. Section 57 of the CrPC, for example, specifies that the accused shall be presented in front of the closest Magistrate within 24 hours, which is also specified in Article 22(2) of the Indian Constitution. Even though the CrPC is a set of criminal legislation, it must nonetheless conform with the basic rights guaranteed by Articles 21 and 22.
The Code has almost 37 Chapters. These have been briefly described as follows:
The First Chapter lays down the preliminary details of the Code, the specifics relating to its extent, applicability, and many other issues.
The Second Chapter talks about the constitution of various criminal courts and offices and also lays down the general guidelines as to the hierarchy of the Courts and the other systems.
The Third Chapter lays down the powers of the courts which have been constituted under the preceding chapter.
The Fourth Chapter mentions the powers of the superior officials of the police department and the aid that must be supplemented to the police and the magistrates in the proper adjudication.
The Fifth Chapter contains provisions regarding the arrest of persons. When and how shall they be made? What grounds and documents are required for an arrest? This chapter explicitly deals with arrests and the legal compliance which shall be required in this regard.
The Sixth Chapter mentions the processes which can be resorted to by the Courts and other functionaries to compel appearance, some of which mainly include summons issued by Courts.
The next chapter lays down the general guidelines as to the production of things which the court or functionaries so require or deem fit along with the general provisions relating to search warrants.
The Seventh (A) Chapter mentions the legal provisions with regard to reciprocal arrangements for assistance in certain matters and the proper and legal procedure that must be adhered to in case of attachments and forfeiture of property.
The Eighth Chapter mentions the methodology and due legal procedure that is going to be utilised by the securities in maintaining peace and good behaviour in the society in its entirety.
The Ninth Chapter talks of order for maintenance of wives, children and parents. This Chapter is necessary for the upkeep of the family members, however, these provisions should be made gender-neutral.
The Tenth Chapter lays the general grounds for the maintenance of public order and tranquility. Whatever measures the Police and the other functionaries must resort to under this provision to help maintain peace, have been mentioned here.
The Eleventh Chapter lays the ground for preventive action of the police, It is under this chapter that the much-disputed provision of even prevented detention has been given legal accordance.
The Twelfth Chapter mentions information to the police and their powers to investigate. This chapter is of crucial importance since it helps one understand what the powers of police while investigating are so that they are kept under proper checks and balances.
The Thirteenth Chapter talks about the jurisdiction of the criminal courts in inquiries and trials. In criminal law, it is very important to understand the jurisdiction of the COurts and this has been mentioned in this chapter.
The Fourteenth Part mentions conditions requisite for the initiation of proceedings. In brief, it aids one’s understanding of the essentials of the initiation of criminal proceedings.
Chapter Fifteen mentions complaints to magistrates and that they shall be dealt with and in what mannerism.
Chapter Sixteen happens to provide for the commencement of proceedings before magistrates. This also like the various aforementioned chapters mentions the procedure that should be followed for the commencement of proceedings.
The Seventeenth Chapter lays down the guidelines regarding the charge. The essentials, and as to how a charge can be formed along with the legal compliance that ought to be ensured in this regard.
The Eighteenth Chapter provides for trial before a court of session and the power and procedure that the Sessions Court must be adhering to while adjudging cases.
The Nineteenth Chapter contains trials of warrant cases by magistrates.
The Twentieth Chapter has trials of summons cases by magistrates.
The Twenty-First Chapter summary trials and provides for the meaning of the same
The Twenty-First (A) Chapter deals with plea bargaining. Plea Bargaining can be described as “pre-trial negotiations between the accused and the prosecution during which the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution. They are also referred to as plea agreement, plea deal or copping a plea.
Chapter Twenty Second mentions attendance of persons confined or detained in prisons and their treatments and the other specifics regarding the same.
Chapter Twenty Third mentions evidence in inquiries and trials and also has certain overlaps with the Indian Evidence Act.
Chapter Twenty Fourth mentions general provisions as to inquiries and trials and the prescribed mannerism in which they must be conducted.
The Twenty Fifth Chapter provides for provisions as to accused persons of unsound mind and how lunacy shall be treated under the CrPC.
The Twenty-Sixth Chapter provides for provisions as to offences affecting the administration of justice and various legal discrepancies that ought to be dealt with.
The Twenty Seventh Chapter mentions the judgment and it shall be made and what shall be its requisites.
Chapter Twenty Eighth mentions submission of death sentences for confirmation and again the mannerism that ought to be followed.
The Twenty Ninth Chapter mentions appeals and how they shall be made and dealt with by various courts.
The Thirtieth Chapter mentions reference and revision and the definitions of the same and how they are going to be used under this Statute and its significance
The Thirty First Chapter mentions transfer of criminal cases which can be made to the Supreme Court or even to the High Courts and the prescribed mannerism for the same.
The Thirty Second Chapter execution, suspension, remission and commutation of sentences and how it shall be made and what legal compliance does it have to adhere to.
The Thirty Third Chapter mentions provisions as to bail and bonds and they shall be granted as well as provide for various forms of bail.
The Thirty-Fourth Chapter mentions the disposal of property and it shall be done following the procedures of the CrPC.
Chapter Thirty-Fifth mentions irregular proceedings and under which circumstances they are vitiating.
Chapter Thirty-Sixth talks of limitations for taking cognizance of certain offences and the prescribed time limit for the same.
Chapter Thirty-Seventh mentions miscellaneous provisions and the various other residuary powers that the functionaries have under the CrPC.
Anyone with even a fundamental understanding of criminal law understands that it deals with what constitutes an offence and the punishments connected with such offences. However, the nature of most criminal penalties restricts a person's individual liberty. If imprisonment is unlawful, it undermines some of the most fundamental liberties and rights associated with a democracy. As a result, we require a statute that activates the state's machinery in terms of maintaining law and order and administering justice, as well as regulating the procedures followed by these institutions.
The Criminal Procedure Code refers to the operation of these institutions from the time a crime is committed to the time the penalty for the crime is given and the case is completed. It refers to the apparatus that the state would use when a breach of the criminal law, i.e., an infraction under the Indian Penal Code, is identified or reported. It also establishes the principles and procedures to be followed when pursuing and adjudicating such claims. These provisions also govern the investigation, inquiry, and trial of other offences, subject to any other legislation that may be in force that governs the mode of investigation, inquiry, or trial of the case.
1. What does Chapter 27 of the code deal with?
Ans - The Twenty Seventh Chapter mentions the judgment and it shall be made and what shall be its requisites.
2. What does Chapter 28 of the code deal with?
Ans - Chapter Twenty Eighth mentions submission of death sentences for confirmation and again the mannerism that ought to be followed.
3. What does Chapter 29 of the code deal with?
Ans - The Twenty-Ninth Chapter mentions appeals and how they shall be made and dealt with by various courts.
4. What does Chapter 30 of the code deal with?
Ans - The Thirtieth Chapter mentions reference and revision and the definitions of the same and how they are going to be used under this Statute and its significance.
5. What does Chapter 31 of the code deal with?
Ans - The Thirty First Chapter mentions transfer of criminal cases which can be made to the Supreme Court or even to the High Courts and the prescribed mannerism for the same.