CrPC Section 156: Police Powers to Investigate Cognizable Offenses

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CrPC Section 156: Police Powers to Investigate Cognizable Offenses

1. Code:

Section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC)

2. Explanation:

Section 156 of the CrPC empowers the police to investigate cognizable offenses. A cognizable offense is an offense for which the police can arrest a person without a warrant. The police have the authority to conduct investigations, gather evidence, and arrest the suspect.

  • Power to Investigate: Section 156(1) mandates the police to investigate cognizable offenses, which means they have a legal obligation to inquire and uncover the truth about such crimes.
  • Information Received: The police can initiate an investigation upon receiving information regarding a cognizable offense. This information can come from various sources like a victim’s complaint, witnesses, or even from their own intelligence gathering.
  • Duty to Investigate: The police cannot refuse to investigate a cognizable offense if they receive credible information. They are bound by their duty to ensure justice and public safety.
  • First Information Report (FIR): The police must record a First Information Report (FIR) when they receive information about a cognizable offense. The FIR acts as a formal record of the alleged crime and initiates the investigation process.

3. Illustration:

Imagine a scenario where a person is robbed at knifepoint. The victim files a police complaint alleging robbery, which is a cognizable offense. The police, under Section 156, are obliged to investigate the matter. They will conduct inquiries, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and potentially arrest the suspect based on the evidence collected.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

  • Q: Can the police refuse to investigate a cognizable offense?

    A: No, the police cannot refuse to investigate a cognizable offense if they receive credible information. They have a legal obligation to investigate such offenses.

  • Q: What is the significance of an FIR under Section 156?

    A: The FIR acts as a formal record of the alleged crime and initiates the investigation process. It is a crucial document in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

  • Q: Are there any exceptions to the police’s obligation to investigate cognizable offenses?

    A: There may be exceptions in certain situations, such as when the information received is frivolous, vexatious, or misleading. However, the police must exercise their discretion carefully and not arbitrarily refuse to investigate.

Also Read  Section 127 CrPC: Alteration in Allowance - Code of Criminal Procedure
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