CrPC Section 468: Limitation Period for Taking Cognizance of Offenses

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CrPC Section 468: Limitation Period for Taking Cognizance of Offenses

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, deals with the time limit within which a Magistrate or Court can take cognizance of an offense.

1. Code:

Section 468: Limitation for taking cognizance of offences

2. Explanation:

  • General Rule: A Magistrate or Court cannot take cognizance of an offense after the expiry of the prescribed limitation period. This period varies depending on the nature of the offense.
  • Exceptions: There are certain exceptions to this rule, including cases where:
    • The accused absconds or is otherwise unavailable.
    • The offense is of a serious nature, such as murder or rape.
    • The offense involves a conspiracy or a continuing offense.

3. Illustration:

For example, if a person commits theft, the limitation period for taking cognizance of this offense is one year. If the theft occurred on January 1, 2023, the Magistrate or Court can take cognizance of the offense until December 31, 2023. After this date, they would not be able to initiate legal proceedings.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: What happens if the limitation period expires?

A: If the limitation period expires, the Magistrate or Court cannot take cognizance of the offense, and the accused can raise this as a defense.

Q: Can the limitation period be extended?

A: The limitation period can be extended in certain circumstances, such as when the accused absconds or when there are other compelling reasons.

Q: What are some of the offenses with different limitation periods?

A: The limitation periods for different offenses are specified in various laws, such as the Indian Penal Code, 1860. For instance, offenses under Section 302 (murder) have no limitation period, while offenses under Section 379 (theft) have a limitation period of one year.

Also Read  CrPC Section 153: Inspection of Weights and Measures - Legal Guide
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