Showing posts with label The Indian Penal Code. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Indian Penal Code. Show all posts


“Sedition is bred in the lap of luxury and its chosen emissaries are the beggared spendthrift and the impoverished libertine.”[1]

The freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right guaranteed under our constitution with the essence of providing a sense of security to individuals who aim to attain self-fulfilment or are in some social pursuit. The freedom of speech and expression strengthens the pillar of democracy by providing a secure outlet for individuals that seek to discover the truth about something, to those who aim to strengthen the capacity to take decisions and facilitate a balance between social change & stability.[2] The freedom of speech and expression comes with a sense of responsibility that the individual exercising it must follow as well as the state having enough scrutiny in its responsible exercise among the citizens. In Indian constitution, article 19(1)(a) of the guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens of the Indian republic. However, this freedom of speech is subjected to certain constraints like the security of the State, interests that govern the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, decency or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or provocation to a felony. Merriam-Webster describes sedition as incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority. In a modern democratic state, the notion of a boundary between freedom of speech and sedition is often blurry and governed by state laws which in our case are established under Section 124A of the Indian constitution. Time to time, the question about constitutional validity of sedition in a democratic nation has been risen as a subject of continuous debates and discussions. The apprehension of this law being another colonial endowment or being used by the government to suppress the critique and violate the right to free speech forms the basis of the agony among the antagonists of this law.


Before making its way into the Indian constitution, the first draft on sedition drafted by Thomas Babington Macaulay was incorporated into the colonial Penal code in 1870 on suggestion of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen who thought it would be an expedient tool to curb legal issues in Government of India. [3] The draft finally made its way as an act when it was amended through the IPC Amendment Act of 1898 and formed the basis of the modern day Section 124A of Indian constitution.  The first trial that was held under section 124A was Queen Empress v Jogendra Chunder Bose, in Calcutta high court in 1891. Basu was charged under sedition on account of the claim of authorities that his article criticizing the Age of Consent Act of 1891was inflammatory and had incited rebellion. In this case, the Chief Justice William Comer Petheram explained the meaning of "disaffection" as "a feeling contrary to affection, in other words, dislike or hatred" and linked it with disobedience towards the government.[4]

Besides this, the most interesting sedition trial under the colonial rule was probably the trial of Lokmanya Tilak in 1897 who was charged under this law, found guilty by the jury and sent to eighteen months of rigorous punishment. During Tilak’s trial, Justice Arthur Strachey widened the understanding of Section 124A by explaining that the attempt to excite "feelings of enmity" against government was also a form of sedition. Besides this trial against sedition for his article “Shivaji's Utterances” in his daily, Tilak also faced charges for his other articles that he published in his daily titled "The Country's Misfortune" (12 May 1908) and "These Remedies Are Not Lasting" (9 June 1908) for which he was again found guilty and sentenced to six years of imprisonment in Burma.[5]

Besides Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi was another victim of this law who was charged and imprisoned under sedition for his three articles for Young India journal. While appearing in court, Gandhi referred to Section 124A as the "prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen".[6]

It is important to note that after the colonial rule ended, sedition was termed void & unconstitutional by various courts like the Punjab High Court in 1951 and a similar ruling was given by the Allahabad high court in 1959. Answering an appeal by the Government of India in 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that speeches against the government or political parties was not illegal, while upholding it as applicable to separatism by persuasion or force; this pronouncement had the effect of diluting the law.[7]


Dynamic debate about Section 124A’s constitutional validity

The continuous debate against Section 124A’s constitutional validity is fuelled by the fact that it is a colonial law which was aimed to suppress the voices of freedom fighters and yet still remains a part of our constitution in a modern day democratic republic. Section 124A describes an individual who practices sedition as anyone who, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India and sets the punishment with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.[8]

Critics of this law are of the opinion that this colonial law curbs the freedom of speech and expression and must be scrapped or amended. Successive centre and state governments have been using this law as a tool to curtail the free speech of activists, media, political leaders, students, artists, comedians in the post-independence era. Between 2014-2019, 326 sedition cases were filed in India, charge sheets were filed in 141 cases which resulted in only 6 convictions.[9]

Commenting on the low conviction rate under sedition law on 15th July, 2021, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana drew attention to the need of shedding light on the fact that low conviction rate shows the misuse of the law by executive powers.

The instances of failure of conviction under charges of sedition in the courts are drastically high. Besides this, the abuse of the law for political gain is of the utmost concern.

The constitutional validity of section 124A IPC came to be challenged in

the case of Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar.[10] Recently, the Supreme court of India quashed a sedition case Vinod Dua v. Union of India & Ors. (WP(Crl) No. 154 of 2020) with the remarks “The enormous power of misuse of this section [124-A] it’s like giving a carpenter a saw...he cuts down the forest. That’s the power of misuse of this law.”[11]




A consultation paper published by the Law Commission in 2018 sheds light on the fact that sedition as a law has already been abolished or the right to free speech is already protected by amendments in constitution of different democratic states. Section 124A which was a law enacted in colonial era, was deleted by section 73 of the Coroners and Justice Act, 2009 by the lawmakers of the United Kingdom in 2009 itself. [12]

Some efforts were made to scrape or amend Section 124A in the parliament itself like in the year 2011, a private member Bill titled the Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by Mr. D. Raja which proposed the omission of Section 124A. Similarly, another Private member Bill titled The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2015[13], was introduced in Lok Sabha by Mr. Shashi Tharoor to amend Section 124A. But both bills failed to move forward in the houses of the Parliament. With the historic ruling in a number of its cases, the supreme court has reignited the continuous debate regarding the constitutional validity of Section 124A numerous times. The scope of political benefit and misuse for personal gain by the ruling party from Section 124A makes it difficult for the law to be scraped/amended in the Parliament itself. A number of legal thinkers, activists and lawyers have called Supreme court to take the matter in its jurisdiction and scrape this colonial law once for all.


[1] George Bancroft, "The Office of the People in Art, Government and Religion", p. 424

[2] Stephen Schmidt, Mack C. Shelly et. al, American Government and Politics Today 11 (Cengage

Learning, USA, 2014)

[3] Gaur, Krishna Deo (2009), Textbook on the Indian Penal Code, Universal Law Publishing. pp. 220,

[4] Bhatia, Gautam (2016), Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Free Speech under the Indian Constitution, Oxford University Press.

[5] Saxena, Namit (8 July 2018). "A Look Back At Tilak's Sedition Trials". Live Law. Retrieved 28 May 2019.

[6] "Republic of dissent: Gandhi's sedition trial". Live Mint. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.

[7] "Anti-sedition law needs the bin". Economic Times. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.

[8]  Section 124A, Indian Penal Code

[9]  326 sedition cases filed in india between 2014 19 only 6 convictions,, 19 July 2021.

[10] AIR 1962 SC 955.

[11] Vinod Dua v. Union of India & Ors. (WP(Crl) No. 154 of 2020)

[12] Section 73: Abolition of common law libel offences etc

The following offences under the common law of England and Wales and the common law of

Northern Ireland are abolished—

(a)the offences of sedition and seditious libel;

(b)the offence of defamatory libel;

(c)the offence of obscene libel.

[13] The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2015, available at: (last visited on Jan 20, 2017).

Image Source: Bar & Bench


The words robbery, theft, and extortion are generally misunderstood by one another. They’re used interchangeably in daily usage. However, going into the legality reveals that these words are distinct and reward different punishment. A closer look reveals the difference among the terms. Each of those terms is separated from the opposite on the idea of pivotal or minor differences. The demarcation is often seen in accordance with the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Firstly there's a requirement to know theft and extortion as defined within the code.


Robbery is defined in Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Robbery is either extortion or theft and is considered as the aggravated form of both. The essence of robbery is the presence of imminent fear or violence. This section deals with both the cases i.e. when theft is robbery and when extortion is robbery.

When theft is robbery?

Conditions when theft is robbery-

i. When someone voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to a person,

a. Death or hurt or wrongful restraint, or

b. Fear of instant death or instant hurt or instant wrongful restraint.

ii. The above acts must be finished any of the subsequent ends:-

a. to the committing of theft, or

b. In committing theft, or

c. In carrying away, or attempting to hold away property obtained by theft

In Venu alias Venugopal v. State of Karnataka[1], appellants allegedly intercepted the victim and robbed gold and cash by threatening with a knife. It was held that evidence of the victim, her husband, and recovery of vehicle used established commission of offense of robbery by appellants. Offense was omitted at night on the public road, not a highway, therefore, the conviction of appellants is proper.

It was also observed that violence must be in the course of theft and not subsequently. It is not necessary that violence should be committed actually but even an attempt to commit is enough. The words "for that end" utilized in Section 390 mean that hurt caused must be with the thing of facilitating committing or must be caused while the offender is committing theft or is attempting to hold away property obtained by theft.


The mere use of violence doesn't convert the offense of theft into robbery unless the violence is committed for one among the ends laid out in para 2 of this section. Thus where the accused abandoned the property obtained by theft and threw stones at his pursuers to discourage them from continuing pursuits, he was guilty of theft and not of robbery.

In a case, D was relieved of his wristwatch by A during a compartment when the train was close to stopping at a station. As D raised an alarm B gave him a slap and both A and B jumped out of the compartment and ran away. Soon after both of them were found taking tea at a stall situated near the railroad station. Both A and B are going to be guilty under section 392 r/w section 34 IPC because B in furtherance of common intention to commit robbery and to save lots of A from being caught caused hurt to D and has thus helped in carrying away the transferred property.


Voluntarily causes.-The use of the words 'voluntarily causes' during this section is critical because merely causing incidental injury doesn't convert the offense into robbery. The injury must be voluntarily caused. As an example, where the accused in snatching a nose-ring of a lady wounded her within the nostril and caused her blood to flow, He was held guilty of robbery.[2]


Person.-The word "person" is defined in section 11 of the Code means both natural and juridical person. Normally body of an individual's being might not be a person except for the needs of this section the word person doesn't exclude the body of a person's being who was killed within the course of the same transaction during which theft was committed.[3]


When extortion is robbery?

Extortion is robbery if the next conditions are fulfilled:-

i. when an individual commits extortion by putting another person in fear of instant death, or instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint thereto person or to another person; and

ii. such an individual by so putting another in fear induces the person so put in fear then and there to deliver up the thing extorted; and

iii. The offender, at the time of committing extortion, is within the presence of the person put in fear.

In the State of Maharashtra v. Vinayak Utekar[4], the accused snatched the gold buttons from the shirt of an individual and ran away. While deed, he was caught by the informant to whom the accused gave a knife blow. The Court held the accused guilty under Section 390 for the offense of robbery because it couldn't be contended that the accused gave a knife blow only to urge himself free of the clutches of the informant and to not make sure the removing of the gold buttons which was a transferred property.

In Sikandar v. Delhi Administration[5], the accused persons struck several knife blows on the lady and compelled her to spare her earrings and therefore the bunch of keys which she had tied within the string of her salwar. They were held guilty of offense of robbery under Section 390/34 of IPC.



The opening words of Section 390, IPC, indicate that there is be no robbery if there is no theft or extortion. Theft or extortion or attempting to commit any of those two is an inevitable part of the robbery. Theft is robbery, if, to facilitate theft or plan to seize transferred property, the perpetrator voluntarily causes or attempts to cause death, injury or misconduct or fear of immediate death, immediate injury or misconduct.

Similarly, the removal of the property which is movable being carried is another requirement for constructing a case of theft. If this is often not the case, then there's no theft and as a result, there'll be no robbery. Therefore, to work out whether a specific act is going to be a robbery or not, one must first confirm that the case has the required ingredients for theft or extortion because robbery is nothing but an aggravated sort of theft and robbery.

Section 390, IPC, defines robbery. To rob during a common language means to rob an individual of his possessions. The most distinguishing feature of robbery, theft, and extortion is that the imminent fear of violence. In every robbery, there's theft or robbery.


This blog is authored by Aditi Vishnoi, a student of The ICFAI University, Dehradun.

[1] 2008 II Cr LJ 1634 (SC)

[2] Tikai Bheer, (1866) 5 WR (Cr.) 95.

[3] Jamnadas, AIR 1963 MP 106.

[4] 1997 Cr LJ 3988 (Bom.).

[5] 1984 Cr LJ (NOC) 103 (Del.).

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Recently, an exigency to define limits of Sedition law has been felt by the Supreme Court after taking cognizance of indiscriminate usage of Sedition against critics inM/s Shreya Broadcasting Private Ltd and another v State of Andhra Pradesh, Aamoda Broadcasting Company Private Ltd and another v State of Andhra Pradesh, where FIRs were registered against two Telugu channels for alleged Sedition by the Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government for their reportage of the outrageous mishandling of COVID-19 pandemic by the State govt. The court observed the FIRs as a prima facie attempt to “muzzle media freedom.” The court was of the view that the gamut of the provisions of sedition defined under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code would require interpretation and elucidation, explicitly in the context of the right of the electronic and print media and also to those who may be censorious of the prevalent government.

Sedition, a colonial-era law intended to suppress the voice of freedom is still in effect in India, while Britain repealed sedition as a criminal offence in 2009, seeing it as a remnant of a time when freedom of expression was not recognized as the right, but now it’s a fundamental right. India's sedition law, section 124A of the Penal Code, proscribes any words either spoken or written, or any signs or visible representation that can have the ability to bring about "hatred or contempt or excites or attempts to excite disaffection," toward the government established by law where disaffection includes disloyalty and all the enmity.

Section 124A seeks its legitimacy from the constitutional decision of Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar (1962), a landmark ruling which still holds its reference in the present time. This could be inferred from the recent case of Vinod dua v. Union of India where the Supreme Court of India quashed a sedition lawsuit against journalist Vinod Dua and set him free, stating that “Every journalist entitled to protection under Kedar Nath judgment." In this case, an FIR was enrolled against Journalist Vinod Dua for censuring the Central government where it was held by the Supreme Court, that the remarks made by Vinod Dua can be best named as an articulation of judgment of the activities of Government and its functionaries so the circumstance could be recognized. There was no goal of inciting violence or generating public disorder behind his remarks.


Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar (1962), is a well-renowned judgment not merely because the Supreme Court of India has upheld the constitutional validity of Section 124A in this case but also defined the ambit of the offence of sedition under Section 124A of IPC. The court said, that the explanations affixed with section 124A explicitly manifest that censure of public policy or remark on government action, notwithstanding highly critical, would be within reasonable limits and would be in consonance with the freedom of speech and expression. It is only when remarks, written or spoken which have the detrimental tendency or intention of causing public disorder or disruption in law and order that the law interferes to prevent such activities in the light of a legitimate concern for public order. A citizen has the liberty to speak and express one’s convictions and opinions freely, considering he does not incite people to violence against the government established by law or intend to create public disorder.

The Court has, therefore, the duty endowed upon it to set forth a line of demarcation between the ambit of a citizen’s fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution and the power of the legislature to impose reasonable restrictions with respect to the security of the State and public order. Henceforth, the Kedarnath judgment made it clear that unless the accused incited violence by their speech or action, it would no longer constitute sedition, as it would otherwise violate the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution. Subsequently, the crucial distinction between “advocacy” and “incitement”, stating that only the latter could be penalized, was drawn by the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, the prominent 66A judgment.

Unsurprisingly, the use of Sedition has now become a method to suppress voices of protest in support of the marginalized as furnished by Article 14 database, which shows that there were 25 sedition cases during farm protests, 25 during anti-CAA protests, 22 after the Hathras gangrape, and 27 after Pulwama. The aforementioned database, reveals a 28% increase in sedition cases over the last decade, particularly against critics and protesters. Article 19(1)(a) provides individuals the fundamental right to speak and express freely which is reasonably restricted by Article 19(2) in the interest of public order when pertaining to sedition. However, in India, a recent trend showcases the application of sedition under the IPC being charged on individuals on grounds excepting the instances limited to the interest of public order.

Similarly, According to the data provided by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the crime incidence on Sedition has ramped up exponentially from 51 in 2017 to 93 in 2019. As per this data, 93 sedition cases were registered in 2019 and only two were convicted. It indicates that there exists a need to define the limits of the sedition law and make it more specific as to what activity would constitute sedition and what would not. The provision under Section 124A needs an amendment due to its subjectivity and very expansive breadth. The word “disaffection” is still uncertain and difficult to fathom. Despite the elaboration of this term in the explanation to the section to be inclusive of disloyalty and feelings of enmity, the boundaries of this provision are indefinite.

Indiscriminate application of sedition Law, due to its abstruseness, is proving to be anathema on the legitimate exercise of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and expression, which is guaranteed not only by the constitution of India or statutes of various states but also by numerous international conventions like Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Act, European Convention on Human Rights.

Image Source: The Economic Times

AUTHORED BY: Jyoti Gautam & Sadhna Diwakar, Second-year law students at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University




The laws of our country, India is an extremely wide concept. There are more than 1200 laws in our nation. According to the National Crime Bureau’s (NCB’s) 2018 report, there were more than 50,00,000 lakh criminal cases filed in the year preceding the reporting year. 
In such a scenario it is of utmost importance to know about the penal laws and the procedure of implementing them. Both IPC and CrPC are an indispensable and integral part of India’s criminal justice system.

Classification of Laws

All Indian laws can be classified into two major types namely, substantive laws and procedural laws. Substantive laws define the offence and prescribe the punishment awarded for such offences, whereas, procedural laws implement the substantive laws and which machineries to be followed for the purpose. In the absence of procedural laws, substantive law is of no meaning because it does not deter and without the deterrent effect, empty threats and punishments have no justification.

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

In the year 1834, India’s 1st Law Commission was appointed which was chaired by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay and four other members. The commission was assigned three major tasks, namely,
→ Codification of India’s penal laws.
→ Defining laws for individuals who were neither Hindus nor Muslims.
→ Codification of civil and criminal procedural laws.

The Law Commission prepared a draft penal code in 1837 which was implemented in 1860 after proper review and analysis. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 mainly drafted by LordThomas Babington Macaulay and due to this reason it is also known as “Macaulay’s Code”.

Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)

Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is considered as the main legislation which prescribes the procedure for criminal law implementation in India. It prescribes the procedure relating to detection of crime, apprehension of a suspected criminal, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence of the suspect, imposing suitable punishment on the guilty.

In the ancient days, East India Company did not have their own courts, every ruler had its own justice system and every province had their own court. But after the revolt of 1857, the British Crown took the administration into its own hand. Thereafter, the British Parliament passed and enacted the Criminal Procedure Code, 1861 with the purpose of establishing a uniform criminal procedure for the entire country.

In 1955, the 1st Law Commission was set up of independent India which was chaired by M. C. Setalvad. This commission studied the CrPC thoroughly and submitted a report in 1969 which contained various recommendations and suggestions that were incorporated in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and came into force on 1st April 1974. While the draft was prepared which contained the recommendations and suggestions, three major points were taken into consideration, namely,
→ Every accused shall get a fair trial in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
→ Every effort shall be made to avoid unnecessary delay in investigation and trial.
→ The entire procedure shall not be complicated, and every section of the community shall be able to understand such procedure formulated.

IPC vs. CrPC

Indian Penal Code (IPC) is a substantive law as it contains the definition of all the offences, essential ingredients of an offence to be called an offence, and the punishment to be awarded for all such offences. Thus, whenever there is a commission of an offence, the police authorities use the IPC to prepare the charge sheet.

All the process after preparation of a charge sheet is procedural in nature and part of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The after-work like when can the offender be granted bail, when can the offender apply for bail, collection of evidence, investigation procedure, trial procedure, production before a magistrate, etc.



IPC is a substantive law.

CrPc is procedural law.

IPC was enacted in 1860.

CrPC was enacted in 1973

IPC contains 511 sections and 23 chapters. 

CrPC contains 484 sections, 2 schedules, 56 forms, and 37 chapters. 

IPC defines offences and prescribes punishments for such offences. 

CrPC deals with the procedure of investigation, interrogation, evidence collection, arrest, trial, bail, etc. 


Hence, both the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code are an integral part of our criminal justice system. Either of them has no meaning and justification in the absence of others. Moreover, both laws help in removing evils from society and protect society from lawbreakers and criminal offenders. Lastly, the Indian criminal justice system runs majorly on these two legislations.

References crpc/#:~:text=The%20IPC%20provides%20a%20substantive,for%20each%20one%20of%20them.&text=The%20primary%20goal%20of%20CrPC,Criminal%20Procedure%20is%20procedural%20law
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Author: Sneha Mahawar, Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies.


According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, everybody who is a citizen of India has the right to life and his life can only be terminated by a system established by law. The law can punish a convict with the death penalty if the court finds the convict to be unfit to live in society due to his evil mind. Capital Punishment is the highest and the most severe punishment which can be awarded to a convict. In our country, hanging and shooting are considered to be two methods of execution in India. Hanging is considered to be the method of execution in the civilian court system whereas according to Section 166 of the Army Act, the death penalty may also be pronounced by ordering the convict to be laid down to rest by hanging or shooting. 

Capital punishment can be awarded to a person by the decision of a sessions judge or an additional session judge followed by the confirmation of the high court under section 28(2) and section 366 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 respectively[1]. After pronouncing its judgment, the high court shall send back the copy of its order to the sessions court under Section 371 of the Criminal Procedure Code[2]. After the confirmation of the death sentence by the high court, the supreme court may at its discretion hear a special leave petition filed by the aggrieved party under Article 136 of the Indian Constitution.[3] After the exhaustion of the Special leave petition, the aggrieved party can file a review petition under Article 137 of the Indian Constitution within 30 days of the judgement in the supreme court[4]. After the exhaustion of this remedy too, the aggrieved party has the remedies of Curative Petition and Mercy Plea left with themselves. 

The curative petition is filed by the aggrieved party to plead the apex court to reconsider its judgement. If the Curative Petition is also quashed then the aggrieved party is only left with Mercy Plea. The Mercy Plea can be filed by the aggrieved party under articles 72 and 161 of the Indian Constitution. Both of these articles provide power to the President and the Governor subsequently to grant pardon, relief, and commute the death sentence[5]. After the rejection of the mercy plea, the death warrant is issued under the second schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. The criminal is punished to be hanged till death. After the death of the person by hanging, the death warrant is returned by the official of the jail to the court. The family members of the body may want to claim the dead boy to perform the last rites. However, it is in the discretion of the jail official to accept or refuse to hand over the body to the family for final rites under clause 11.67 due to the chances of public demonstration[6]

The jail official may also consult the district magistrate and abide by the decision of him. The other clause 11.68 states that the body of the deceased will be brought out of the jail with all solemnity and which will further be transported to the burial ground for the cremation via the ambulance.[7] The procedure of executing the death penalty is therefore understood to be very difficult, lengthy, costly, and time taking due. Though the law is the same for everyone, the female prisoners may enjoy some special benefits.

 Female prisoners who are pregnant may be relieved by the high court either by the postponement of the death sentence till the delivery of the child or convert the death sentence into life imprisonment. Though to date, no woman has been executed in India, a female from Uttar Pradesh is going to become the first woman to be executed in India. Therefore, the decision to execute a woman makes it vivid enough that the law is equal for everyone and nobody will be spared for any form of brutal activities.

There have been a lot of debates and discussions against the constitutional validity of the death sentence. Many people have argued that taking away someone’s life is against the fundamental right and there is no absolute evidence of the decrease in crime rates due to the existence of the death penalty. Thus, the people always debate and demand the punishment of the death penalty be written off from the constitution. 

The people have also questioned why is capital punishment tolerated in any country when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is against it. Many countries like Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, etc. have written off the death penalty as a punishment from their constitution because it believes the death penalty to be a violation of the right to life and dignity of a person. Due to the series of debates and discussions happening across the world about the legality of capital punishment, many countries are opting out death penalty from their constitution. Though, our country still continues the practice of capital punishment as it is believed that pronouncing the death penalty against people committing heinous crimes will help to curb down the crime rates in India and the number of crimes happening in daily life will fall. However, there is no concrete evidence about the positive effect on people by pronouncing death penalties. 

The crime rate is still increasing and the pronouncement of the death penalty has not created any significant relief to the people across the country. However, some people have also supported capital punishment to be legally valid. These people feel that it is essential to eliminate the people from society who have the audacity to perform such inhumane acts which deserve the death penalty. The debate and discussions related to the legal validity of capital punishment still persist in the countries which belief capital punishment to be a legally valid punishment. The lawmakers and people are often witnessed to be indulged in the discussion of the validity of capital punishment and therefore, all these countries yet to reach a concrete conclusion.

As of today, approximately 752 people have been executed in India [8]and around 400 prisoners await their death to knock on their door of life. Yet, it is not clear whether taking someone’s life by law is correct or wrong.


After having read and written an article on capital punishment, I have come to the conclusion that the validity of capital punishment is still not clear among the countries across the globe. People are still arguing and supporting different facts and are confused about what is wrong and what is right. It should be understood that the heinous crimes and crime rate will only be brought to the verge of an end when the laws will be able to be implemented correctly. Even if the laws become stricter and more serious punishments are installed in the law, without proper implementation of the law, the crime rate will continue to balloon up.


Generally, the term offence refers to the act of displeasure, anger, and displeasing. But, in the legal sense, it is an illegal act which is punishable as it is a breach of law or provisions in a statute. There are various kinds of offences stated under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and numerous other codes. These offences are listed under Schedule I of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
Cognizable offences are very heinous crimes and very grave in nature. Bailable offences are comparatively less serious in nature and bail can be granted to the arrestee. Compoundable offences are the one in which the complainant drops the charges against the accused and gets into a compromise. 

Difference between Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offence

Cognizable offences

Non-Cognizable offences

Section 2(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 defines the term Cognizable Offences.

Section 2(l) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 defines the term Non-Cognizable Offences.

The offences under this category are very serious in nature. 

The offences under this category are comparatively less serious. 

If any individual commits an offence which is very serious in nature and amounts to cognizable offence then the police officials can arrest that offender without a warrant.  

If any individual commits an offence which is not very serious in nature and amounts to non-cognizable offence then the police officials cannot arrest that offender without a warrant.  

If the offence is cognizable in nature then the police officials do not have to obtain a warrant from the Magistrate. 

If the offence is non-cognizable in nature then the police officials do have to obtain a warrant from the Magistrate. 

Under offences which are cognizable in nature then the police officials can conduct their investigation without permission of the Court. 

Under offences which are non-cognizable in nature then the police officials cannot conduct their investigation without permission of the Court. 

In case of a cognizable offence FIR (First Information Report) can be filed. 

In case of a non-cognizable offence no FIR (First Information Report) can be filed instead of the complaint will the lodged in NCR (Non-Cognizable Register). 

Example- Rape, Murder, Dowry death, etc.

Example- Simple hurt, Assault, Defamation, etc.

Difference between Bailable and Non-Bailable Offences

Bailable offences

Non-Bailable offences

The offences under this category are less serious in nature.

The offences under this category are more serious in nature. 

Section 2(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 defines the term Bailable Offences.

Section 2(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 defines the term Bailable Offences.

Under this category, the bail granted to the accused is a matter of right as the offence he is charged under is a bailable offence. 

Under this category, the bail can be granted only on the Court’s discretion and the accused does not enjoy any right to bail. 

Section 436 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 contains the cases under which bail can be granted to the accused.  

Section 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 contains the cases under which bail can be granted to the accused in case of non-bailable offences.  

Example- Adultery, Bribery, Death by negligence, Death by a rash act, etc. 

Example- Rape, Murder, Dowry death, Kidnapping, Attempt to murder, etc. 

Difference between Compoundable and Non-Compoundable Offences

Compoundable offences

Non-Compoundable offences

Under compoundable offences, the victim enters into a compromise with the accused and drops all the charges against the accused. 

Under non-compoundable offences, the victim cannot enter into a compromise with the accused and drop all the charges against the accused. 

The offences under this category are less serious in nature.

The offences under this category are more serious in nature. 

Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 contains the offences that can be compoundable offences. 

Any offence which is not included in Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 are termed as non-compoundable offences. 

Permission of the Court may be required by the victim and the accused to enter into a compromise.

There can be no compromise in non-compoundable offences as the offences are of very grave nature. 

Example- Theft, Grievous hurt, Defamation, Trespass, etc. 

Example- Murder, Kidnapping, etc. 


Hence, not every cognizable offence is a non-bailable offence as they can be of serious nature and thus, some cognizable offences can be bailable in nature and some non-cognizable offences can be non-bailable in nature.
The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) is the Procedural Criminal Code of India that classifies the offences into these major categories based on their nature of offences under Schedule I.
Offences that are serious in nature can be categorized as cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable whereas less serious offences come under the category of non-cognizable, bailable and compoundable.