Criminal Procedure in India: Key Sections Explained

Introduction: Criminal procedure in India is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), which outlines the legal framework for the investigation, prosecution, and trial of criminal cases. In this blog post, we will delve into some crucial sections of the CrPC that pertain to police powers, investigation, arrests, and more. Understanding these sections is essential for anyone navigating the Indian criminal justice system.

  • Section 149 – Police to Prevent Cognizable Offences:
  • Every police officer has the duty to prevent the commission of any cognizable offense. This section underscores the proactive role of the police in maintaining law and order.
  • Section 141 – Procedure on Order Being Made Absolute and Consequences of Disobedience:
  • When a court order is made absolute, the person against whom the order was issued must comply with it. Failure to do so can result in penalties under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • Section 157 – Procedure for Investigations:
  • This section outlines the procedure for initiating investigations by police officers. It emphasizes the importance of promptly reporting suspected offenses and conducting thorough investigations.
  • Section 151 – Arrest to Prevent the Commission of Cognizable Offenses:
  • Police officers are empowered to arrest individuals without a warrant if they have credible information that the person intends to commit a cognizable offense that cannot be prevented by other means. However, such arrests must be made in adherence to the law.
  • Sub-section (2) places a time limit on the detention of the arrested person, ensuring that they are not held in custody for more than 24 hours without further legal action.
  • Section 156 – Police Officer’s Power to Investigate Cognizable Cases:
  • This section grants police officers the authority to investigate cognizable cases without the need for a magistrate’s order. It also emphasizes that no proceeding conducted by the police officer shall be questioned on the grounds of lack of empowerment.
  • Section 158 – Report How Submitted:
  • Section 158 highlights the importance of reporting the progress of investigations to higher authorities. It allows superior officers to give instructions and ensures transparency in the investigative process.
  • Section 159 – Power to Hold Investigation or Preliminary Inquiry:
  • In cases where a full investigation may not be immediately possible, this section grants magistrates the authority to hold preliminary inquiries. This helps expedite the legal process.
  • Section 161 – Examination of Witnesses by Police:
  • This section permits police officers to examine individuals who may have information relevant to a case. It also establishes the duty of such individuals to answer truthfully, except when their answers could incriminate them.
  • Section 164 – Recording of Confessions and Statements:
  • Section 164 regulates the recording of confessions and statements made during the investigation. It emphasizes that confessions must be made voluntarily and with a clear understanding of their implications.
  • Section 167 – Procedure When Investigation Cannot Be Completed in Twenty-Four Hours:
  • This section addresses situations where investigations cannot be completed within 24 hours. It outlines the steps that must be taken, including the transmission of case-related entries to a magistrate, the authorization of detention, and the time limits on such detentions.
  • Sub-section (2A) allows for the transmission of case-related entries to an Executive Magistrate when a Judicial Magistrate is unavailable, with provisions for detention.


These sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, are fundamental to the functioning of the criminal justice system in India. They empower law enforcement agencies to prevent and investigate crimes while safeguarding the rights of individuals. Understanding these provisions is crucial for anyone involved in or affected by the Indian legal system. If you need legal advice or assistance related to criminal matters, consult with a qualified legal professional for guidance.

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