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Key differences between IPC and CrPC

 ipc and crpc

As citizens of India, it is important to be well versed with the laws of our country, more so, when it comes to society at large. The criminal laws impact not just individuals but the entire society. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are two of the most important legislation governing crimes in India. Besides these, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is the third legislation under criminal law in India.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC)

The Indian Penal Code is the official criminal code of India, which was drafted way back in 1860. It’s objective is to provide a general penal code for the country. It has 511 sections across 23 chapters, providing the list of crimes along with their definitions and punishments. The IPC has been amended several times and is now supplemented by other Acts. Its jurisdiction extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Read Also – What Are The Different Types of Legislation in India?

Here is the detailed overview of the important provisions of the CrPC –

  • Chapter 1 – Introduction (Section 1 – 5)
  • Chapter 2 – General Explanations (Section 6 – 52A)
  • Chapter 3 – Of punishments (Section 53 -75)
  • Chapter 4 – General Exceptions (Section 76 – 106)
  • Chapter 5 – Of Abetment (Section 107 – 120)
  • Chapter 5A – Of Criminal Conspiracy (Section 120A and 120B)
  • Chapter 6 – Of offences against the State (Section 121 – 130)
  • Chapter 7 – Of offences relating to the army, navy and air force (Section 131 – 140)
  • Chapter 8 – Of offences against the public tranquillity (Section 141 – 160)
  • Chapter 9A – Of offences relating to elections (Section 171A – Section 171I)
  • Chapter 10 – Of contempts of the lawful authority of public servants (Section 172 – 190)
  • Chapter 11 – Of false evidence and offences against public justice (Section 191 – 229)
  • Chapter 12 – Of offences relating to coin and government stamps (Section 230 – 263A)
  • Chapter 13 – Of offences relating To weights and measures (Section 264 – 267)
  • Chapter 14 – Of Offences Affecting The Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency And Morals (Section 268 – 294A)
  • Chapter 15 – Of Offences Relating To Religion (Section 295 – 298)
  • Chapter 16 – Of Offences Affecting The Human Body (Section 299 – 377)
  • Chapter 17 – Of Offences Against Property (Section 378 – 462)
  • Chapter 18 – Of Offences Relating To Documents And To Property Marks (Section 463 – 489E)
  • Chapter 19 – Of The Criminal Breach Of Contracts Of Service (Section 490 – 492)
  • Chapter 20 – Of Offences Relating To Marriage (Section 493 – 498)
  • Chapter 20A – Of Cruelty By Husband Or Relatives Of Husband (Section 498A)
  • Chapter 21 – Of Defamation (Section 499 – 502)
  • Chapter 22 – Of Criminal Intimidation, Insult And Annoyance (Section 503 – 510)
  • Chapter 23 – Of Attempts To Commit Offences (Section 511)

    Read Also – What are the 5 main sources of law in India

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) –

The Code of Criminal Procedure is the main legislation on the procedure for the regulation of criminal law in India. The CrPC details the procedure for the investigation of the crime, presenting criminals before the court of law, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence of the accused, imposition of penalties or punishments, etc. It further lays down the hierarchy of the courts competent to try criminal lawsuits. In descending order it is the High Court at the top followed by Sessions Court, First Class Judicial Magistrate, Second Class Judicial Magistrate, and Executive Magistrate. There is a limit affixed for sentences that these courts can pass against the accused. The Supreme Court is the apex court, and it has the ultimate power. The code was enacted in 1973. At present, the CrPC contains 484 sections cut across 37 chapters. It also has two schedules and 56 forms.

Read Also – Section 467 IPC : Provision and Punishment

Here is the detailed overview of the important provisions of the CrPC –

  • Chapter 1 – Preliminary (Section 1 – 5)
  • Chapter 2 – Constitution of Criminal Courts and Offices (Section 6 – 25)
  • Chapter 3 – Power of Courts (Section 26 – 35)
  • Chapter 4 – Powers of Superior Officers of Police (Section 36 – 40)
  • Chapter 5 – Arrest of Persons (Section 41 – 60)
  • Chapter 6 – Processes to compel Appearance (Section 61 – 90)
  • Chapter 13 – Jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts in inquiries and trials (Section 177 – 189)
  • Chapter 14 – Conditions requisite for initiation of proceeding (Section 190 – 199)
  • Chapter 15 – Complaints to Magistrates (Section 200 – 203)
  • Chapter 16 – Commencement of proceedings before magistrates (Section 204 – 210)
  • Chapter 17 – The Charge (Section 211 – 224)
  • Chapter 18 – Trail before a court of a session (Section 225 -237)
  • Chapter 19 – Trial of warrant-cases by magistrates (Section 238 – 250)
  • Chapter 20 – Trial of summons-cases by magistrates (Section 251 – 259)
  • Chapter 21 – Summary Trials (Section 260 – 265)
  • Chapter 22 – Attendance of persons confined or detained in prisons (Section 266 – 271)
  • Chapter 23 – Evidence in inquiries and trials (Section 272 – 299)
  • Chapter 24 – General provisions as to inquiries and trials (Section 300 – 327)
  • Chapter 25 – Provisions as to accused persons of unsound mind (Section 328 – 339)
  • Chapter 26 – Provisions as to offences affecting the administration of justice ( Section 340 – 352)
  • Chapter 27 – The Judgement (Section 353 – 365)
  • Chapter 28 – Submission of death sentences for confirmation (Section 366 – 371)
  • Chapter 29 – Appeals (Section 372 – 394)
  • Chapter 30 – Reference and Revision (Section 395 – 405)
  • Chapter 31 – Transfer of criminal cases (Section 406 – 412)
  • Chapter 32 – Execution, Suspension, Remission and Commutation of Sentences (Section 413 – 435)
  • Chapter 33 – Provisions as to bail and bonds (Section 436 – 450)
  • Chapter 34 – Disposal of Property (Section 451 – 459)
  • Chapter 35 – Irregular Proceedings (Section 460 – 466)
  • Chapter 36 – Limitation for taking cognizance of certain offences (Section 467 – 473)
  • Chapter 37 – Miscellaneous (Section 474 – 484)

Major Difference between IPC and CrPC –

  1.  The IPC provides a substantive list of all crimes and lays down the punishment for each one of them. For example, Section 378 defines Theft as “Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any moveable property out of the possession of any person without that per­son’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.” The punishment for the offense of theft is spelled out under Section 379 in the following words, “Whoever commits theft shall be pun­ished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.” On the other hand, CrPC is a procedural law, and it lays down the ways or methods to be followed in a criminal case. So if a person is charged with ‘theft’, it is the CrPC that provides further details as to how the investigation would be carried out, how evidence will be collected, etc. So CrPC concerns itself with the procedural aspect of the crime.
  2. The primary purpose of IPC is to provide a general penal code for India which prescribes punishments to wrong-doers. The primary goal of CrPC is to consolidate the criminal law in the country.
  3. The Indian Penal Code is a substantive law whereas, the Code of Criminal Procedure is procedural law.

    Read Also – Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

CONCLUSION –

The Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act are the three primary pieces of legislation governing criminal law in India. They continue to play an important role in the court of law for the effective administration of justice. Besides, there is other legislation such as the Prohibition of Child Trafficking Act, the Juvenile Justice Act, which supplements the three main legislation. Both the IPC and the CrPC are pan-India in nature and extend to the whole of the State. Jammu and Kashmir are beyond their jurisdiction. IPC is the only substantive law here, and the Indian Evidence Act and the CrPC are the procedural laws.

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by mayank barman

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