The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: Composition & Important Sections

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: Composition & Important Sections

The Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC) is a procedural law enacted in 1973 and adopted by the Republic of India on 1st April 1974. This code provides a mechanism for conducting trials of criminal cases in court. 

This code explains the standard procedures that should be carried out in a trial starting from the complaint, investigation, inquiry, arrest, production in the court, conviction, and any plea against the orders.

The main objective of the code is to provide fair trials to the victim as well as the accused without hampering their rights. This code follows the law of natural justice that is against any bias or partiality.

One of the features of the CrPC is to prevent delay in the investigation process of a crime. It ensures the attendance of all the persons concerned with a trial by means of warrants, summons, proclamations, etc. It also directs to the achievement of a fair adjudication process by providing criteria for the admissibility of evidence.

The code explains the organization of criminal courts in India, their roles, and their powers in a trial. It also describes the duty and power of police and other investigating authorities in the investigation and trial processes.

The Code of Criminal Procedure is applicable all over India and administers criminal laws in India. It is an important code that gives procedures to ensure fair trial conduct for determining a person’s guilt or innocence. The code has special mentions for juvenile criminals and also conducts trials in cases that include public nuisance, prevention of offenses, and maintenance of parents, wives, and children.

Since its commencement, the CrPC has undergone around 18 amendments.

Composition of Code of Criminal Procedure

The code is composed of 37 chapters with 484 sections.

  • Chapter I- Preliminary (Section 1-5)

This chapter introduces the CrPC that includes short titles, definitions, and trials for the offenses defined in Indian Penal Code.

  • Chapter II- Constitution of Criminal Courts and offices (Section 6-25)

This chapter defines the different types of courts in India and also gives the hierarchy of the judges of criminal courts.

  • Chapter III- Power of Courts (Section 26-35)

This chapter explains the powers of judges at each hierarchical level. It also gives information about jurisdiction in juvenile cases.

  • Chapter IV- Powers of Superior Officers of Police (Section 36-40)

It describes the powers of the police officials and magistrates.

  • Chapter V- Arrest of Persons (Section 41-60A)

Sections giving directions to arrest a person in different types of criminal cases depending on the issue of a warrant or not are included. It also explains the procedures for the arrest of a person by different authorities and who is exempted from the arrest.

  • Chapter VI- Processes to Compel Appearance (Section 61-90)

This chapter gives the orders of compelling a person to appear in court. Types of summons, warrants, proclamations, and attachments are defined and how they are served is also mentioned here.

  • Chapter VII- Processes to Compel the production of things (Section 91-105)

This chapter describes the processes that compel to produce things in courts. It includes summons, search warrants, and other provisions related to the search.

  • Chapter VII(A)- Reciprocal arrangements for assistance in some issues and procedure for attachment and forfeiture (Section 105A-105L)

This chapter explains the procedures related to the identification and forfeiture of any unlawfully acquired property.

  • Chapter VIII- Security for keeping the peace and for good behavior (Section 106-124)

This chapter describes the securities and powers for maintaining peace and good behavior.

  • Chapter IX- Order for maintenance of wives, children, and parents (Section 125-128)

This chapter gives orders regarding the proper maintenance of wives, children, and parents.

  • Chapter X- Maintenance of Public order and tranquillity (Section 129-148)

This chapter includes the provisions related to procedures to combat unlawful assemblies, public nuisance, disputes, etc. It also ensures the power to issue orders in urgent public nuisance.

  • Chapter XI- Preventive action of the Police (Section 149-153)

This chapter explains the duties of the police to prevent cognizable offenses.

  • Chapter XII- Information to the Police and their Powers to Investigate (Section 154-176)

This chapter directs the police about the procedures to conduct an investigation in any criminal case. It includes information about the cognizable and non-cognizable offenses and the direction of investigation in each case.

  • Chapter XIII- Jurisdiction of the criminal courts in inquiries and trials (Section 177-189)

This chapter explains the procedures of the jurisdiction in inquiries and trials.

  • Chapter XIV- Conditions requisite for Initiation of Proceedings (Section 190-199)

This chapter describes the requirements essential for the initiation of proceedings in the court. 

  • Chapter XV- Complaints to Magistrates (Section 200-203)

This chapter explains the complaints registered to the magistrate.

  • Chapter XVI – Commencement of proceedings before Magistrates (Section 204-210)

The procedures for carrying out proceedings in front of a magistrate are explained in this chapter.

  • Chapter XVII- The Charge (Section 211-224)

This chapter describes the form of charges for a particular offense and common charges i.e. separate charges for distinct offenses.

  • Chapter XVIII- Trial before a Court of Session (Section 225-237)

This chapter explains the procedure of trials before session court including trials by public prosecutors, conviction on a plea of guilty, etc.

  • Chapter XIX- Trial of Warrant cases by Magistrates (Section 238-250)

This chapter includes the provisions regarding the trials of warrant cases that are instituted on a police report or are instituted otherwise than on a police report. It also involves the power of the court to convert summon cases to warrant cases.

  • Chapter XX- Trial of Summon case by Magistrates (Section 251-259)

This chapter involves the sections related to trials in summoning cases.

  • Chapter XXI- Summary trials (Section 260-265)

This chapter is dedicated to the summary trials which include the powers and procedures to conduct trials by the magistrate.

  • Chapter XXI(A)- Plea bargaining (Section 265A-265L)

The chapter explains about the application of plea bargaining, guidelines for mutually satisfactory disposition, disposal of cases, etc.

  • Chapter XXII- Attendance of persons confined or detained in prisons (Section 266-271)

This chapter defines the power to require the attendance of prisoners, prisoners to be brought to court in custody, etc.

  • Chapter XXIII- Evidence in inquiries and trials (Section 272-299)

This chapter explains the mode of taking/recording evidence in court. It also directs the commission for the examination of witnesses.

  • Chapter XXIV- General provisions as to inquiries and trials (Section 300-327)

General provisions of inquiry and trials are described in this chapter that includes the appearance of a public prosecutor, the right to defense, the power to postpone or adjourn proceedings, the power of the magistrate to order a person to give specimen signatures or handwriting, power to examine the accused, etc.

  • Chapter XXV- Provisions as to accused persons of unsound mind (Section 328-339)

This chapter explains the procedures of trials to be conducted in case of an accused with an unsound mind.

  • Chapter XXVI- Provisions as to offenses affecting the administration of justice (Section 340-352)

Provisions such as appeal, power to order cost, discharge of offender on submitting apology, etc.

  • Chapter XXVII- The Judgement (Section 353-365)

This chapter explains the judgments given by the judges.

  • Chapter XXVIII- Submission of Death Sentences for Confirmation (Section 366-371)

This chapter relates to the submission of death sentences for confirmation in high courts by the session courts.

  • Chapter XXIX- Appeals (Section 372-394)

This chapter explains the conditions under which the appeals are needed to be accepted or rejected.

  • Chapter XXX- Reference and Revision (Section 395-405)

This chapter includes the provisions related to the references and revisions of the trials conducted in the court. 

  • Chapter XXXI- Transfer of Criminal Cases (Section 406-412)

This chapter explains the powers of different courts to transfer cases and appeals.

  • Chapter XXXII- Execution, suspension, remission, and communication of sentences (Section 413-435)

The chapter involved the sections related to the execution, suspension, or remission of orders of death sentence, imprisonment, or fine.

  • Chapter XXXIII- Provisions as to bail and bonds (Section 436-450)

This chapter describes the cases in which bail can be issued or not.

  • Chapter XXXIV- Disposal of Property (Section 451-459)
  • Chapter XXXV- Irregular proceedings (Section 460-466)

This chapter explains the irregularities in proceedings including proceedings in the wrong place; errors in or absence of or omission to frame charges, etc.

  • Chapter XXXVI- Limitation for taking cognizance of certain offenses (Section 467-473)

This chapter describes the limitations of taking cognizance of certain cases such as the exclusion of the date or time on which court is closed; extension of the period of limitation in certain cases, etc.

  • Chapter XXXVII- Miscellaneous (Section 474-484)

This chapter is dedicated to the powers of the High Court for trials and frame rules, etc.

Important Sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure

Section 2(a)Bailable Offence
Section 2(c)Cognizable offenses
Section 2(I)Non-Cognizable offenses
Section 2 (w)Summon Cases
Section 2(x)Warrant Cases
Section 144Power to issue orders in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger
Section 154Information in Cognizable offenses
Section 155Information as to non-cognizable offenses
Section 156Police Officer’s power to investigate Cognizable offense
Section 157Procedure for investigation
Section 158 Report how submitted
Section 159Power to hold an investigation
Section 160Police officer’s power to require the attendance of witnesses
Section 161Examination of witnesses by police
Section 162Statements to police not to be signed
Section 172Diary of proceedings in investigation
Section 173Report of a police officer on completion of an investigation
Section 174Police to enquire and report on suicide etc.
Section 175Power to summon persons
Section 176Inquiry by Magistrate into the cause of death
Section 291Deposition of a medical witness
Section 291AIdentification report of the magistrate
Section 292Evidence of officers of the mint
Section 293Reports of certain Government scientific experts
Section 384Discharge of offender on submission of apology
Section 432Power to suspend or remit sentences


The Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the fair trial of every person without any bias by the criminal courts. It is applicable to both victims and accused for their unbiased trials. It states that a person is not considered accused until proven in court.

It also gives the right to the accused to be represented by his council and he can ask to cross-examine the witnesses of the opposite party. The Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Penal Code together lay a strong foundation for the Criminal Justice System of India.

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