What is meant by a
cognizable offence? Non-cognizable offence? Can an FIR only be
registered for a criminal/ cognizable case? Is every cognizable case
a criminal case?
cognizable offence is a case where the Police can arrest without a
warrant. All cognizable cases involve criminal offences. Murder,
Robbery, Theft, Rioting, Counterfeiting etc. are some examples of
Non-cognizable offences are those criminal
infractions, which are relatively less serious. Examples of
non-cognizable offences include Public Nuisance, Causing Simple
Hurt, Assault, Mischief etc.
The Police cannot register criminal cases or
cause arrests with regard to non-cognizable offences. In all such
cases, the Police have to take permission from a magistrate for
registration of a criminal case.
Is there a time frame for an FIR to be
registered once the complaint is given?
On receipt of a
complaint disclosing a cognizable offence, the Police should draw up
an FIR forthwith.
Who is the officer on duty? If the officer on
duty is not present, what are the alternatives to get the paperwork
done (complaint, FIR)?
most Police officer available in the Police Station at any point of
time, (SHO or his subordinate above the rank of a constable) is the
officer-in-charge, or the duty officer. If the SHO / Inspector is
not present, a Sub-Inspector or Head Constable will be the
officer-in-charge, who will receive complaint or lodge
What about jurisdiction? Can a crime committed
in certain area only be filed that area's station?
can be lodged in any Police Station. After registration of the FIR,
the Police Station registering the complaint can transfer the FIR to
the jurisdictional Police Station / AWPS for
Can I have a receipt for my
FIRs are given free of cost. FIR copy is given immediately after
registration of a case. Where a case has not been registered, you
are entitled to an acknowledgement from the Police Station for your
complaint. This acknowledgement will carry a CSR
What is the next step after a complaint is
complaint indicates a cognizable offence, an FIR should be
registered by the officer-on-duty of the Police Station and
investigation taken up; if the facts do not prima facie indicate
commission of a cognizable offence, a complaint should be registered
in the CSR (Community Service Register) and an enquiry taken
What is 161? 162? 173?
provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code:-
Sec.161 and 162 Cr.P.C.
deal with recording of statements of witnesses by the Police. The
statements of the witnesses are not to be signed.
Sec.173 Cr.P.C. states
that after completion of investigation, the investigation officer
shall forward a Police report to the jurisdictional magistrate
giving the result of the investigation and further action to be
What is a charge sheet? Is there a time frame
for a charge sheet to be framed?
Police officer gives a Police report under section 173 Cr.P.C.
recommending prosecution, it is called a charge sheet. After
questioning the accused and hearing the arguments, the magistrate
frames charges on the accused for which he is
What is compoundable? Non
offences, the parties involved can effect a compromise while the
case is under trial in the court. This is called 'compounding',
further action in trial is discontinued.
Cases in which this is
permissible are called compoundable offences. Examples of such
offences are Hurt, Wrongful Confinement, Assault, Molestation,
Cheating, Adultery etc.
Who is a magistrate?
context of criminal matters, a magistrate is a judge empowered to
try certain classes of offences in his jurisdiction. He can also
issue warrants, order searches, grant or deny bail etc. An execute
magistrate is a government servant of the revenue department who
exercises powers of inquest, enquiry into allegations against Police
and cases involving security proceedings.
My friend has borrowed a sum of Rs.10,000 from
me after executing a promissory note. He has not returned the loan.
The Police are refusing to arrest him when I complained about this.
What can I do?
This is a
simple civil transaction. The Police will not be able to initiate
any criminal action. You will have to file a civil suit in a civil
court for recovering the loan.
My brother was slapped by a neighbour. The
Police have not arrested the neighbour. What is the
simple hurt is a non-cognizable offence. Police cannot register a
First Information Report on a non-cognizable offence nor can they
make an arrest.
|What do you mean..."It was not a robbery?"
I was robbed of a music system. It was stolen
from our house when we were away. The Inspector said it is not a
involves use of violence against a victim in the course of comitting
Burglary involves house-breaking and theft. If a thief
steals some articles from a house after breaking the lock or by
opening the lock by using a false key or by scaling over the wall,
etc., he is guilty of burglary.
Dacoity is robbery by a gang of
five or more persons.
Investigation in a burglary
If there is a burglary in my house, what steps
will the police take?
registration of a case, the Investigating Officer will visit the
scene of crime. Depending upon the availability of clues, he may be
assisted by 1. a Finger Print Expert to look for finger prints.
2. a Police tracker dog 3.
a Scientific Expert to help in collection of scientific
|Why did they take my finger prints?
There was a burglary in our house. The Police
took finger prints of all the inmates of the house. Does this mean
they suspect us?
necessarily. At the scene, a lot of finger prints may be found -
some belonging to those of the inmates and some belonging to the
criminal. The finger prints of the inmates will be taken to
eliminate their prints and identify any prints of strangers, which
may be those of the criminal.
|Polishing of gold jewels
A stranger came home offering to clean and
polish gold jewels. Is it safe to entrust jewellery to
people use some kind of liquid/acid in which some of the gold will
dissolve. Your jewels may glitter after the wash but you would have
lost some of the precious metal.
|Penny wise Pound foolish
What is theft by diversion of
This is a
technique adopted by some gangs of thieves. When a customer is
waiting at a bank counter, some one drops some coins and the
innocent customer's attention is drawn to the scattered coins on the
floor. When he is picking up the petty change, the criminals may
take his bundle of currency on the bank counter.
technique adopted by the gang is to squirt some substance on the
dress of a passerby and draw his attention to the 'stain' on the
shirt. A gang member may even pointout a convenient place nearby
where the stain can be washed away. When the victim puts down his
bag or suitcase and is engaged in cleaning up the stain, the bag or
suitcase will vanish. Keeping up with the times, this gang has now
taken to snatching laptops using the same
|Double your wealth (!?)
Someone promised a friend of mine that he can
double the amount of currency notes given to him. Is he likely to
give counterfeit currency notes?
will be lucky if he gets counterfeit currency notes. More likely, he
will get a bundle of white paper cut to the size of currency notes
and concealed between layers of genuine notes. If your friend is
tempted by the offer of doubling of currency, he will end up losing
his hard-earned money. If any one offers to double your currency,
report to the Police.
|Pay Rs.1,000/- Get goods worth Rs.2,000/-(!?)
A new shop has appeared in our neighbourhood.
The shopkeeper has advertised that if you pay Rs.1,000, you will get
goods worth Rs.2,000 after one month. Some of my neighbours have
paid money and got goods worth double the value after one month. Is
it safe to invest in this?
than not, you will get cheated. Some of the initial customers may
get double the value but this is only a ploy to win the confidence
of the public. Once the shopkeeper makes enough money, he will
vanish leaving many of the investors in the
FAQs REGARDING CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN
Is there a need for the child to be present in
the station when the offender is being questioned?
fact, the child need not be brought to the Police station at
Can the child's statement be recorded by a
magistrate at the time of filing the complaint/FIR and the child
never troubled again?
are no such special provisions. The child, as per existing law, has
to appear in the court for giving testimony at the time of trial.
(except in the offences under JJ Act, where the child victim
testifies before the Juvenile Justice
Is there a procedure for
taking photographs? Who takes it (NGO or Police)
No specific procedure is laid
In case of child victims, is it mandatory that
the child himself/ herself has to lodge a complaint in the Police
offence can be reported either in writing (personally or through
post) or by narrating orally to officer in-charge of Police station
or even through telephone. Any person having information regarding
the offence can report it.
When a victimised child comes to a Police
station, what are the safeguards to minimise his
Police station, officers designated as the 'Juvenile or the Child
Welfare Officer' are available. They are expected to handle the
matters relating to children in distress as well as juveniles. They
work in association with approved NGOs. This is to ensure that the
child is not insensitively handled by untrained uniformed
Can a child kept in the Police station during
No. A child
offender or child victim cannot be kept in a Police station. As an
immediate measure, the care of the child victim should be entrusted
to approved NGOs/ Childline volunteers. A child offender should be
produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, as soon as
Can a child be taken to the Police station for
No. A child
witness can be examined by the Police only at his / her
What is to be done when a juvenile offender is
apprehended by the Police?
As soon as
a Juvenile in conflict with law is apprehended by Police he / she
shall be placed under the charge of the Juvenile Police Unit created
for the purpose, or the designated Police officer, who shall
immediately report the matter to a member of the Juvenile Justice
Board. Further action will be taken on the directions of the
Officer/ In-charge of Police station, after arrest of a
Juvenile shall inform the parents or guardians of the Juvenile and
direct them to be present at the board.
What is the role of the designated Police
officer of a Police station?
designated Police officer the Police station, besides dealing with
the cases involving Juveniles, is also the Nodal officer for
attending the calls from 'Child Helpline' and for investigating
cases relating to child abuse. It is the duty of the SHOs to ensure
that the designated officers personally attend cases involving child
When an abandoned child seen, what steps shall be taken by
the public to rescue and what are the legal procedures
When an abandoned child is seen by the public, immediately
intimate to the nearest police station. Once handed over to the
nearest Police station, case will be registered under
Children’s Act and the
child will be produced before the court. Through court orders, the
abandoned child will be handed over to the children home, namely, or
else , intimate the child help line or women help line which will
rescue the child and legal procedures will be followed.
Child help line Phone No.
: 1098 ( Toll free
Women Help line Phone No. : 1091 ( Toll free )
following are the homes available in
Government special home for boys and girls = 2 homes
children home for boys and girls – 10 homes
Chengalpet, Thattaparai, Ranipet, Thanjavur, Chennai – 13,
Mallipudur, Panchapalli, Erode, Vilupuram and Karaikudi.
Children home for boys and girls run by NGOs – 20 homes
Chennai –21, Chennai – 130, Chennai –08, Chennai – 93,
Chennai – 73, Chennai –17, Gandhigram, Chennai –107, Coimbatore,
Darmapuri, Chennai –39, Salem, Madurai, Thiruvallur, Thirvannamali,
Virudunagar, Myladudurai, Dindukal, Tutucorin, Chennai –10 ( 2
- institutions )
What are the
rehabilitation measures for the victimized girls and women in
Such victimized women are provided with care treatment
rehabilitation and self employment training at vigilance or
protective homes. Even at “Abaya Nilayam” the same is provided.
Through social welfare deparment the victimized women or girls can
apply for the government aid in the self employment scheme were
training are given for job opportunities as well as loans provided
by the government for self employment.
There are six vigilance / Potective homes situated in the
following place : Chennai –2 , madurai –1 , Trichy –1, Salem –1, Coimbatore –1
When insane persons are found wandering, What are the
legal procedures to be followed?
Intimation to be given to the nearest Police station. Police
upon verification register case under Lunatic Act. and produce
before the court. Once produced before the court, orders will be
issued for the medical testing and admission in the Kilpauk Mental
Hospital or Baniyan Or else, information can be given to the Baniyan
and the Baniyan upon verification admit the insane person.
Women Help line phone No. – 1091 ( Toll free )
What are the rehabilitation measures for the alcoholic and
drug addicts ?
Rehabilitation treatment is given at T.T.Krishnamachari
Hospital, 4th Main Road, Indiranagar, Chennai.