Any oral or written allegation (generally made to the Magistrate) with a view to his taking action under the Code that somebody has committed offence.


It includes proceedings under the Code for collection of evidence and can never be judicial.


It includes every inquiry made by Court and relates to all the proceedings held by the Court. It may be judicial or non-judicial and may include asking questions and studying evidences.


It is conclusion of an inquiry or investigation. It is of judicial nature and results in either conviction or acquittal.


A summon is a court order to an individual to appear in court at a specified time and place. A summon may be issued in both criminal and in civil cases. Every summon shall be served by a police officer, or by an officer of the court issuing it or any other public servant. The summon shall if practical, be served personally on the person summoned, by delivering or tendering to him one of the duplicates of the summons. Every person on whom a summon is served shall sign a receipt on the back of the other duplicate.


A person may be arrested for committing an alleged offence. The right to liberty as envisaged by the constitution is safeguarded by various procedures to be followed by the Police.

Arrest without Warrant

Any police officer may without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person

(i) Who has been concerned in any cognizable offence like murder, causing hurt, kidnapping etc. , or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists, of his having been so concerned; or

(ii) Who has in his possession without lawful excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie on such person, any implement of house-breaking, or

(iii) Who has been proclaimed as an offender either under this Code or by order of the State Government; or Who is in whose possession anything is found which may reasonably be suspected to be stolen property and who may reasonably be suspected of having committed an offence with reference to such thing; or

(iv) Who obstructs a police officer while in the execution of his duty, or who has escaped, or attempts to escape, from lawful custody; or

(v) Who is reasonably suspected of being a deserter from any of the Armed Forces of the Union; or

(vi) Who has been concerned in, or against whom reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists, of his having been concerned in, any act committed at any placeĀ· out of India which if committed in India, would have been punishable as an offence, an for which he is, under any law relating to extradition, or otherwise liable to be apprehended or detained in custody in India; or

(vii) Who, being a released convict, commits a breach of any rule, made under sub-section (5) of section 365; or

(viii) For whose arrest any requisition, whether written or oral, has been received from another police officer, provided that the requisition specifies the person to be arrested and the offence or other cause for which the arrest is to be made and it appears there from that the person might lawfully be arrested without a warrant by the officer who issued the requisition.


An act of commission, or omission, against the law, tending to prejudice of the community, for which punishment may be inflected as the result of judicial proceedings taken in the name of the State.

Acquittal Order

It is an judicial decision, resulting due to no complaint or withdrawal of a complaint. The person once acquitted cannot be arrested again on the basis of retrials on the same fact and for the same offence.

Discharge Order

It means no prima facie evidence against the accused to suggest further inquiry for the charge, but fresh trial due to new fact or evidence can effect re-arrest of the accused. However, the discharge order does not establish anything towards guilt of the accused.

First Information Report (FIR)

FIR is recorded at the time it is made and is one of the mode in hands of the aggrieved person to put criminal law in motion. All information relating to the offence, is logged in the register by the officer and be read over to the informant and signed by the informant. FIR may not contain all details pertaining to the case but is the first information of an incidence or operation in the point of time which reaches the competent authority to investigate the case. A complaint may become a First Information Report but a First Information Report cannot become complaint. It has a considerable value in trials.


It means any action or inaction made punishable by the law during its validity and includes any act in respect of which a complaint may be made.

Cognizable offence is an offence for which the arrest can be made without warrant. As per First Schedule the minimum punishment for cognizable office is imprisonment for 3 years or more. For non-cognizable offence police officer cannot take cognizance without permission or order from the magistrate.

Compoundable Offence

These are private offences and law allows compromise, and it may result in acquittal of the accused.

Non compoundable Offence

These are public offences, do not allow compromise and are tried according to the law.


It is a clear and precise notice describing the nature of the accusation, allegation of facts constituting the offence, for which the accused is called upon to meet in the course of trial.