IPC Section 156: Understanding Its Role in Criminal Justice

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the primary criminal code in India, providing guidelines and laws related to various offenses. Among its many sections, IPC Section 156 holds significant importance in the realm of criminal justice. This article aims to delve into IPC Section 156, shedding light on its provisions, implications, and the role it plays in ensuring justice and maintaining law and order. So, let’s explore this section and understand its significance.

In any functioning legal system, maintaining law and order is crucial. IPC Section 156 is an essential tool that empowers law enforcement agencies to investigate and take necessary action against criminal offenses. By providing guidelines for filing a First Information Report (FIR) and initiating investigations, this section ensures the smooth functioning of the criminal justice system.

IPC Section 156: Understanding Its Role in Criminal Justice
IPC Section 156: Understanding Its Role in Criminal Justice

Understanding IPC Section 156

IPC Section 156 deals with the procedure for investigating cognizable offenses. A cognizable offense refers to a serious crime where the police have the authority to make an arrest without a warrant. This section establishes the legal framework for the process to be followed once a cognizable offense is reported.

Filing a First Information Report (FIR)

When a cognizable offense takes place, the first step is to file an FIR with the police station having jurisdiction over the area. The informant, who can be the victim, witness, or any other person having knowledge of the offense, approaches the police and provides the necessary details. The FIR acts as the formal complaint and sets the investigation process in motion.

Investigation by Police

Upon receiving the FIR, the police initiate an investigation. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, collect relevant documents, and undertake all necessary steps to ascertain the truth behind the offense. IPC Section 156 empowers the police to take prompt and effective action to prevent the commission of further crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Role of Magistrate

After the police complete the investigation, they submit their findings and evidence to the Magistrate. The Magistrate examines the report and decides whether there is enough evidence to proceed with the case. If deemed necessary, the Magistrate can issue summons, warrants, or take other appropriate actions, ensuring a fair trial.

Importance of IPC Section 156

IPC Section 156 plays a vital role in maintaining law and order by ensuring prompt investigation and action against criminal offenses. It empowers the police to take immediate steps to prevent the escalation of crimes and bring the offenders to justice. This section acts as a deterrent and provides reassurance to the public that their grievances will be addressed by the legal system.

Safeguarding Justice

IPC Section 156 serves as a safeguard for justice by establishing a structured mechanism for investigating crimes. It ensures that no crime goes unnoticed or unaddressed. By providing a legal framework, this section instills trust in the criminal justice system and encourages citizens to report offenses without fear.

Criticisms and Controversies

Like any legal provision, IPC Section 156 is not immune to criticisms and controversies. Some argue that the discretionary powers given to the police and Magistrate can be misused, leading to the harassment of innocent individuals. However, it is essential to strike a balance between empowering law enforcement agencies and safeguarding individual rights.

Recent Amendments

Over time, amendments have been made to the Indian Penal Code to address the evolving needs of society. While IPC Section 156 has remained relatively unchanged, modifications in related sections have aimed to strengthen the investigation process and protect the rights of the accused.

IPC India Section In English
IPC India Section In English
IPC Section Important List is here
PC Section 150
PC Section 151
PC Section 152
PC Section 153
PC Section 154


IPC Section 156 serves as a cornerstone of the Indian criminal justice system. By providing a clear procedure for investigating cognizable offenses, it ensures that no crime goes unnoticed and that the perpetrators are brought to justice. This section plays a vital role in maintaining law and order and upholding the principles of justice and fairness.

Ragini Pathak is an individual passionate about empowering others through IPCind.com. Her website offers valuable information about IPC sections in India, providing insights into the procedure, benefits, risks, and recovery. With dedication and accuracy, Ragini strives to support expectant mothers, families, and healthcare professionals seeking knowledge in this field.


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