What is NCR in Police Station?

Law
08-Apr-2024
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A non-cognizable report (NCR ) is prepared by the police authorities when they receive information about a non-cognizable offence, typically involving minor offenses such as Petty theft, Simple assault, Verbal harassment . In such cases, the police can only take action after obtaining permission from a Magistrate.

Non-cognizable offenses typically affect one person or a small number of people; authorities need a valid arrest warrant to apprehend the criminal in question. Concerning the report of non-cognizable offenses, this article seeks to provide further details and instances.

In general, non-cognizable offenses are less serious crimes like simple assault, slander, or minor thefts. The Indian Penal Code, of 1860 lists these offenses under provisions like 499 (defamation) and 323 (voluntarily causing suffering).

With the report filed in the non-cognizable case, Section 155 of the code specified the procedure that the police officer must follow. The process stated therein requires the police officer to refer the person to the magistrate following report submission. In addition, Article 155(2) stated that the magistrate's consent must exist before any investigation or arrest could be made. Even after the magistrate's order, no arrests could be made—only an inquiry could begin.

How is NCR different from FIR (First Information Report)?

The difference between a FIR and an NCR is something that must know about. As a result, victims may find it puzzling when the police occasionally file NCRs for stolen goods. An NCR is referred to as a "Non-Cognizable Report," in contrast to an FIR, which expressly mentions a "First Investigation Report" along with the appropriate section of the IPC.

The degree of seriousness and the police's ability to take action are the primary distinctions between a First Information Report (FIR) and a Non-Cognizable (NC) complaint Report. FIRs are for major offenses where the police can act immediately, including arresting without a warrant, whereas NCRs are for lesser offenses where the police cannot arrest without a warrant.

Another difference between NCR and FIR is in terms of documentation. Offenses that do not qualify for recognition undergo entry into the Non-Cognizable Register, and the complainant receives an NCR as a copy of the complaint. Since these allegations are usually not as serious, further action requires the intervention of a magistrate. Whereas, the filing of FIRs is associated with crimes that are considered cognizable and carries greater significance. They function as an official document that starts the police inquiry and gets entered into the FIR register.

It's crucial to remember that depending on the rules and laws of other nations or legal systems, the differences between an NCR complaint and an FIR may change.

Instances where NCR is filed

An NCR is filed when someone commits a less serious offense. Its jurisdiction includes offenses like defamation, deception, and nuisance, which often affect a single person. Consequently, these offenses don't represent a significant risk to society. Some of such instances are:

  • For instance, "A" writes in a magazine that "B," a certain politician, engaged in bribery. However, an inquiry showed his assertions to be untrue. In this case, "A" may be accountable for spreading false information about "B" among socially responsible people. Here's an illustration of libel.
  • Another instance is when "A" plays Loud music in his house late at night, upsetting the quiet and bothering other people in the neighborhood. This can impair attention, and cause sleep disturbances. Everyone in the surrounding area finds it uncomfortable, thus this would be seen as a public nuisance.
  • Another example of this is assuming that A sells B a piece of real estate with the understanding that it is free of debts and other legal issues. B purchases the property and pays the agreed-upon money, having faith in A's word. But eventually, B finds out that A never mentioned that there is a lawsuit filed against the property for unpaid taxes. In this case, A sold the property under pretenses, which is an act of cheating, a non-cognizable offense.
     

Types of offenses covered under NCR?

The IPC, 1860 lists several non-cognizable offenses. Here are a few of these:

Defamation

Section 499 of the IPC, 1860 defines the offense of defamation. It describes any statement, whether written or spoken, intended to harm a person's reputation among rational individuals in society. Any remarks of this nature have to be directed particularly at the mentioned person and must not degrade their moral or intellectual qualities in any manner. Libel (written defamation), slander (oral defamation), and innuendo (indirect defamation) are only a few examples of the several forms of defamation.

Cheating

Anybody who engages in cheating or dishonestly persuades someone to give, destroy, or alter any property is subject to punishment under Section 420 of the IPC. For an offense regarded as cheating, one must provide evidence of the cheater's purpose. However, this does not apply to any other areas where cheating might occur; rather, it is only relevant to property issues.

Public annoyance

Any act or omission that harms or annoys any occupant of a property serves as a public nuisance under Section 268 of the IPC. Its penalty is set out in Section 290, which states that the offense is not cognizable. An act like this would probably have an effect on society as a whole, infringing on citizens' fundamental rights and certain basic rights. On the other hand, any action that annoys the public is invalid because it took place for a person's convenience or benefit.

Criminal assault

According to Section 351 of the IPC, an attack is any act or gesture that causes someone to feel afraid or anxious that they may be the target of unlawful force. It is important to utilize thought-provoking language. An assault won't occur from the simple use of everyday language without intention. As said in this section, it is a non-cognizable offense, and the injury or threat that the gesture intends to inflict must be imminent and readily apparent.

Who and Where NCR Can Be Filed?

Under subsection (2) of Section 155 of the Cr. P.C., a police officer, or any complainant may request an investigation into a non-cognizable offense from the magistrate. Upon learning of a non-cognizable offense, usually involving minor offenses, the police prepare a non-cognizable report. Any police station may receive them, but the police can only take action with a magistrate's consent.

How to file an NCR in a police station?

In India, the following are the steps involved in filing a Non-Cognizable (NC) complaint report at a Police Station:

  • Go to the police station responsible for the area where the non-cognizable offense occurred.
  • To report the NC complaint, go to the duty officer or the front desk.
  • Describe the incident's nature and give a thorough summary of what happened. Provide relevant information such as the date, time, and place as well as any witnesses or supporting documentation you may have.
  • A police officer will document the information in a Non-Cognizable Registered, which remains at the police station when someone approaches them to report a non-cognizable violation. The police will then send you a Non-Cognizable Report (NCR). This confirms the filing of your complaint is under the non-cognizable crime category. You must keep a copy of the NCR for your records.

Remember that there may be minor variations in the particular protocols and prerequisites for filing a National Company (NC) complaint among various Indian states or jurisdictions. It is best to speak with regional officials or lawyers for accurate information and advice relevant to your area.

How do Police Handle NCR?

Upon getting a Non-cognizable report, the police cannot start an investigation or take the accused into custody right away. Still, they can give you counsel or direction on other legal options. If it is thought essential, they could recommend going to the concerned magistrate to have the complaint upgraded to a cognizable offense.

According to Section 159, the Magistrate has the power to determine whether the inquiry should continue and can make orders in that regard. You can bring the NC complaint to the attention of the relevant magistrate if you choose to take the case further. After examining the complaint, the magistrate will decide whether to make it a cognizable offense.

The magistrate may choose to pursue further legal options or order the police to investigate the situation. Since an accused person cannot be arrested without a warrant, they usually get bail for non-cognizable offenses. Nonetheless, if required, the court may set specific restrictions on bail.

Also, it is important to remember that, in comparison to cognizable offenses, non-cognizable offenses typically carry lighter penalties. Non-cognizable offenses carry fines, penalties, or imprisonment for a comparatively shorter time than more serious offenses. The associated sections of the applicable laws specify the particular penalties or punishments for non-cognizable offenses.