Difference between IPC and CrPC

Difference between IPC and CrPC

In this article will discuss the major difference between IPC and CrPC.

The Indian Penal Code

The formal code that addresses the substantive facets of criminal law is the Indian Penal Code. During the British Raj, in the year 1860, it went into effect. Since then, the Code has undergone numerous revisions and has been enhanced by additional penal laws. IPC is broken down into 511 sections and 23 chapters. The IPC’s main goal is to give India a comprehensive penal law. It outlines the offense, such as stealing (Section 375), and lists the associated penalties, such as Section 379.

Criminal Procedure Code

The primary piece of legislation governing the administration of substantive criminal law is the Code of Criminal Procedure, or CrPC (as given under IPC and other criminal provisions). The CrPC was passed in 1973 and went into effect on April 1 of that same year. It outlines the processes or machinery that must be followed for arrest and detention, crime scene investigation, provisions for bail, maintenance payments to be made to children, wives, or parents, judges at various levels of courts, etc. It has 484 Sections, 37 Chapters, 2 Schedules, and 56 Forms in all.

Key Distinctions Between the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) differ in the following ways:

  • The basic criminal code that is applied throughout the nation and takes into account all forms of criminal activity and renders justice for them is the Indian Penal Code, or IPC. Contrarily, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), also referred to as the law that governs criminal law procedure in India, specifies the steps that must be taken throughout a criminal lawsuit.
  • The Criminal Procedure Code is a sort of procedural law, whereas the Indian Penal Code is a type of substantive law.
  • The Indian Penal Law’s main goal is to give the nation a general penal code so that wrongdoers can be punished. On the other hand, the Criminal Procedure Code’s primary goal is to harmonize the nation’s criminal laws.
  • The IPC outlines all potential offences as well as their penalties. On the other hand, the litigation process is governed by CrPC.

Substantive law is the Indian Penal Code. A law’s substantive provisions specify a person’s civil rights and obligations as well as their criminal offences and associated penalties. The law that specifies criminal offences as well as their penalties or punishments, or both, is the Indian Penal Code. It describes all potential offences and the associated penalties. The sanctions under this code are broken down into five main categories: death, life in prison, general prison time, forfeiture of property, and fine.

The Code of Criminal Procedure, on the other hand, is procedural law. Legislation that establishes a set of processes for the enforcement of substantive law is known as procedural law. The statute that specifies the general process that must be followed by the courts in a criminal case is the Criminal Procedure Code. It is concerned with the set of regulations that govern the sequence of events that occur during a criminal offence. It attempts to put in place the essential machinery for crimes to be investigated, criminals to be apprehended, criminals to be brought before the courts, evidence to be gathered, criminals to be punished or given penalties, the complete bail process, etc.

Regardless of the distinctions between the two codes, it is impossible for one to be applied without the other. While the IPC outlines criminal acts and associated penalties, the CrPC outlines the steps involved in filing a criminal charge and determining whether the accused will be found guilty or innocent. The core Indian Penal Code is complemented by the code of criminal procedure.


All the countries are subject to both laws, with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir. While the IPC outlines the criminal offense and associated punishments, the CrPC outlines the steps involved in bringing a formal criminal accusation, as well as how the defendant will be found guilty or not guilty. A complementary law to the main criminal law is the criminal law procedure.

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