What is the Difference Between IPC and CRPC?

Indian law is an extremely broad concept; more than 1200 laws exist. According to the National Crime Bureau 2018 report, more than 50 lakh criminal cases have been filed in the year preceding the reporting year.

In an illegal context, legislation is drafted to set out the circumstances(substantial law) and procedures( procedural law) in which persons, juristic or else, may be penalised by the State under which those laws have been legislated.

Thus, it is the substantial aspects of criminal law that concentrate on principles of law according to which criminal liability is determined and the procedural aspects of criminal law that focus on the process of deciding criminal liability and related corrections.

In such a situation, knowing about the penal laws and the procedure for enforcing them is of utmost significance. Both the IPC and CrPC are necessary and integral parts of the Indian criminal justice system. But what is the primary difference between IPC and CrPC? Let’s get into detail.

What are IPC and CRPC in India?

Definition of IPC

Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the primary source of the penal law of India that takes into account every material aspect of different types of criminal cases. It was laid down in 1862, during the British period, since also it has been amended numerous times. It defines all possible crimes and their akin corrections that can take place in the nation.

The IPC was, split into twenty-three chapters, which contain 511 sections.

More details about Indian Penal Code

  • Before the enforcement of the Indian Penal Code, Mohammedan Criminal Law applied to both Muslims and Hindus in India.
  • The IPC specifies what contains a crime and the penalties for executing such a crime.
  • The IPC unifies the whole body of law on the issue and is comprehensive in the areas in which it states the law.
  • The Indian Penal Code is a source of substantive law. Substantive law specifies civil law liberties and responsibilities, as well as criminal law offences and punishments.
  • The Indian Penal Code is the law that states the penal offences and their retributions and penalties.
  • The penalties under the IPC have been divided into five categories: death, life imprisonment, general imprisonment, deprivation of property, and fines.

Definition of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)

Criminal Procedure Code is the base law on the procedure for regulating criminal law in India. It’s concerned with the rules that deal with the proceedings during different types of criminal cases.

Criminal Procedure Code aims at furnishing the proper medium for the imposition of criminal law by setting up the necessary machinery for arresting culprits, probing cases, presenting culprits before the courts, collecting evidence, determining the guilt or innocence of the accused, assessing penalties or corrections, on the accused. In short, it describes the procedure for investigation, trial, bail, interrogation, arrest etc.

More about Criminal Procedure Code

The purpose of the Criminal Procedure Code is to establish a medium for determining the guilt or innocence of the accused, and the law would give machinery for chastising offences against a substantial law in the form of a law dealing with the process of applying the instrument of criminal law to the facts of a specific case.

Substantive criminal law defines offences and prescribes corrections, whereas procedural law is responsible for applying substantial law.

The entire scheme of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been established on three critical considerations.

  • An accused person should be given a fair trial in agreement with accepted natural justice principles;
  • Every effort must be adopted to avoid detainments in investigation and trial, which are harmful not only to the entities involved but also to society;
  • The procedure should be simple and, to the utmost extent possible, assure a fair deal for the poorer sections of the community.

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

The distinction between the Indian Penal Code( IPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC) is expressed in the following points:

  • The Indian Penal Code is substantial law, whereas the Criminal Procedure Code is procedural.

    Substantiative laws specify people’s rights and obligations and the associated punishments and organisations.

    Procedural Laws are the rules that define the obligations and rights of persons and organisations.

  • The Indian Penal Code, abridged, is the primary criminal legislation applied in the nation and examines all forms of crimes and delivers penalties to them.

    In disparity, the Criminal Procedure Code, or CrPC, refers to the legislation maintained in India for controlling criminal law methods necessary to be maintained throughout a criminal case.

  • The Indian Penal Code, or IPC, is a formative code of a legal system, whereas the Criminal Procedure Code is a kind of procedural law.
  • Even these pairs of laws must coexist to maintain both the procedural and substantial fairness of a trial under the arbitration proceedings on which India’s criminal justice system stands.
  • The main thing of Indian Criminal Law is to offer an invariant penal law for the country to use in chastising wrongdoers. On the other hand, the main aim of the Criminal Procedure Code is to unify the criminal legislation in the country.
  • The IPC defines all conceivable offences, their warrants and penalties. The CrPC determines the technique of being arrested during the action.
  • The Indian Penal Law strives to give the nation a fundamental penal law for chastising culprits. The main thing of the Criminal Procedure Code is to produce binding guidelines and procedures during a court hearing.
  • The Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 establishes the authorities of courts and adjudicators, although the Indian Penal Code does not.
  • The Indian Penal Code lists numerous offences and categorises them into several orders, and the Code also specifies the penalty and judgment for the various offence. The Criminal Procedure Code, on the other side, outlines the Code that the police use to keep a check on any kind of violation after committing any of the crimes listed in the criminal law.
  • The distinction between each bipartisan bill is grounded only on the ideal for which it was passed, particularly in the illustration of the IPC, to establish a uniform civil law for the country, and in context to CrPC, to clarify the law relating to criminal process in India.

Regardless of the distinctions between the IPC and CRPC, one can not be applied without the other. While the IPC describes criminal offences and their consequences, the CrPC specifies the method for bringing the criminal accusation along with the judgment or vindication. The Indian Penal Code(IPC) is complemented by the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).


The Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act are the three bases of legislation governing felonious law in India. They continue to play a crucial role in the court of law for the effective administration of justice.

Either, there’s other legislation like the Prohibition of Child Trafficking Act and the Juvenile Justice Act, which supplement the three pieces of legislation. Both the IPC and the CrPC are pan-India in nature and extent to the overall State.

Hence, both the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code are an irreplaceable part of our entire criminal justice system. Either of them has no meaning and defence in the absence of others. Also, both laws help eradicate immoralities from society and cover society from culprits and felonious malefactors. To conclude, India’s criminal justice system is based mainly on both of these legislations.

Criminal Law