Investigation, Inquiry and Trial:
Sn.2(h): "Investigation "includes all the proceedings under the Cr.P.C. for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or person authorized by the Magistrate. Sn.2 (g): Inquiry means every inquiry, other than a trial, conducted By a Magistrate or Court under Cr.P.C.
Investigation, inquiry and trial denote the three successive stages in the Criminal proceedings.
(i) Investigation: is conducted by the Police Officer. The objective Is to collect evidence in respect of the case on hand. It starts with the F.I.R.
It includes: Proceeding to the spot, getting the facts and circumstances, collecting all the evidence available, examining persons, arresting the accused, making the search, seizing materials etc. He submits a report to the Magistrate in the prescribe form.
(ii) Inquiry : The end of investigation is the beginning of the inquiry. This is a proceeding of the Magistrate or Court prior to trial. The objective is to find the truth or falsity of the facts to proceed further, to take action. If there is any truth, there will be a trial otherwise the accused is discharged. Enquiry may be judicial, non-judicial, local or preliminary. Examples are: proceedings for maintenance of wife a children, enquiring for keeping the peace. Proceeding under Sn.145 Cr.P.C. is an inquiry.
(iii) Trial: The essence of this is that the Proceeding ends in conviction or acquittal. An inquiry is not a trial. The sessions trial and the warrant case trial are examples. (In a summons case, there is no formal charge or inquiry).
Powers and duties of a Police Officer on receipt of F.l.R.: Sns.154 to 175 Cr.P.C.Information:
Information relating to cognizable offence, may be given by any person to the Police Officer. It may be oral or in writing. If it is oral it is reduced to writing, read over to the informant, signed by him. The substance of it is entered in the Police Diary. If the information is in writing it is signed by the informant and the substance is entered in the police diary. This information is F.l.R. A copy of this shall be given free of cost to the informant. If the information is in respect of a non-cognizable offence, the police officer cannot directly investigate. He refers the information to the Magistrate. If the Magistrate orders, then only the Sub-Inspector may investigate. If the officer refuses to record in cognizable case, the informant may by post send the substance of information to the S.P. concerned,ivho may direct investigation in suitable cases.
The Police Officer informs the Magistrate and proceeds to the pot for investigation and for collecting the facts and circumstances of the case. He also takes steps to arrest the accused. On arriving he calls a few respectable persons of the locality and in their presence he conducts the Mahazar. These persons are panchanamas (witnesses).he will draws up a report. In case of murder, he examines the bruises, wounds etc. Weapons ,if any, are seized and sealed. Blood, stained clothes and other things found are sealed as 'Exhibits'. The dead body is then sent to postmortem. The Police Officer draws up the report and it is signed by the panchanamas. This is called the mahazar report
The Police Officer may require the attendance of persons acquainted with the circumstances of the case. Male below 15, and a female of any age may not be called to the Police Station. He examines them orally. Statements made during investigation may be reduced to writing. They need not be signed. He should not use force .or induce them. Such a statement may not be used in a trial. He is empowered to 'Search' (Sn.165).
The accused may be arrested without warrant in cognizable cases. He must be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. He may be kept in custody under the order of the Magistrate. The maximum period is 15 days (Remand). But according to the new Act, this may be extended if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are adequate grounds. The maximum period of detention shall be 60 days. Thereafter, he shall be released on bail. Remand should be made, only after the accused is produced before the Magistrate. The Magistrate shall record the reasons for Remanding.
The Police Officer should maintain a diary and record.
(i) The time of reception of F.I.R.
(ii) The time of beginning and closing of investigation.
(iii) Place visited,
(iv) A statement of circumstances. The Criminal Courts may call for the diary. The accused cannot call on it, except when it is used by the Police Officer to refresh his memory.
The Police Officer submits a final report to the Magistrate setting forth:
(i) The names of the parties.
(ii) Nature of information.
(iii) Names of persons concerned with the case.
(iv) The accused- whether he is in custody or not.
(v) Post Mortem Report, etc.
With the final report the investigation comes to an end.