An undertaking that seeks, collects, and gathers evidence of a crime for a case or specific purpose is known to be as criminal investigation.In layman’s languagewe can also understand investigation as the action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.
‘Investigation according to Section 2(h) of the Code of criminal procedure,1973 includes all proceedings for collection of evidence conducted by a Police Officer or any person (other than a Magistrate) authorized by a Magistrate in this behalf.’
The person who carries out this investigation is known as a criminal investigator.
Terminology Associated with Investigation:
A typical sort of law enforcement professional who deals with attempting to solve felony crimes, identifying and detaining suspects in hopes of preventing future criminal activities.
After a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way, then in that case any question initiated by any legal officer refers to custodial investigation.
A formal statement admitting that one is guilty of crime.
It is a voluntary acknowledgement which is usually used as an evidence but not conclusive proofs.
Anact or omission which is punishable by the law.
This refers to the arena which deals with study of crime and criminals.
It refers to the reasonable grounds pointing out that a person has committed any crime leading to a charge.
Restricting or prohibitingan individual, the access or proximity to another specified individualthorugh a legal order.
It is supposed to be a very crucial step which is often overlooked. This step involves identifying and interviewing people who were available in the area where the victim was kidnapped or any other mishappening took place.
Goals of Investigation
1)Uncover the truth
2)Preserve the evidence
3)Able to establish independence of investigation
4)In order to address allegations
5)Review the current policies,procedures,rules that are in place in order to prevent repetition.
6)Identify the guilty so that he/she can be rewarded with suitable punishment.
Difference between Investigation & Inquiry
Section 2(h) of the CrPC, refers to investigation as all proceedings under the CrPC, for collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or any person other than a magistrate authorised by the magistrate.
Falls under section 2(g) of CrPC, it means every inquiry other than trial conducted under the CrPC by a Magistrate or Court.
Proceedings are carried out by an authority like police officer or anyone else authorised by the magistrate.
Proceedings are conducted by a court or a magistrate.
Deals with the process of collection of evidence.
Aims primarily at determining the truth of reported crime or falsity of facts if any.
This cannot be a judicial process.
This may or may not be a judicial process.
This is the first stage in a criminal
This is the second stage in a criminal case.
Here, oath cannot be administered to
the person examined or interrogated.
Oath can be administered to the person in examination.
Who is a Criminal Investigator and why do we need one?
As, stated above a criminal investigator, is usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They regularly gather data and information to illuminate wrongdoings and crimes committed by conversing with observers and witnesses, gathering physical evidence, or seeking records in databases. This leads them to capture crooks and empower them to be convicted in court.
In cases where law enforcement investigations turn out to be unproductive or produce little or no results
1. In situations when for criminal defence one needs evidence to be gathered.
2. In order to collect evidence for a criminal case.
3. In order to find and interview other witnesses to a crime
4. In order to gather impartial facts about a crime
5. In case one needs surveillance or records of searches to collect evidence
Qualities of a good Criminal Investigator:
It is really crucial that a criminal investigator be one who has vast knowledge of his field. Following are the qualities which should be characterised within a criminal investigator:
- The knowledge of law
- Curiosity to work
- Immense patience
- Brave in nature and actions
- Sharp mindedness and quick on feet
- Contacts in various fields
Points to remember while carrying out Investigation
A thorough investigation is one which:
1. Identifies and collects all available evidences,
2. Identifies all the victims, witnesses and all available possible suspects,
3. Accurate documentation of the criminal event,
4. Accurate documentation of the investigative actions,
6. Inclusion of development of theories involving how the crime was committed and who may be a suspect, and
7. Formulate an investigative plan to form reasonable grounds and make an arrest.
Composition of an Investigation Team:
Normally, there is no single person who can carry out the whole investigation procedure himself and hence there is a whole team who operates with him.
The team generally comprises of the following-
1. Team Leader
4. Evidence Custodian
When does an Investigation start?
Under the Code for Criminal Procedure,1973 is given the sections under which a police officer can start his investigation along with the investigation procedure-
The following are the sections which lead to initiation of an investigation-
1. Section 154 of CrPc- When any cognizable case is reported.
2. Section 155 of CrPc-When information as to any non-cognizable case is reported and investigation of such cases can be carried out.
3. Section 156 of CrPc- Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case.
4. Section 157 of CrPc- This section states the procedure for investigation.
Basic steps to be taken by police in Investigation:
1. After getting the information from the crime scene, a team of police reaches the crime scene immediately.
2. Police needs to ensure the validity of information and intelligence needs to be collected about the crime.
3. The police now informs the other divisions such as the forensic department about the crime taking place.
4. It is to be seen that by the time police reaches the crime scene-
a) Crime scene should be preserved so that the evidences don’t get destroyed.
b) That the injured person is sent to hospital immediately.
c)Eye witnesses are thoroughly looked for and inspected.
d)It is the duty of the police to ensure that the public is away from the crime scene to avoid any kind of disruptions.
e) Sketch about every little information of the crime scene needs to be prepared .
5. Herein after thorough inspection, inquires the suspected accused gets arrested.
6. The statements of the accused and the victims needs to be recorded by the police in the police stations.
7. Evidence is to be searched for, collected, recorded and filed by the investigation officer.
8. In case all the available evidences and relevant documents point the suspected to be accused or in case the evidences and relevant documents lead to any other guilty , then he/she needs to be sent to jail or if police needs custody then the same is granted by the competent magistrate.
9. There are scenarios where bail is granted to the accused in case of petty offences.
10. Within a period of 90 days the police files a chargesheet in the court and trial commences thereon.
Important guidelines to police in investigation:
Supreme Court of India in People’s Union for Civil Liberties(PUCL)vs. State of Maharashtra had iterated the following rules and standards in the matters of investigating police encounters for thorough, effective and independent investigation:
(1) Whenever the police gets to know of any intelligence or tip-off regarding criminal movements or activities pertaining to the commission of any grave criminal offence, it needs to be reduced to writing in some form (preferably into case diary) or in some electronic form. It is not necessary for such recording to reveal details or location of the suspected person. If a higher authority tips off some intelligence or information, the same may be noted in some form without revealing details of the suspect or the location.
(2)If an encounter takes placepursuant to the tip-off or receipt of any intelligence and a resultant death occurs since firearm is used by the police, an FIRshall be registered to that effectunder Section 157 of the Code and the same shall be forwarded to the court. Here while forwarding the report, the procedure prescribed under Section 158 of the Code shall be followed.
(3) The CID or police team of another police station under the supervision of a senior officer is supposed to conduct an independent investigation into the incident/encounter. At the least,the team conducting inquiry/investigation shall seek:
(a)Coloured photographs of the victim should be takento identify the victim;
(b) In order to recover and preserve evidentiary material, including blood-stained earth, hair, fibers and threads, etc., related to the death;
(c) For identification of the witnesses present at the scenecomplete names, addresses and telephone numbers needs to be taken and their statements concerning the deathand should also include the statements of police personnel need also to be obtained;
(d) For the purpose of determining the cause, manner, location (including preparation of rough sketch of topography of the scene and, in case of possibility of photo/video of the scene and any physical evidence) and time of death as well as any pattern or action that may have brought about the death;
(e) It is to be ensured that intact fingerprints of deceased including any other fingerprints are located, developed, lifted and sent for chemical analysis;
(f) Post-mortem shall be video-graphed and preserved and needs to be conducted by two doctors in the District Hospital, one of them, atleast should be In- charge/Head of the District Hospital;
(g) Evidence of any sort availablefor weapons, like guns, projectiles, bullets and cartridge cases, should be collected and preservedalong with tests for gunshot residue and trace metal detection wherever applicable.
(h)Whether it was natural death, accidental death, suicide or homicide, the cause of death should be found out.
(4) In all cases of death which occur in the course of police firing a Magisterial inquiry under Section 176 of the Code must invariably be held and hence a report must be sent to Judicial Magistrate having jurisdiction under Section 190 of the Code.
(5) Unless there is serious doubt about independent and impartial investigation the involvement of NHRC is not necessary.NHRC or the State Human Rights Commission, needs to be notified about the incident without any delay, as the case may be.
(6)The injured criminal’s /victim’s statement should be recorded by the Magistrate or Medical Officerand medical aid should be provided to him/her along with a certificate of fitness.
(7) No delay in sending FIR, diary entries, panchnamas, sketch, etc., to the concerned Court should be ensured.
(8) The report should be sent to the competent court under Section 173 of the Code after full investigation into the incident. The trial must be concluded expeditiously, pursuant to the chargesheet submission by the Investigating Officer.
(9) The next of kin of the alleged criminal/victim must be informed at the earliest in situations of death.
(10) The DGPs needs to send six monthly statements of all cases where deaths have occurred in police firing must be sent to NHRC. It should be kept in mind that the six monthly statements should reach to the NHRC by 15th day of January and July, respectively. The following format needs to be followedalong with post mortem, inquest and also if available then, the inquiry reports:
a. Date and place of occurrence.
b. Police Station, District.
c. Circumstances leading to deaths:
i. Self defence in encounter.
ii. When the unlawful assembly is dispersed.
iii. In the course of affecting arrest.
d. Brief facts of the incident.
e. Criminal Case No.
f. Investigating Agency.
g. Inquiry by Senior Officers or finding by magisterial inquiry-
(i)names and designation of police officials, if found responsible for the death needs to be disclosed.
(ii) Was the use of force justified and action taken was lawful or not.
(11) If in the record,at the conclusion of investigation the materials/evidence show that death had occurred by use of firearm amounting to offence under the IPC, it needs to be ensured that disciplinary action against such officer must be promptly initiated and he be placed under suspension.
(12) Compensation is to be granted to the dependants of the victim who suffered death in a police encounter, as regards the scheme provided under Section 357-A of the Code must be applied.
(13) Theconcerned police officer(s),as required by the investigating team must surrender his/her weapons for forensic and ballistic analysis, along with any other material, subject to the rights under Article 20 of the Constitution.
(14) It is mandatory to send an intimation about the incident to the police officer’s family and in case the family need services of a lawyer / counselling, same must be offered.
(15) The concerned officers, soon after the occurrence shall not be bestowed with out-of-turn promotion or instant gallantry rewards. It needs to be ensured at all costs that such rewards are given/recommended only when the gallantry of the concerned officers is established beyond doubt.
(16)Complaint should be made to the Sessions Judge if the family of the victim finds that the above procedure has not been followed or there exists a pattern of abuse or lack of independent investigation or impartiality by any of the functionaries as above mentioned having territorial jurisdiction over the place of incident.The concerned Sessions Judge shall look into the merits of the complaint and address the grievances raised therein upon such complaint being made.
Investigation procedure under the CrPC, 1973:
1. Section 154 of CrPc– When any cognizable case is reported.
2. Section 155 of CrPc– When information as to any non-cognizable case is reported and investigation of such cases can be carried out.
3. Section 156 of CrPc– Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case.
4. Section 157 of CrPc– This section states the procedure for investigation.
5. Section 158 of CrPc– This section lays down how report should be submitted.
6. Section 159 of CrPc– This section speaks about the power to hold investigation or preliminary inquiry.
7. Section 160 of CrPc– This section speaks about the police officer’s power to seek attendance during an internship.
8. Section 161 of CrPc-This section speaks about examination of witness by police during an investigation.
9. Section 165 of CrPc– This section lays down that in case police officer needs to make an investigation and delay cannot be made to gain evidence such officer may with reasonable grounds search or cause such search to be made, for such thing in any place within the limits of such station.
10. Section 166 of Crpc -When officer in charge of police station may require another to issue search warrant for investigation.
11.Section 166A of Crpc– Talks about letter of request to competent authority for investigation in a country or place outside India.
12. Section 166B of Crpc-Refers to Letter of request from a country or place outside India to a court or an authority for investigation in India.
13. Section 167 of CrPc– It lays down the steps to be taken in case investigation cannot be completed in twenty-four hours.
14. Section 168 of CrPc– It speaks about the report to be submitted in case a subordinate police officer has made any investigation.
15. Section 169 of CrPc-This section says that in case the evidence is deficient after investigation and there is no justifiable reason to send the accused to the Magistrate then in that case if the accused is in custody ,he/she shall be realised along with or without surieties or bonds and would have to appear in front of the magistrate if required afterwards.
16. Section 170 of CrPc – This section says that in case of sufficient evidence upon investigation,the police officer may forward the accused in custody to the magistrate for trial.
17. Section 171of CrPc– The section here says that the complainant and the witness are not required to accompany the police officer to any court and neither shall be subject to any restraint.
18. Section 172of CrPc– The section requires police officer who carries on investigation to maintain a day to day diary of material things and events in related to the investigation.
19. Section 173of CrPc– Under this section every investigation needs to be completed without unnecessary delay and in cases of offences under Sections 376,376A,376AB,376B,376C,376D,376DA,376DB, or 376E of the Indian Penal Code the investigation needs to be completed within 2 months from the date on which information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station.
Naresh Kavarchand Khatri vs State Of Gujarat &Anr
In The Supreme Court of India
Criminal Appeallate Jurisdiction
Criminal Appeal no. 839 of 2008
Naresh Kavarchand Khatri
State of Gujarat &Anr
Date of Judgement
S.B. Sinha, Lokeshwar Singh Panta
Criminal Appeal No. 840 of 2008
1. Leave granted.
2. If the requisite jurisdiction to transfer an investigation from one Police Station to another is with the High Court is the core question involved in these two appeals which arise out of judgment and order dated 28.12.2006 in Special Criminal Appeal Nos.2272 and 2271 of 2006.
3. Appellant lodged a First Information Report before the detective Crime Branch, Police Station, Vadodara City under Sections 406, 420and 120B of the Indian Penal Code against the respondents. According to the appellants, the respondent had assured that the child of the first informants would be admitted in their institution and on that pretext, collected a huge amount from them. The children of the first informant took admission after depositing the admission fee and miscellaneous charges etc. However, their admission was later on cancelled.
4. The FIR was lodged on 23.12.2006. Vadadora Police initiated the investigation. It was before the High Court that the applications for transfer of investigation were filed. On 28.12.2006, the High Court passed the impugned order in the following terms :
“Rule. Mr.P.D. Bhate Ld. APP waive service on behalf of opponent State. At the joint request of the parties the matter is taken up for final hearing today.
By way of these petitions the petitioner has prayed to transfer the Investigation of complaint being ICR No.89 of 2006 and 90/2006 registered with DCB Police Station, Vadodara city to another police station having territorial jurisdiction or to CID Crime or any other independent agency. Heard the Ld. Counsel for the parties Ld.APA has stated that respondent State has no objection if the complaint in question is transferred to some authority as prayed for.
In that view of the matter Complaint No.ICR 89 of 2006 and 90 of 2006 registered with DCB Police Station, Vadodara city are ordered to be transferred to another police station within whose jurisdiction the institution is situated. With the said direction, the petition stand disposed of. Rule is made absolute.”
5. The informant was not impleaded as a party therein. No notice was issued on the said appeals. No reason has been assigned. The Court did not advert to the question as to whether it had any jurisdiction to pass the said order. Why such a concession was made by the learned APP on the very first day of hearing is not known.
The power of the court to interfere with an investigation is limited. The police authorities, in terms of Section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, exercise a statutory power. The Code of Criminal procedure has conferred power on the statutory authorities to direct transfer of an investigation from one Police Station to another in the event it is found that they do not have any jurisdiction in the matter. The Court should not interfere in the matter at an initial stage in regard thereto. If it is found that the investigation has been conducted by an Investigating Officer who did not have any territorial jurisdiction in the matter, the same should be transferred by him to the police station having the requisite jurisdiction.
6. It is of some significance that the High Court exercised its jurisdiction even without notice to the petitioner. The investigation has to be carried out on the basis of the allegations made. The first informant is required to be examined; statements of his witnesses were required to be taken; the accused were also required to be interrogated.
The undue haste with which the High Court has exercised its jurisdiction, in our opinion, should not be encouraged. Whether an officer incharge of a police station has the requisite jurisdiction to make investigation or not will depend upon a large number of factors including those contained in Sections 177, 178 and 181 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In a case where a trial can be held in any of the places falling within the purview of the aforementioned provisions, investigation can be conducted by the concerned officer in-charge of the police station which has jurisdiction to investigate in relation thereto. Sub-section (4) of Section 181 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code would also be relevant therefor.
We need not dilate more on analyses of the aforementioned provisions as the said question has been gone into by this Court on more than one occasion.
In Satvinder Kaur vs. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) : 1999 (8) SCC 728 this Court noticing various provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure opined:
“12. A reading of the aforesaid sections would make it clear that Section 177 provides for “ordinary” place of enquiry or trial. Section 178, inter alia, provides for place of enquiry or trial when it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed or where the offence was committed partly in one local area and partly in another and where it consisted of several acts done in different local areas, it could be enquired into or tried by a court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas. Hence, at the stage of investigation, it cannot be held that the SHO does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate the crime.”
It was furthermore held :
“15. Hence, in the present case, the High Court committed a grave error in accepting the contention of the respondent that the investigating officer had no jurisdiction to investigate the matters on the alleged ground that no part of the offence was committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the police station at Delhi. The appreciation of the evidence is the function of the courts when seized of the matter. At the stage of investigation, the material collected by an investigating officer cannot be judicially scrutinized for arriving at a conclusion that the police station officer of a particular police station would not have territorial jurisdiction. In any case, it has to be stated that in view of Section 178(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, when it is uncertain in which of the several local areas an offence was committed, or where it consists of several acts done in different local areas, the said offence can be enquired into or tried by a court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas. Therefore, to say at the stage of investigation that the SHO, Police Station Paschim Vihar, New Delhi was not having territorial jurisdiction, is on the face of it, illegal and erroneous. That apart, Section 156(2) contains an embargo that no proceeding of a police officer shall be challenged on the ground that he has no territorial power to investigate. The High Court has completely overlooked the said embargo when it entertained the petition of Respondent 2 on the ground of want of territorial jurisdiction.”
7. Yet again in Asit Bhattacharjee vs. Hanuman Prasad Ojha: (2007) 5 SCC 786 this Court clearly held :-
“32. No such explicit prayer was made by the respondents in their writ petition, although a prayer for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus, directing the State of West Bengal to transfer Case No. 381 to the State of U.P., had been made. The question of the State of West Bengal’s having a legal duty in that behalf did not arise. Only in the event an investigating officer, having regard to the provisions contained in Sections 154, 162, 177and 178 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had arrived at a finding that the alleged crime was not committed within his territorial jurisdiction, could forward the first information report to the police having jurisdiction in the matter.
- Strictosensu, therefore, the High Court should not have issued such a direction. Assuming, however, that the High Court could mould the relief, in our opinion, it was not a case where on the face of the allegations made in the complaint petition, the same could be said to be mala fide. A major part of the cause of action might have arisen in the State of U.P., but the same by itself would not mean that the Calcutta Court had no jurisdiction whatsoever.”
- Mr. Sorabjee, learned Senior Counsel and Mr. Huzefa Ahmed, appearing for the respondent No.2 in each of the appeals, however, brought to our notice that charge-sheet has already been submitted. It was contended that proper investigation has been carried out in the matter and even the accused respondent had been taken into custody and, thus, this Court, in a situation of this nature, should not exercise its jurisdiction under Article 136of the Constitution of India.
- Investigation has been carried out by the officer incharge of Police Station Waghodia only pursuant to the order of the High Court. If the order of the High Court is to be set aside, the investigation must be held to have been carried out without any jurisdiction. We are not, herein concerned with the quality of the investigation but the effect of the order passed by the High Court. We do not know as to whether proper investigation as contended, has in fact been considered at by the court or not.
- The first information report was lodged on 23rd December, 2006. The High Court appears to have been approached within a few days, namely 26th December, 2008.
The impugned order has been passed on 28th December, 2008. The first information report prima facie shows that a part of cause of jurisdiction arose within the territorial jurisdiction of Vadodara Police Station. We fail to understand as to how at such an early stage, the investigation should have been directed to be transferred, having regard to the fact that Waghodia Police Station where the `institution’ in question is situated is within the jurisdiction of Vadodara (District) and is, therefore, not a case where the accused would have been even otherwise gravely prejudiced in joining investigation.
11. We, therefore, are of the opinion that it is not a case where we should refuse to exercise jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. We, therefore, set aside the impugned orders. Consequently, the charge sheets filed by the Wagodhia Police Station stand set aside. The concerned Police Officer of Vadodara Police Station would initiate appropriate investigation in the matter in accordance with law.
Any document collected as also the statements of any witnesses recorded by the officer in-charge of Waghodia Police Station, however, may be sent to the incharge of Vadodara Police Station.
- The appeals are allowed with the aforementioned observations and directions.
…………………………………J. (S.B. SINHA) ……………………………………J. (LOKESHWAR SINGH PANTA) New Delhi May 8, 2008.
Frequently Asked Questions
1)What is the difference between Investigation and Trial?
Has been defined under section2(h) of the CrPc,1973 and refers to all the proceedings conducted by a police officer or any other person authorised by the magistrate for collection of evidence.
Has not been defined under the Crpc,1973.However,it refers to judicial proceedings being carried out where evidences are allowed to be proved or disproved and anaccusedperson is either declared as guilty or is acquitted .
Police officer or any person authorised by the magistrate.
Judge or a magistrate
After FIR is lodged or complaint is made to magistrate.
Starts either by framing or charge or arrangement of accused.
Collection of evidence to reach the truth.
Finalisation of truth and falsity.
Framing of charges
Here, no charges are framed.
This starts after framing of charges.
2)Is there any difference between Investigation and Prosecution?
It was in Sarala v. Velu AIR 2000 SC 1732,that the decision of the Hon. Supreme Court rendered the final push in tearing apart the two arms of the criminal justice system – prosecution and investigation
The initial amendment in 1973 to the Criminal Procedure Code extinguished police supervision over prosecution. Then came the Sarala decision which furthermore ended the practice of consultation between the police and prosecutors at the investigation stage and prior to formation of opinion by the investigating officer (on laying of charge sheet or final report) under section 173(2) of the CrPc.
Today, investigation by the police is carried on initially in cases and subsequently prosecuted by the prosecution with hardly any cooperation between the two.
`Hence it was noted that to carry out smooth administration of criminal justiceinvestigation and prosecution are two different facets. It has now been established that the role of Public Prosecutor is inside the court, which commences after investigating agency presents the case in the court on culmination of investigation as compared to investigation which is outside the court and is undertaken by the police officer or by any person (other than a Magistrate) who is authorised by a Magistrate under Section 2 (h) of Cr.P.C.
3)What is the role of a magistrate in criminal investigation?
For a better understanding of the role of magistrate in a criminal investigation ,stages have been established.The stages have been stated under in a chronological manner which are:
Stage – I – As Soon as the FIR is registered.
Stage – II – When the arrest in any case is effected by the Investigating officer, then in that situation the role of magistrate commences on his production before the court and while deciding the question of the validity of arrest and need for further custody – Judicial or Police.
Stage – III- While deciding misc. applications for recording of statement(s) u/s 164 of the Cr.P.C, test identification parades, etc. magisterial interventions are a necessity.
Stage – IV – In cases where monitoring of investigation and comparison with French Model is required.
Stage – V – In cases where Further investigation, post-filing of police report u/s 173 of the Cr.P.C is required.
4)Can there be re-investigation?
It has been observed that re-investigation has been prohibited and only further investigation is permissible. Under section 173(8) of the Code, it has been explained that further investigation is allowed and it is continuation of the earlier investigation but does not mean a fresh investigation or investigation to start from ab initio and wiping out earlier investigation completely.
The statute does not mandate taking of prior permission of the magistrate for further investigation. The police have statutory right to carry out further investigation after filling of chargesheet.
Edited by Shuvneek Hayer
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
- https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-chargesheet-police-can-probe-further-but-no re-investigation
- AIR 2000 SC 1732
- 8 SCC 300
- (2014)10 SCC 635