The Code's Chapter XII (Sections 154–176) deals with information to police and their investigative capabilities. An investigation is a critical component of criminal proceedings. "Investigation" is the initial step after a crime is committed or information regarding the commission of an offence is received by a police officer. The goal is to identify the criminal and bring him to trial so that he can be punished in accordance with the requirements of the Code. Section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives police personnel the authority to investigate cognizable cases. In non-cognizable cases, the officer does not have the jurisdiction to investigate without a warrant and must seek one under Section 155 (2) of the Code.
CHAPTER 12 OF CrPC
Section 154 of the act discusses when information is considered a cognizable offence. The informant must provide the information in writing to the officer in command of a police station, or the officer in charge must reduce the information into writing. The written information must be read to the informant and signed by him, which is referred to as a "First Information Report." A woman police officer shall record any statement given by a woman against whom any of the offences under Sections 326-A, 326-B, 354, 354-A to 354-D, 376, 376-A to 376-E, or 509 IPC is claimed to have been committed or attempted. Upon receiving information, the police officer must begin his investigation if he has reason to assume that a cognizable offence has been committed. In the case of Gangadhar Narayan Nayak @ ... vs The State Of Karnataka “In this context, it is necessary to determine what style of investigation is appropriate in non-cognizable instances under the requirements of the Cr.P.C. According to Section 154 of Chapter XII of the Cr.P.C., the F.I.R. in a cognizable offence may be registered by the in-charge of the police station and reduced in writing."”
As per Section 155, when there are two or more offences in a case, at least one of which is cognizable and the other is not, the entire case must be dealt with as a cognizable case, and the investigating officer will have all the powers and authority that he has when investigating a cognizable case. In the case of Gangadhar Narayan Nayak @ ... vs The State Of Karnataka the supreme court held that “The text of Section 155(2) makes it plain that no police officer shall investigate a non- cognizable crime without the order of the Magistrate. As a result, the aforementioned requirement is mandatory and must be followed prior to investigating a non-cognizable offence.”
Section 156 of the code allows the officer in charge of a police station to investigate a case in his territorial jurisdiction without the need for a Magistrate's order if the offence is cognizable. In the case of Sakiri Vasu vs State Of U.P. And Others the supreme court held that “Section 156(3) authorises the Magistrate to conduct a check on the police officers exercising their duties under Chapter XII of the Criminal Procedure Code. In circumstances where the Magistrate determines that the police have not done their duty of investigating the case at all, or have not done so adequately, he can give an order to the police to conduct the investigation correctly, and can supervise the inquiry.”
Section 157 of the Code establishes the method for police inquiry and evidence collecting. A cognizable case is investigated when a police officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the occurrence of a cognizable offence based on a FIR or other information obtained. It is necessary to notify the Magistrate of the FIR as soon as possible. The officer shall then proceed to the scene in person or delegate one of his subordinate officers to investigate the facts and circumstances, and if necessary, measures for the finding and arrest of the person shall be taken. When a police officer receives information that is not of a serious character, he or she does not need to proceed in person or delegate some subordinate officer to investigate on the spot. And if there is no sufficient reason to probe the case, he shall not explore it. And shall specify in its report the reasons for failing to comply with the requirements of this section, as well as notify the informant that he will not investigate or cause the case to be investigated.
A report, known as the police report, is delivered to the Magistrate. It is sent by a top police officer to notify the Magistrate that a certain matter is being investigated by a police officer. The primary goal of submitting a report is to allow the Magistrate to manage the investigation and issue directives as required by Section 159 of the Code. The report should be given to the Magistrate as soon as possible. In Swati Ram v. State of Rajasthan, it was determined that simple delay in providing the report does not render the prosecution case null and void.
Section 159 empowers the Magistrate, after receiving the report, to command investigation, or to conduct himself or direct a subordinate Magistrate to undertake a preliminary inquiry. And, as the Supreme Court has ruled, the Magistrate has no authority to halt an investigation once it has begun.
Section 160 empowers the police officer conducting the inquiry to summon any individual who is familiar with the facts and circumstances of the case as a witness. The aforementioned rule further states that no male or female under the age of fifteen years old shall be obliged to attend any place other than the one in which the male or female resides. The State Government shall establish guidelines for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by individuals for attending any location other than their residence.
Any police officer in charge of the investigation, or any other officer acting on the request of an officer in charge, shall and is authorised to question a witness or person who is familiar or aware of the facts and circumstances of the case before him. Section 161 of the Code gives police the authority to question witnesses. Witness statements are crucial because they can determine whether a person is guilty or innocent. Persons under investigation are expected and required to answer truthfully all inquiries pertaining to such cases that are posed to them. They are not required to honestly answer inquiries that could lead to a criminal or other charge. Following the examination, the police officer conducting the inquiry must limit the number of statements given by the subject during the examination. And if he does so, he must keep a separate record of it. He is not required to reduce the statements to writing, but it is preferable.
This section restricts the police to use the statements given by any person in an investigation. As stated by the Court in Tehsildar Singh and Others v. The State of Uttar Pradesh, this clause was designed for the advantage of the accused. "To safeguard the accused from the use of statements of witnesses made before the police during the investigation, probably at the trial on the presumption that the stated statements were not made under circumstances inspiring confidence." In Tehsildar Singh's case, the Supreme Court upheld Braund, J.'s views in Emperor v. Aftab Mohd. Khan."As it appears to us, it is to protect accused persons from being prejudiced by statements made to police officers who, because an investigation is known to be underway at the time the statement is made, may be in a position to influence the maker of it, and, on the other hand, to protect accused persons from prejudice at the hands of persons who are prepared to tell untruths in the knowledge that an investigation has already begun."
Section 164 confessions can be used as substantive evidence without being formally proven. A record of such a confession can be used as evidence. The entire confession must be recorded. The Court must carefully consider it in conjunction with other evidence. Part of it may be rejected by the Court. Convictions based on confessions that were proven to be invalid could not be upheld. It was held in Balak Ram v. The State of Uttar Pradesh that witness evidence cannot be thrown out just because their statement was recorded under Section 164. Their evidence should be treated with caution.
A police officer is authorised by Section 165 of the Code to search any area where he has reasonable grounds to believe there is something necessary for the investigation he is authorised to conduct. Section 93(1) of the Code specifies the grounds for issuing a search warrant. The search must be documented in a journal approved by the state government for this purpose.
When the investigating officer or any of his superior officers has reason to believe that necessary evidence may be available in a location or country outside India, any criminal court shall issue a letter of request to the authority of that location or country requesting an oral examination of the person who is supposed to be aware of the facts and circumstances of the case and directing him to produce all requisite documents in his possession relating to the case being investigated. Section 166 contains the provision.
Section 167 addresses the method to be followed when an investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours. This section's goal is to ensure liberal democratic philosophy. The goal is to protect the accused from police abuses and to provide the Magistrate the opportunity to decide on further imprisonment, to facilitate the investigation, and to prohibit detention without trial. It has been stipulated for this purpose that the accused or arrested individual cannot be kept for more than 24 hours. In the case of Vinay Dubey v. State of Chhattisgarh the court held that "The trial Court is not justified in dismissing the aforementioned application by claiming that 10.04.2021 and 11.04.2021 were holidays; thus, charge-sheet on 12.04.2021 is filed within 60 days and the accused's right was forfeited by subsequent filing of charge-sheet."
It talks about the release of the accused when the evidence presented against him upon investigation isn’t prima facie enough to justify the forward of the issue to the magistrate, such officer shall release the person in question on executing bond with or without securities, and the person should appear before the magistrate whenever needed.
It talks about cases sent before the magistrate when there is sufficient evidence. If, following an investigation under this Chapter, it appears to the officer in charge of the police station that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground as aforesaid, such officer shall forward the accused under custody to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report and to try or commit the accused to trial, or, if the offence is bailable and the accused is able to give security, shall take security from him for his appearance.
This section discusses the contents of a case diary, which every police officer conducting an investigation is required to keep. The purpose of this part is to notify the Magistrate about the day-to-day information provided by a police officer who was investigating the case. Witnesses' spoken statements should not be documented in this case diary. This journal may be used at trial or inquiry, not as evidence, but to aid the court in its decision-making process.
Section 173 requires a police officer's final report after the conclusion of an investigation to be forwarded to the Magistrate. This report is sometimes referred to as a "Chargesheet" or "Challan." The report shall be sent to the Magistrate by a superior officer appointed by the State administration. And, while the Magistrate's orders are pending, he will delegate further inquiry to the officer in charge of the police station. If the police officer believes that a portion of the statement in his report is irrelevant, he must request that the Magistrate exclude that portion and disregard it. Furthermore, further inquiry might be conducted even after the report has been submitted to the Magistrate.
Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a law regulation that governs the procedure that police officers and magistrates must follow in situations of suicide and unnatural death. When a person does not die as a result of natural causes, he or she is termed a victim of unnatural death. Accidental death, murders, animal attacks, surgical complications, suicide, and other causes are examples of unnatural deaths.
This provision enables the police to call witnesses to the inquest to testify about the injuries discovered on the deceased person's body by the investigating officer. However, he is not required to record the testimony of the witnesses or have the inquest report signed by them. The person being examined at an inquest is required to honestly answer all questions save those that might incriminate him. Refusing to answer questions is criminal under Section 179 of the IPC, while giving a false answer on purpose is punishable under Section 193 of the IPC. The inquest report is not substantive evidence, but it may be used to corroborate the information provided by the police officer who conducted the inquest.
The provision in the statute to conduct a judicial magistrate's inquiry into instances of custody deaths, rapes, and disappearances has been in place since 2005. It was enacted to replace Section 176 (1) of the CrPC, which had previously simply dictated an executive magistrate's inquiry.
The Indian jurisdiction has laid out a clear procedure for all in the CrPC, and there is little to no scope of ambiguity left in the framing of the sections. In criminal law, an investigation is a very detailed process that follows a set protocol.