Legal Article

Further investigation in section 173(8) of the code of criminal procedure (crpc)

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow


Reading Time:

Published on: 20 Nov, 2022

Further investigation can be done only after submission of a police report to the magistrate under Section 173(2) of the code of criminal procedure (crpc). Permission of court is not necessary for the police to undertake further investigation [Raman In Re (1973) CrLJ 1288.]

Further investigation in section 173(8) of the code of criminal procedure (crpc)

Discovery of new facts

The police can do further investigation upon discovery of new facts. This is the very basis of further investigation Ram Lal vs State AIR 1979 SC1791. It is immaterial that the new facts will tend to prove the innocence of the accused. Meaning thereby, the police cannot refuse to do further investigation because it’ll go in the favour of accused. Thus, an accused can seek further investigation after filing of charge sheet.

Further investigation is the continuation of the earlier investigation to which a police report has been filed. It is not a new or fresh investigation. In Hasanbhai Valibhai Qureshi v. State of Gujarat (2004) 5 SCC 347 the hon’ble Supreme Court has explained the importance of further investigation as “the prime consideration for further investigation is to arrive at the truth and do real and substantial justice.”

Nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude further investigation in respect of an offence after a report under sub-section (2) has been forwarded to the Magistrate and, where upon such investigation, the officer in charge of the police station obtains further evidence, oral or documentary, he shall forward to the Magistrate a further report or reports regarding such evidence in the form prescribed and the provisions of subsections (2) to (6) shall, as far as may be, apply in relation to such report or reports as they apply in relation to a report forwarded under sub-section (2)

Section 173(8) CrPC

Magistrate can direct further investigation

When the investigating officer submits its report under Section 173(2) crpc, the Magistrate can direct to do further investigation if he is not satisfied with the police report. 

The Magistrate can direct further investigation under Section 156(3) crpc and require from the investigating officer to submit a report as per section 173(8) crpc. 

Magistrate can exercise this power either at the pre cognisance stage or post cognisance stage. Section 173(8) does not put a bar on further investigation, even when the court has taken cognisance upon the police report. 

In Bhagwant Singh v. Commr. of Police (1985) 2 SCC 537 the hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the Magistrate has the power to direct further investigation even on the “protest petition” of the complainant. 

Further investigation on the request of complainant

The complainant is the real victim of defective, tainted and unfair investigation. Fair investigation is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India [Nirmal Singh Kahlon Vs State of Punjab (2009) 1 SCC 441]

Hence, the complainant has the right to approach the High Court for directing the agency to do further investigation. The complainant can approach the court for further investigation:

  • If new facts come to light, or 
  • Investigation is tainted [Kishan Lal v. Dharmendra Bafna, (2009) 7 SCC 685] or 
  • Investigation is not carried on in the proper manner, or
  • For the ends of justice.  

Further investigation by another agency

The hon’ble Supreme Court in Sakiri Vasu vs State of U.P. and others (2008) 2 SCC 409 has held that the Magistrate has no power in Section 156(3) crpc to direct the CBI or another agency to conduct further investigation.

But the Supreme Court under Article 32 & 136 of the Constitution and High Court under Article 226 has the power to direct the other agency to do further investigation. 

High Court has the power under Article 226 to transfer the investigation to another agency for the ends of justice. Failing which, the complainant can approach the Supreme Court under Article 136 for the same relief. 

In Kashmeri Devi v. Delhi Admn. 1988 Supp SCC 482 the investigating officer was shielding the accused (fellow policemen) accused of murder by torture in police custody. The Supreme Court directed the CBI to conduct further investigation as per Section 173(8) CrPC.