Investigation as provided in CrPC

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article

Reading Time:

Investigation as provided in CrPC: Investigation is a crucial component of the criminal justice system aimed at uncovering the truth, gathering evidence, and establishing the facts related to a criminal offense. It involves a systematic and thorough examination of the circumstances, events, and individuals involved in the commission of a crime.

Key aspects of investigation in crpc

  1. Initiation: The investigation begins when the police receive information about the commission of a cognizable offense or when an authorized agency takes up a case for investigation. The information can come from various sources, including complaints, reports, or other sources of intelligence.
  2. Investigating Officer (IO): An investigating officer, typically a police officer, is assigned the responsibility of conducting the investigation. The IO is trained in the legal and procedural aspects of investigation and is responsible for gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, collecting relevant documents, and carrying out necessary actions to establish the truth.
  3. Evidence collection: The IO collects evidence through various means, including examining the crime scene, gathering physical evidence, conducting forensic tests, recording statements of witnesses and victims, reviewing documents, and using other investigative techniques. The evidence collected is crucial for establishing the guilt or innocence of the accused.
  4. Statements and interviews: The IO interviews witnesses, victims, and suspects to record their statements. These statements can provide information, details, and accounts of the events and individuals involved in the offense. The statements may be recorded in written form, audio recordings, or video recordings, depending on the circumstances and legal requirements.
  5. Searches and seizures: If necessary and authorized by law, the investigating officer may conduct searches of premises or individuals and seize relevant evidence. The search and seizure must be conducted in accordance with the legal provisions and procedural safeguards to ensure the admissibility of the evidence in court.
  6. Interrogation and questioning: The IO may interrogate and question suspects, both in custody and during the investigation process, to gather information, elicit facts, and determine their involvement in the offense. The interrogation must comply with legal requirements, including the right against self-incrimination and the right to legal representation.
  7. Documentation and case file preparation: The investigating officer maintains a case file that documents all the actions, evidence, statements, and findings related to the investigation. The case file serves as a record of the investigation and is presented in court during the trial as evidence.
  8. Cooperation with other agencies: In some cases, the investigating officer may need to collaborate with other agencies, such as forensic laboratories, experts, or specialized investigative units, to assist in the investigation. This cooperation ensures the effective and comprehensive examination of the evidence and the application of specialized knowledge and techniques, if required.

It is important to note that the investigation process must adhere to the principles of fairness, legality, and due process. The rights of the accused, such as the right to legal representation, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to a fair trial, must be respected during the investigation.

Fair investigation is a fundamental right in constitution of India

Fair investigation is considered a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. The right to a fair investigation is derived from the broader right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, which ensures the protection of individuals’ fundamental rights.

The Supreme Court of India has repeatedly emphasized the significance of fair investigation as an integral part of the criminal justice system. It has recognized that a fair investigation is essential for upholding the principles of justice, ensuring the rule of law, and safeguarding the rights of the accused, victims, and witnesses.

The right to a fair investigation includes several key components:

  1. Impartiality: The investigation must be conducted by impartial and unbiased authorities who are not influenced by personal interests or extraneous considerations. The investigators must approach the case objectively and without any preconceived notions.
  2. Due process: The investigation must adhere to the principles of due process, including compliance with legal requirements, procedural safeguards, and constitutional guarantees. This includes respecting the rights of the accused, such as the right to legal representation, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to a fair trial.
  3. Non-coercive methods: Investigators should refrain from using coercive or unlawful methods to extract information or evidence. Torture, harassment, or any form of custodial violence is strictly prohibited and goes against the principles of a fair investigation.
  4. Evidence gathering: The investigators must collect evidence in a lawful and transparent manner, ensuring that relevant evidence is considered while excluding unreliable or illegally obtained evidence.
  5. Witness protection: The investigation should take measures to protect the safety and security of witnesses. Witnesses should be able to provide statements without fear of intimidation, coercion, or reprisals.
  6. Timely investigation: The investigation should be conducted promptly, without undue delay, to ensure that justice is served in a timely manner and that the rights of the accused are not violated through prolonged detention.

If there are any violations or lapses in conducting a fair investigation, the affected individuals have the right to seek legal remedies, including approaching the courts for appropriate relief.

It is important to note that the right to a fair investigation is not an absolute right and may be subject to certain reasonable restrictions in exceptional circumstances, such as cases involving national security or public order. However, any such restrictions must be in accordance with the principles of proportionality and reasonableness.

Overall, fair investigation is a fundamental right that plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of justice, ensuring accountability, and protecting the rights of individuals involved in the criminal justice system in India.

Irregular investigation in crpc

Irregular investigation in the context of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) refers to instances where there are deviations, lapses, or violations of procedural rules and legal requirements during the investigation process.

It signifies a departure from the prescribed norms and standards established by law. Irregular investigation can have significant implications on the fairness of the investigation and the rights of the individuals involved. Here are some common examples of irregularities in investigation under the CrPC:

  1. Violation of procedural safeguards: The CrPC lays down specific procedural safeguards that must be followed during the investigation, such as the recording of statements, conducting searches and seizures, and respecting the rights of the accused. Any failure to comply with these procedural safeguards can result in irregularities in the investigation.
  2. Coercion or torture: If investigators use coercion, torture, or any form of physical or psychological abuse to extract information, statements, or confessions, it is a serious irregularity. Such practices are strictly prohibited under the law and violate the fundamental rights of the accused.
  3. Fabrication or manipulation of evidence: If evidence is fabricated, tampered with, or manipulated during the investigation, it undermines the integrity and fairness of the process. The investigators have a duty to collect and preserve evidence in a lawful and transparent manner.
  4. Failure to investigate all relevant aspects: A thorough investigation should cover all relevant aspects of the case. If investigators selectively investigate or neglect certain aspects, it can lead to incomplete or biased findings, compromising the fairness of the investigation.
  5. Improper recording of statements: The CrPC provides specific guidelines for recording statements of witnesses, victims, and the accused. If these guidelines are not followed, such as failing to provide the opportunity to the accused to read and sign their statement, it can raise doubts about the reliability and fairness of the investigation.
  6. Lack of supervision or accountability: Proper supervision and accountability of the investigating officer are crucial to ensure that the investigation is conducted diligently and in compliance with legal requirements. Failure to provide adequate oversight can lead to irregularities and compromises the quality of the investigation.

It is important to note that irregularities in investigation can have serious consequences on the fairness of the trial and the outcome of the case. They may also violate the fundamental rights of the accused and other individuals involved.

If irregularities are identified, it is crucial to raise them during the legal proceedings and seek appropriate remedies, such as exclusion of tainted evidence or challenging the legality of the investigation.

Investigation in Non-cognisable offences

In non-cognizable offenses, the police cannot initiate an investigation or make an arrest without the permission of the court under Section 155(2) CrPC. Non-cognizable offenses are offenses of a relatively less serious nature, and the police require a formal complaint from the victim or a court order to take any action. The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in India provides specific provisions for the investigation of non-cognizable offenses. Here are the key provisions:

  1. Registration of complaint: When a complaint is made about a non-cognizable offense, the police must register the complaint in the general diary and provide a copy of the complaint to the complainant. However, the police cannot initiate an investigation based solely on the complaint.
  2. Referring the complainant to the Magistrate: In non-cognizable offenses, the police are required to inform the complainant that the offense is non-cognizable and that they cannot initiate an investigation without a court order. The police are then obligated to guide the complainant on how to approach the Magistrate to file a private complaint.
  3. Magistrate’s power to initiate proceedings: In non-cognizable offenses, the Magistrate has the authority to initiate criminal proceedings upon receipt of a complaint from the aggrieved person. The complainant must approach the Magistrate and file a private complaint, which will be examined by the Magistrate to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the case.
  4. Conversion to cognizable offense: If, during the course of the investigation, the police find evidence suggesting the commission of a cognizable offense connected to the non-cognizable offense, they have the power to register first information report (FIR). In such cases, the police can proceed with the investigation and exercise their powers as provided in the CrPC for cognizable offenses.

It’s important to note that non-cognizable offenses are generally dealt with by the Magistrate’s court, and the role of the police is limited to facilitating the filing of a private complaint before the court. The police cannot arrest the accused or investigate the offense without a specific order from the court.

Investigation in Cognisable offence

In the context of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in India, investigation in respect of cognizable offenses involves the process by which the police or authorized law enforcement agencies gather evidence, collect information, and carry out necessary actions to establish the truth and gather evidence related to a cognizable offense. Here are the key aspects of investigation in respect of cognizable offenses under the CrPC:

  1. Initiation of investigation: The investigation begins when the police receive information about the commission of a cognizable offense. This information can come through various sources, including complaints, reports, or their own knowledge or observation.
  2. Registration of First Information Report (FIR): Upon receiving information about a cognizable offense, the police are required to register an FIR. The FIR is a written document that provides details of the offense, the names of the parties involved, and other relevant information. The FIR initiates the investigation process.
  3. Investigating Officer (IO): An investigating officer, usually a police officer, is assigned to conduct the investigation. The IO is responsible for gathering evidence, examining witnesses, recording statements, conducting searches and seizures, and performing other necessary actions to ascertain the truth and collect evidence.
  4. Powers of the IO: The IO has certain powers granted under the CrPC to carry out the investigation. These powers include the power to arrest, search premises, seize evidence, summon witnesses, record statements, and conduct other necessary actions within the legal framework and procedural requirements.
  5. Collection of evidence: The IO collects evidence through various means, such as examining the crime scene, gathering physical evidence, conducting forensic tests, recording statements of witnesses and the accused, reviewing documents, and using other investigative techniques. The evidence collected during the investigation plays a crucial role in establishing the guilt or innocence of the accused.
  6. Statements and interviews: The IO interviews witnesses, victims, and suspects to record their statements. These statements are recorded in written form, audio recordings, or video recordings, depending on the circumstances and legal requirements. The statements provide information, details, and accounts of the events and individuals involved in the offense.
  7. Closure of investigation: After completing the investigation, the IO prepares a report known as the “charge sheet” or “final report.” The charge sheet contains the details of the offense, the evidence collected, and the findings of the investigation. If the IO concludes that a prima facie case is established against the accused, the charge sheet includes the charges to be brought against the accused.
  8. Judicial scrutiny and trial: The charge sheet is submitted to the appropriate court, and the judicial process, including trial proceedings, commences. The court examines the charge sheet and decides whether to proceed with the trial based on the evidence and materials presented.

It is important to note that the investigation process must adhere to the principles of fairness, legality, and due process. The rights of the accused, such as the right to legal representation, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to a fair trial, must be respected during the investigation.

Powers of investigating officer

During the investigation of a criminal offense under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in India, the investigating officer (IO) is granted certain powers to carry out their duties effectively. These powers are outlined in the CrPC and are aimed at facilitating the investigation process. Here are some key powers of the investigating officer during the investigation:

  1. Power to arrest: The IO has the power to arrest individuals who are reasonably suspected of committing a cognizable offense. The power of arrest is subject to certain conditions and safeguards prescribed under the CrPC, such as the existence of reasonable grounds for belief, the nature of the offense, and the necessity for arrest.
  2. Power to search and seize: The IO has the power to search premises, vehicles, or individuals related to the offense under investigation. This power is exercised to discover and seize relevant evidence, objects, or substances that may be connected to the offense. The search and seizure must be conducted in accordance with the procedural requirements, including obtaining search warrants in certain situations.
  3. Power to examine witnesses: The IO has the authority to examine witnesses during the investigation. This includes recording their statements, collecting information, and gathering evidence from witnesses who have knowledge of the offense or related circumstances. The IO can summon witnesses to appear before them for examination and recording of their statements.
  4. Power to record statements: The IO can record statements of witnesses, victims, and the accused during the investigation. These statements can be recorded in written form, audio recordings, or video recordings, depending on the circumstances and legal requirements. The recorded statements play a crucial role in establishing facts, identifying suspects, and presenting evidence during the trial.
  5. Power to collect evidence: The IO has the power to collect evidence relevant to the offense under investigation. This includes gathering physical evidence, conducting forensic tests, obtaining medical reports, examining documents, and using other investigative techniques to establish the truth and substantiate the allegations.
  6. Power to conduct identification parade: If necessary, the IO can organize an identification parade where witnesses are called upon to identify the accused from a group of people. This is done to determine whether the accused person was involved in the commission of the offense and to ascertain the reliability of witness identification.
  7. Power to summon and examine the accused: The IO can summon the accused person to appear before them for examination and recording of their statement. The accused person is obligated to cooperate with the investigation and answer relevant questions posed by the IO. However, the accused also has the right against self-incrimination and the right to legal representation during the examination.

It is important to note that while the investigating officer has these powers, they must exercise them in accordance with the provisions of the CrPC and other relevant laws. The exercise of these powers must be fair, reasonable, and within the boundaries of the law to protect the rights of the accused and ensure a just investigation process.

Monitoring of investigation in crpc

A Judicial Magistrate has the power to monitor the investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). This power was established by the Supreme Court in the case of Sakiri Vasu v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2008) 2 SCC 409.

In the Sakiri Vasu case, the Supreme Court held that the power to direct investigation under Section 156(3) of the CrPC is wide enough to include all such powers in a Magistrate which are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation. This includes the power to monitor the investigation.

The Supreme Court also held that the Magistrate should not remain a mute spectator to the inadequacies of investigations, but should make meaningful interventions. However, the Magistrate should not investigate himself, as in the system we have adopted in India, the same Magistrate often conducts the trial.

The power of the Magistrate to monitor the investigation is an important safeguard against the possibility of a biased or inadequate investigation. It allows the Magistrate to ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and thoroughly, and that all relevant evidence is collected.

The power of the Magistrate to monitor the investigation is not absolute. The Magistrate must act within the confines of the law, and must not interfere with the independence of the police. However, the power to monitor the investigation is an important tool that can be used to ensure that justice is served.

Here are some of the ways in which a Magistrate can monitor an investigation:

  • The Magistrate can direct the police to conduct certain specific inquiries.
  • The Magistrate can review the progress of the investigation and ask questions about the steps that have been taken.
  • The Magistrate can meet with the investigating officer to discuss the case.
  • The Magistrate can order the police to provide the Magistrate with reports on the progress of the investigation.

The Magistrate should use his or her power to monitor the investigation judiciously and should not interfere with the independence of the police. However, the power to monitor the investigation is an important tool that can be used to ensure that justice is served.

Judgments of Supreme Court on monitoring of investigation

The Supreme Court has held in a number of judgments that the Magistrate has the power to monitor the investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Some of the key judgments on this issue are:

  • Sakiri Vasu v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2008) 2 SCC 409: In this case, the Supreme Court held that the power to direct investigation under Section 156(3) of the CrPC is wide enough to include all such powers in a Magistrate which are necessary for ensuring a proper investigation. This includes the power to monitor the investigation.
  • TC Thangaraj v. V. Engammal (2011) 12 SCC 328: In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Magistrate can monitor the investigation to ensure that it is fair, impartial, and thorough. The Magistrate can do this by reviewing the progress of the investigation, asking questions of the investigating officer, and ordering the police to take specific steps.
  • M. Subramaniam and another v. S. Janaki and another (2020 SCC online S.C. 341): In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Magistrate can monitor the investigation even after the police has submitted its final report. The Magistrate can do this to ensure that the report is complete and accurate, and that all relevant evidence has been considered.

The power of the Magistrate to monitor the investigation is an important safeguard against the possibility of a biased or inadequate investigation. It allows the Magistrate to ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and thoroughly, and that all relevant evidence is collected.

The power of the Magistrate to monitor the investigation is not absolute. The Magistrate must act within the confines of the law, and must not interfere with the independence of the police. However, the power to monitor the investigation is an important tool that can be used to ensure that justice is served.

Transfer of investigation

The court can transfer an investigation because the power to transfer an investigation is a discretionary power that is vested in the court. The court can exercise this power to ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and impartially, and that all relevant evidence is collected.

The Supreme Court has held in a number of judgments that the court can transfer an investigation along with Supreme Court judgments. In the case of State of Bihar v. Lal Krishna Advani (1995) 3 SCC 225, the Supreme Court held that the court can transfer an investigation if it is satisfied that the investigation is not being conducted fairly or impartially.

In the case of CBI v. A. Raja (2012) 4 SCC 40, the Supreme Court held that the court can transfer an investigation if it is satisfied that the investigation is being influenced by extraneous factors.

The court can transfer an investigation to any agency, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the State Police, or a special investigation team (SIT). Court can also transfer the investigation to a different court.

The court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to transfer an investigation, including:

  • The nature of the allegations
  • The gravity of the crime
  • The public interest
  • The likelihood of a fair and impartial investigation

If the court decides to transfer an investigation, it will issue an order directing the transfer. The order will specify the agency or court to which the investigation is being transferred. The order will also specify the terms and conditions of the transfer.

The transfer of an investigation is a serious matter. The court will only transfer an investigation if it is satisfied that the transfer is necessary to ensure a fair and impartial investigation.

Valid grounds for the transfer of investigation

The grounds for transfer of investigation are not specifically enumerated in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). However, the Supreme Court has laid down certain guidelines in a number of cases.

Some of the valid grounds for transfer of investigation include:

  • Bias or mala fide intention of the investigating agency: If the investigating agency is biased or has a mala fide intention, the court may transfer the investigation to another agency.
  • Incompetence of the investigating agency: If the investigating agency is incompetent or lacks the resources to conduct a fair and impartial investigation, the court may transfer the investigation to another agency.
  • Public interest: If the public interest demands that the investigation be transferred to another agency, the court may do so.
  • Political interference: If the investigation is being influenced by political interference, the court may transfer the investigation to another agency.
  • Seriousness of the crime: If the crime is serious and there is a likelihood that the investigating agency may not be able to conduct a fair and impartial investigation, the court may transfer the investigation to another agency.

The court will consider all the relevant factors before deciding whether to transfer an investigation. The court will also consider the wishes of the parties involved in the case.

The transfer of an investigation is a serious matter. The court will only transfer an investigation if it is satisfied that the transfer is necessary to ensure a fair and impartial investigation.

Here are some examples of cases where the court has ordered the transfer of investigation:

  • In the case of State of Bihar v. Lal Krishna Advani (1995) 3 SCC 225, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of investigation into the Babri Masjid demolition case from the State Police to the CBI. The court was satisfied that the State Police was not conducting a fair and impartial investigation.
  • In the case of CBI v. A. Raja (2012) 4 SCC 40, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of investigation into the 2G spectrum case from the CBI to a special investigation team (SIT). The court was satisfied that the CBI was being influenced by extraneous factors.
  • In the case of Arnab Goswami v. Union of India (2020) 11 SCC 534, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of investigation into the TRP scam case from the Mumbai Police to the CBI. The court was satisfied that the Mumbai Police was not conducting a fair and impartial investigation.

These are just a few examples of cases where the court has ordered the transfer of investigation. The grounds for transfer of investigation will vary from case to case. However, the court will always consider the need to ensure a fair and impartial investigation.

Quashing of investigation

Under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the High Courts have the power to issue writs, including writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, and quo warranto, for the enforcement of fundamental rights and for any other purpose.

Regarding the quashing of investigation, the power of the High Courts under Article 226 can be invoked to quash an investigation if it is found to be arbitrary, illegal, or conducted in violation of the fundamental rights of the individuals involved. The High Court may exercise this power to prevent the misuse or abuse of the investigative process.

The grounds on which the High Court may quash an investigation can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. Some common grounds for quashing an investigation under Article 226 include:

  1. Lack of jurisdiction: If the investigation is being conducted by an authority that does not have the jurisdiction to do so, the High Court may quash the investigation.
  2. Violation of fundamental rights: If the investigation violates the fundamental rights of the individuals involved, such as the right to life, liberty, and privacy, the High Court may intervene and quash the investigation.
  3. Lack of proper legal procedure: If the investigation is not being conducted in accordance with the prescribed legal procedure or if there are procedural irregularities that affect the fairness and legality of the investigation, the High Court may quash it.
  4. Mala fide or ulterior motives: If it can be established that the investigation is being conducted with mala fide intentions or for ulterior motives, the High Court may quash the investigation to prevent an abuse of power.
  5. No prima facie case: If the High Court finds that there is no prima facie case or sufficient evidence to justify the continuation of the investigation, it may quash the investigation.

It is important to note that the power of the High Court to quash an investigation is discretionary and should be exercised judiciously based on the facts and merits of each case. The High Court will consider the interests of justice, the rights of the parties involved, and the principles of fairness and legality in making its decision.