All About Police Investigation and First Information Report


Investigation in common parlance refers to the way to get hidden facts out. It is done to discover the truth hidden. According to the criminal procedural code, the investigation includes proceedings for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or any other person authorized by the magistrate on their behalf.[1]

Chapter XII of the code talks about “Information to the police and their powers to investigate.”[2]

Non-cognizable Cases

Non-cognizable cases are those cases in which police don’t have the authority to arrest without a warrant.[3] When information is received by the police officer regarding the commission of a non-cognizable offence within the limits of his police station, then the officer must enter such substance of such information in the book and refer the informant to the magistrate. The police officer doesn’t have the power to investigate in non-cognizable cases without the order of the magistrate.[4]

Cognizable Case

Cognizable cases are those cases in which police in accordance with the first schedule or any other law, have the authority to arrest without a warrant from the magistrate.[5] In such cases, police officer can investigate without the order of a magistrate, have the power to inquire and try under chapter XIII of the code. Also, no proceeding of police officer at any stage be called in question on the ground that the police officer wasn’t authorized to investigate.[6]

In the case of Rasiklal Dalpatram Thakkar vs. State of Gujarat[7] the court held the investigating agency cannot stop itself from holding proper investigation if the offence has been committed beyond its territorial jurisdiction.

Also in the case of Naresh Kavarchand Khatri vs. State of Gujarat[8] court held that the code has given powers to the police officer to direct transfer the case from one police station to another police station if it is found that the former doesn’t have jurisdiction in the matter.

Procedure of Investigation

If the police officer received information and has reason to believe that the commission of an offence is a cognizable offense and such officer is entitled to investigate, then he shall send the report to the magistrate to take cognizance of the case depending upon the police report and proceed to the place of crime to investigate the facts and for the discovery and arrest of the perpetrator.

Provided that if the police officer gets the information of the offense and such offense isn’t of a serious nature then such officer shall not proceed to make an investigation. Also if it appears to him that there is no sufficient ground to enter into an investigation, he shall not investigate.

In case of rape, the statement of the victim shall be recorded at the victim’s residence or at any place of her choice as much as possible by the women police officer in presence of parents or guardians of the victim.

The police officer in his report shall provide the reasons for not entering into the investigation.[9]In case of Swati Ram vs. State of Rajasthan[10] court imposes the duty upon the police officer to forward the report of the cognizable offense to the magistrate so that the concerned magistrate is informed of the investigation and control the investigation and if required, issue appropriate directions.

Attendance of witnesses

Police officers during the course of the investigation, by order in writing, can require before himself attendance of any person who is appeared to have relevant information about facts and circumstances of the case. Provided that no male person below the age of fifteen years or above the age of sixty-five years, women, mentally or physically disabled persons shall be required to attend any place except the place where the male or the woman resides.[11]

Examination of witness

The police officer during the course of an investigation can examine orally any person supposed to have full knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the case. Such a person is bound to answer truly all the questions relating to the case except those questions which could expose him to a criminal charge or any sort of penalty. The police officer, during the course of an investigation, can reduce the statements of the witness in writing.[12]

In the case of Mohd. Jainal Abedin vs. State of Assam[13] court held that the investigation officer has to perform his duties with the sole objective of investigating the allegations and has to take relevant facts in favor or against the accused into consideration.

Also in the case of State of Maharashtra vs. Joseph Mingal Koli[14] held that the interrogation of a witness during the investigation cannot be overemphasized as it eliminates the possibility of adulterated testimony of witnesses.

Search by Investigating Officer

When a police officer making an investigation has reason to believe that anything necessary for the purpose of investigation may be found in any place within the limits of police station then, such officer in person after recording the grounds of his believe can cause search to be made within the limits prescribed[15]. In the case of State of Madhya Pradesh through CBI vs. Paltan Mallah[16], the court held that illegality of search by an authorized investigation officer doesn’t result in seizure unless such search has caused prejudice to the accused.

In case the police officer investigating the case requires officer in charge of another police station to cause the search to be made in any place, the latter officer on being required shall proceed in the investigation in accordance with section 165 and shall forward the searched things to the former officer. If the former has reason to believe that search by the latter officer can cause evidence to conceal or destroy, then such officer can make the search in person at his own in any place in the limits of another police station.[17]

Investigation Outside India

For making investigation outside India, the investigating officer shall require any criminal court to issue a letter of request to a court or any competent authority in that country for the request to examine any person orally acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case and for production of such documents or things which may relevant for solving the case.[18]

Police Report

After completion of the investigation, the authorized police officer shall forward the report to the magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the case. The report shall be in the form as prescribed by the state government stating- names of the partiers, whether offence appears to have been committed, whether the accused has been arrested, whether he has forwarded in custody etc. The investigating officer shall also communicate to the magistrate the actions taken by him. The police officer along with the report shall submit to the magistrate all the evidence such as things or documents seized during the investigation.[19]

In the case of Kaptan Singh vs. State of Madhya Pradesh[20] court held that the court ordinarily shouldn’t interfere with the powers given to investigating authority by the code. The court cannot direct the investigator to investigate the case from a particular angle or by a particular agency.

Power to Summon

The investigation officer by order in writing can summon two or more person for the purpose of investigation and any person who may the knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the case and every person so summoned is bound to attend and answer the question truly except the questions which have the tendency to make him liable him under criminal charge or penalty. [21]


The first information report is the report prepared by the police officer on receiving the information relating to the commission of the cognizable offense. It is the complaint lodged by the victim or any other person on behalf of the victim of a cognizable offense and the police officer has to reduce this complaint in the form of a report in writing. The report is then signed by the victim or the informant. Such a report is termed as ‘First Information Report’. Once the FIR is registered then only the police officer can follow up on the investigation

A copy of the FIR shall be given to the informant free of cost. If in case the police officer refuses to register the FIR, then the person aggrieved can send the information in writing by post to the superintendent of police if he is satisfied that the information relates to the commission of cognizable offense seeking the concerned officer to investigate the matter.[22]

In the case of P. Sreekumar vs. State of Kerela[23] court held that filing of the second FIR against the same accused and in respect of the same incident in the first FIR is permissible, as the second FIR is the counter-complaint by the different person based on different allegations.

In Shambhu Dass vs. State of Assam[24] court held that FIR is not the substantive piece of evidence but is only used to contradict and corroborate the matter.

In the case of Jitender Kumar vs. State of Haryana[25] it was held that the object of the FIR is to put the criminal law into motion and it may not be possible to provide detail of each and every minute. It is not the proof, but a piece of evidence corroborating the case of the prosecution. The FIR only states the basic case.

[1] Section 2(h) of the criminal procedure code.

[2] Section 154 to section 176

[3] Section 2(l)

[4] Section 154

[5] Section2(c)

[6] Section 156

[7] AIR 2010 SC 715

[8] (2008) 8 SCC 300

[9] Section 157

[10] (1997) 2 crimes 148 (Raj.)

[11] Section 160

[12] Section 161

[13] (1997) 2 Crimes 550 (Gau.)

[14] (1997) 2 Crimes 228 (Bom.)

[15] Section 165

[16] AIR 2005 SC 733

[17] Section 166

[18] Section 166A

[19] Section 173

[20] (1997) 4 SCC 211

[21] Section 175

[22] Section 154

[23] AIR 2018 sc 1428

[24] AIR 2010  SC 3300

[25] AIR 2012 SC 2488

This Article is Authored by KARTIK JAIN, 4th Year BBA.LLB (H) Student at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies.

Also Read – Can A Police Investigation Be Based On A Photocopy Of Documents?

Law Corner

Leave a Comment