The Procedure for Investigation


The investigation is an integral aspect of the judicial system. The first step after the crime has been committed, or the information received by the police officer on the commission of the offence, is “investigation.” The purpose of the investigation is to identify the offender and bring him to trial in order to serve him with punishment in accordance with the provisions of the Code. Section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure confers powers on police officers to investigate identifiable cases. For unrecognizable situations, the investigating officer has little power to search without a warrant and may procure a warrant under Section 155(2) of the Law. The word “investigation” was specified in section 2(h) of the Code.


The word ‘investigation’ has been specified in Section 2(h) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Investigation includes all proceedings under this Code for the gathering of proof by a police officer or by any individual (other than a magistrate) approved by a magistrate under that case.

Cognizable and Non-Cognizable Offence

The cognizable offense has been defined in Section 2(C) of the Code, where a police officer may be arrested without a warrant. The crime is of a severe sort and is a legal mistake that the investigation is carried out at the discretion of the Government. Punishment shall be given with imprisonment of 3 years or more and with or without a fine. Example: Dowry, Incest, Murder, etc.

Non-cognizable offence and event have been specified in Section 2(l) of the Law, where the police cannot charge without a warrant. The offense is of a less serious nature and the prosecution is on the initiative of the parties. Punishment cannot reach three years in jail. Source – attack, forgery, defamation, etc.

Police Officer Informed

Section 154 of the Code discusses when the information is presented as an identifiable offence. The information shall be provided in writing by the informant to the officer in charge of the police station or shall be reduced in writing by the officer in charge of the police station. The written information shall be read and signed by the informant, which shall be called the “First Information Report.” Where the information is provided by a woman who is alleged to have committed or attempted to commit any of the offenses referred to in Sections 326-A, 326-B, 354, 354-A to 354-D, 376, 376-A to 376-E or 509 IPC, that statement shall be recorded by a woman police officer.

Procedure For Investigation

Section 157 of the Code sets out the investigation procedure to be followed by the police for the collection of evidence. The prosecution of a reported crime starts when the police officer in charge of the police department has cause to presume the conduct of an apparent offense on the grounds of the FIR or any other details so provided. It requires the prompt intimation of the FIR to be sent to the Magistrate. The officer shall then proceed in person to the place of inquiry of the facts and circumstances or shall designate one of his subordinate officers for the same reason and, if appropriate, shall take steps for the identification and detention of the person.

Unless the details provided by the police officer are not of a critical sort, the officer does not act in person or deputize for an on-site review by a different officer. And if there is no proper basis for the prosecution, he shall not prosecute the matter. It shall state in its report that it does not comply with the requirements of this section and inform the informant that it will not investigate the case or cause it to be investigated.

He shall then send this report to the Magistrate empowered to recognize the offense.

Magistrate Power to Order Investigation

The Magistrate, according to Section 159, has been authorized, whether it finds it appropriate, to obtain a report for immediate review, or to undertake itself or order a subordinate Magistrate to perform a preliminary inquiry. However, as stated by the Supreme Court, the Magistrate has no authority to interrupt the inquiry once it has started.


The police officer performing the inquiry is allowed under Section 160 to warrant the presence of any citizen as a witness who is familiar with the facts and circumstances of the case. The above section also provides that no male or female person under the age of 15 may be required to attend any place other than that in which the male or female person resides. The Government of the State shall set down guidelines for the reimbursement of appropriate costs sustained by individuals for visiting some position other than their home. Any police officer in control of the inquiry or any other officer operating at the behest of the officer in charge shall be allowed to interview a victim or individual who is familiar with or aware of the facts and circumstances of the case before him.

Section 161 of the Law confers to the police rights to investigate the witnesses. The evidence of witnesses is significant as they may prove an individual guilty or innocent. The people who are being prosecuted are required and obliged to honestly address all the questions pertaining to these cases that have been put before them. They are not bound to really answer questions that would expose them to a criminal charge or any other charge. After the examination, the police officer conducting the investigation shall reduce the number of statements made by the person during the examination. Even if he did, he shall hold a clear record of the same. He is not bound to write down the statements, but he prefers to do so.

Confessions and Statements

Any judge, whether metropolitan or judicial, whether or not qualified in the event, is allowed under Section 164 to record any declaration or disclosure rendered to him in the course of the inquiry. But a police officer to whom the powers of a magistrate have been conferred for the time being is not empowered to record the same. Before taking the declaration, the judge is expected to justify clearly to the individual giving the declaration that he is not obliged to give clearly and that the comments that be used as proof against him. The magistrate must ensure that the person making the confession does so on a voluntary basis. The Magistrate does not allow the arrest of the person in police custody if the person fails to make a comment at some point until the confession is registered.


The investigation process used with felony crimes is highly rigorous. It involves a lot of procedures that need to be followed with due diligence. Another error and may contribute to the acquirement of the convict. The police will not leave stones unturned when reviewing the crime. The inquiry ends with the identification of the crime and the submission of the complaint under section 173 before the Magistrate. The guilty party will be convicted after his trial is over and the Court finds evidence that he has committed the offence.

This article is authored by Lavish Sharma, Third-Year, B.A. LL.B student at Institute of Law, Nirma University.

Also Read – What Agency Investigates Police Misconduct?

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