Code of Criminal Procedure is a set of regulations for the procedure of administration and execution of substantive criminal law. Basically, it forms the structure on how a case based on criminal law will proceed with the investigations, arrests of suspected, reports, evidence, witnesses and determination of the innocence or guilt of the accused.
The matter of concern in this article is the police report or more precisely final report under CrPC. So,
What is a Final Report?
In simple language, throughout the process of investigation of a case, the police maintain the record of all the leads and details which is ultimately represented in a report before the magistrate, so that he can decide that whether the case is worth taking into recognition or not, such report is called Final Report.
It must contain all the oral and documentary materials, whether these are evidences, facts, or conclusions drawn by the police through its investigation. It must be in the prescribed form by the state government and according to section 173(2), “it must contain:
(a) The names of the parties;
(b) The nature of the information;
(c) The names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case;
(d) Whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom;
(e) Whether the accused has been arrested;
(f) Whether he has been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties;
(g) Whether he has been forwarded in custody under section 170”.
Once the final report is filed before a competent court, it has authority given to it by law to carefully examine it through its just and competent mind and accept or reject the final report. A magistrate is not bound by the conclusion of the report and can also differ from the police. If not satisfied with the final report, a magistrate can also ask the police to further investigate the case.
A Final report made under section 173 of CrPC is the outcome of the complete process of the investigation made under section 155(2) or section 156; these sections provide the powers to the police to investigate a non-cognizable case or cognizable, with or without the order of the magistrate.
What are Cognizable and Non-Cognizable cases?
There is no particular definition of the cognizable or non-cognizable case in CrPC, but in the general cognizable case are one consisting of more grievous offense than non-cognizable. A warrant is not required by the police to arrest a suspect of a former case but a warrant from a magistrate with suitable powers is required to apprehend the suspect or accused in the latter case.
Murder, Rape, Kidnapping, Theft, etc. are a few examples of cognizable offenses whereas Assault, Forging, Cheating, Defamation, etc. are non-cognizable offenses.
Types of reports-
The police officers have to make three reports at three different stages of investigations.
According to section 157, a preliminary report must be filed to the magistrate by the officer in charge of a police station,
Then, a subordinate police officer must report to the officer in charge of the police station under section 168, reports like these are called forwarding reports,
And finally, under section 173, a final report must be submitted to the magistrate by the officer, once the investigation is complete. This report is also known as a completion report or a charge sheet.
Difference between a Final Report and a Charge Sheet
A charge sheet is a specific type of final report. Whenever an investigation is completed, there could be generally 4 types of outcomes,
- That the offense is committed and the police have found enough evidence to prosecute the accused.
- That the offense is committed but enough proofs and evidence could not be found in the investigation.
- That FIR was falsely lodged.
- That no offense is committed as suggested by the FIR
If in an investigation it is found that the offense is committed and the evidence is sufficient for prosecution, i.e. condition (a) is true, then the final report is also called charge sheet. In the rest of the scenarios, the final report could also be called a closure report.
Generally, an investigation ends with the filing of the final reports but under some exceptional circumstances, it could happen that the police officer may have to find further evidences and materials and submit it to the magistrate along with his further report.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
 “Concept of a Police Report.” LawTeacher.net, All Answers Ltd. 06 2020 <https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/administrative-law/concept-of-a-police-report-administrative-law-essay.php?vref=1>.
 Cognizable Offence – Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC), Helpline Law, 06 2020 <http://www.helplinelaw.com/employment-criminal-and-labour/CCPC/cognizable-offence-criminal-procedure-codecrpc.html>
 “Concept of a Police Report.” LawTeacher.net. 11 2013. All Answers Ltd. 06 2020 <https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/administrative-law/concept-of-a-police-report-administrative-law-essay.php?vref=1>.
This Article is Authored by Satrajit Somavanshi, 1st Year, B.A.L.L.B (Hons.) Student of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law.
Also Read- What Is The Procedure Of Arrest?