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Procedure of investigation under code of criminal procedure, 1973

The purpose of writing this article is to spread the legal awareness to law students as well deprived section of the society.

The police who have been entrusted with maintaining law and order in the society sometimes neglect their duties which have become rampant nowadays. The conscience of a common man shocks when the police refuses to register first information report (FIR) no matter what offence has been committed.

The harsh reality of Indian Criminal Jurisprudence is that it is totally centric upon rights of accused than rights of victim. The police usually take advantage of people who are either innocent of legal knowledge or too poor to bring the attention.

Procedure Of Registering FIR

Section 154 which states about information in cognizable offences. The word �Cognizance� means an offence for which police can arrest the person without any warrant. According to section 154 of c.r.p.c if the information given by the informant to the police discloses a cognizable offence, then police upon receiving the information, whether given orally or written shall register the FIR �No preliminary inquiry or investigation to be taken place if the information prima facie indicates a cognizable offence.

For the protection of woman, section 154 further states that if the information is given by the woman against whom of offences under section 326A, Section 326B, Section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354C, section 354D, section 376 or section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 alleged to have been committed or attempted, then such information shall, be recorded by a woman officer. The recoding of such information shall be vediographed.

Even after disclosing the commission of a cognizable offence, if the officer in charge of police station refuses to register FIR or refrains from conducting investigation the aggrieved person may send the substance of information to superintendent of police under 154(3) whom by order may direct the officer subordinate to him to conduct investigator he may himself take the charge of investigation.

In exceptional circumstances where the case discloses two or more offences of which one is a cognizance offence, it shall be treated as a cognizable offence notwithstanding other offences

Case Laws
  1. Lalita Kumari Vs State Of U.P, Air

    The honourable Supreme Court held that under section 154 a police officer is bound to register FIR if the information suggest a cognizable offence , the court went even further to held that expression �Shall� leaves no discretion to a police officer to hold premolar investigation before registering the FiR. The court also held that stringent action shall be taken against earing officers who had refused to�register the FIR. However, the court held arrest and investigation are different concepts section 154 does not give the right to police to arrest the person if fir is registered against him without any evidence, It must be noted that section 154 shall have no application in below offences;
    1. Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes
    2. Commercial offences
    3. Medical negligence cases
    4. Corruption cases
    5. Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for the delay.
  2. Sakiri Vasu Vs State Of Uttar Pradesh And Others

    The Supreme Court observed that if a person has reason to believe that police is not investigating the matter or refusing to register FIR can send the substance of information to superintendent of police under section 154(3). If the aggrieved still is not satisfied with the investigation may file an application before magistrate under section 156(3) the magistrate if satisfied that information discloses a cognizable offence, he may direct the police to register the FIR.
  3. Ravishwar Manjhi Vs State Of Jharkhand, Air 2009,� SC 1262

    It was held that mere information received on the telephone by a police Officer without any identity or description of the accused as well as nature of injuries caused by the victims as well as the name of the culprits may not be treated as FIR
  4. Sunil Kumar Vs State Of M.P

    In this case petitioners had a grievance that their said representation was not reduced to writing by the police station, The Supreme Court held that the petitioners should have approached superintendent of police before approaching the Court, the court directed that respondents to take cognizance of their matter as soon as possible

Procedure In Case Of Non Cognizable Offences

The procedure of investigation of non-cognizable offences is little bit different, this has been mentioned under section 155(1) where the police in charge receive information relating to non-cognizable offence from the informant, he shall enter the substance of information or causing to be entered In a diary and refer the informant to the magistrate

Under section 155(2) no police officer shall have power to investigate a non-cognizable offence without receiving the order from the magistrate who has the power to try the offence. Upon receiving the assent of the magistrate, any police officer shall exercise the same power (except the power to arrest without warrant) like that in a cognizable offence

Section 157(Procedure for investigation)- Section 157 which is procedural in nature states that upon receiving the information by the police in charge in relation to cognizable offence, he shall send the report to the concerned magistrate as soon as possible this was explained in�Swati Ram Vs. State of Rajasthan�the purpose of sending the report to magistrate is to ensure that magistrate is well being informed about the investigation , if required he may issue appropriate directions to the police

Mere Delay In Forwarding FIR To The Magistrate By Itself Is Not A Ground To Acquit The Accused; Supreme Court

In Jafel Biswas Vs state of Rajasthan- The Supreme Court held that mere delay in forwarding FIR to the magistrate is no ground to presume that investigation done by the police is coupled with dictated deliberations, however, it is an obligation of a police officer to send the report to magistrate under section 157 but taking the defence on basis of delayed communication does not hold any ground for preventing the trial as it would lead to miscarriage of justice.

Similarly in�Pala Singh Vs State of Punjab- where the investigation was started immediately on registration of FIR, It took time to receive the report by the magistrate, though the court observed that it was a material error, it cannot become the ground that the FIR was tainted with bad faith

After reviewing every case law, we have reached a point where it could be said that no citizen in our country will be deprived of their legal rights. For every citizen, it is important to study law because it is the law which acts as a change on our society, in a nation ruled by the divine principles of natural justice as well as the rule of law keeps the arbitrary power of the state in check.�

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