Information to the Police and Their Powers to Investigate
Chapter XII of the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) deals with the Information
to the Police and their Powers to Investigate.
Police Officer is a warranted law employee of the Police Force
and Investigation is the act of inquiring about something or someone.
It deals with their powers related to Cognizable and Non-Cognizable offenses,
Examination of Witness, Medical Examination, Search, Enquiry and report on
suicide, etc. These powers are intrinsic and not given to them to intrude or
encroach by any means.
Police officers are given different powers to investigate the crime.
Sections 154-176 of CrPC explain about the Investigation procedure and under
which particular sections police can investigate the crime. This research paper
will be dealing with those sections. The paper will be dealing with all the
steps taken by police in the investigation and what is the importance of those
Section 154- Information in Cognizable Cases
Any information given to the police officer in charge of the police station in
the case of a Cognizable Offence, is written by him or under his direction in
the FIR Register. The information given can be oral or written, and shall be
signed by the person giving it.
A copy of that information is given to the informant free of cost.
This information can be given to the nearest police station. It's not necessary
that we can only give this information to the police station under which the
crime has been committed.
The police will have to note the information no matter under which police
station the crime has been committed.
This type of FIR is called Zero F.I.R.
The police notes the information and sends it to the police station of that
- The section also provides that if the crime has been committed against a
woman then such information shall be recorded by a woman police officer or
any woman officer. And if the victim is temporarily or permanently mentally
or physically disabled then the information shall be recorded by the police
officer at a convenient place for the victim as their choice. An interpreter
or a special educator is also present.
- That information should be videographed.
- Any person who was resented by the refusal of police officer from
lodging the FIR may send this information in writing and by post to the
Superintendent of Police and if he is satisfied that the information
discloses the case as cognizable offence, he shall investigate the case
himself or he would delegate any police officer subordinate to investigate
the case. And such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge
of the police station in relation to that offence.
Section 155- Information as to Non-Cognizable Cases and investigation of such
If the information given to the police is related to a Non-Cognizable offence
then the information is written in the NCR (Non-Cognizable Report) Register, and
the informant is referred to the magistrate.
A copy is given free of cost to the informant.
Section-156 Police Officer's powers to investigate cognizable case
- The police cannot start the investigation without the permission of the
- The police will exercise same powers as they should in the investigation
of a cognizable offence, except to arrest without a warrant.
- If the case has two or more offences in which at least one is
cognizable, then it will be treated as a cognizable case despite other
offences being non-cognizable.
The police officer in charge of the police station can investigate a cognizable
case without the Magistrate's order.
The police can also investigate the case without any formal FIR in case of a
Even if the offence is committed outside the local limit of the police station,
the police officer can investigate it
- An Executive Magistrate cannot give order to the police officer to
If the police officer is investigating a case, then the magistrate cannot give
orders to stop the investigation. And if the officer is not investigating then
the magistrate can give orders to start the investigation.
Any proceeding done by the police officer cannot be questioned at any stage on
the ground that the police officer is not empowered to investigate in such case.
Any Magistrate empowered under section 190, can give order to start the
investigation without taking cognizance of the offence.
Case Law: Sakiri Vasu vs State of UP And Others
It was observed in this case that even if FIR has been registered and the police
has made the investigation or still making the investigation, to which the
aggrieved person is not satisfied, then he can approach the Magistrate under
Section 156(3) and if the Magistrate is satisfied then he can order a proper
investigation and take other suitable steps which he thinks is necessary for
ensuring a proper investigation.
Section 157- Procedure for investigation
Upon information or otherwise, if the officer in charge of the police station
has reason to suspect the commission of an cognizable offence which he is
empowered to investigate under section 156, he shall forthwith send a FIR Report
to the Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the case, and shall proceed in
person or delegate one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as
prescribed by the state government to investigate the facts and circumstances of
the case and if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the
If the officer in charge gets the information of the commission of such offence
given against any person by name and the case is not of serious nature then he
need not proceed the case by himself or depute a subordinate to proceed with the
And if the officer in charge has reason to believe that he has no sufficient
grounds for entering in on an investigation the he shall not investigate the
If the investigation is in the case of a rape, then the recording of statement
of the victim shall be recorded by a woman police officer and shall be conducted
at a convenient place for the victim as their choice, in the presence of her
parents or guardian or near relatives or social worker of the locality.
If the officer in charge of the case has decided not to investigate the case or
not to order his subordinate to investigate the case then he has to provide a
report with reasons for on which grounds he is not investigating or ordering to
investigate the case.
And with this, he also has to notify the informant who reported the offence with
the reasons to not investigate the case or to not order to investigate the case.
Section 158- Report how submitted
Every report under Section 157 shall be sent to the Magistrate by a Superior
Police officer appointed by the State Government.
Before forwarding the report to the Magistrate, such Superior Officer may give
any instructions to the officer in charge regarding the investigation of the
case as he thinks fit. And after such instructions has been recorded in the
report, the superior officer may transit the report same day without any delay
to the Magistrate.
Section 159- Power to hold investigation or preliminary inquiry
After receiving such report, the magistrate may direct an investigation or give
orders to any magistrate subordinate as he thinks fit to proceed the
investigation, to hold a preliminary inquiry into the case as provided in the
Section 160- Police officer's power to require attendance of witnesses
Section 161-Examination of witnesses by police
- Any police officer making an investigation, may order in writing to
require the attendance of the witness before himself being within the limits
of his own or any adjoining station who is acquainted with the facts and
circumstances of the case.
Provided that, if the witness is under the age of 15 or more than 56 years or a
woman or a mentally or physically disabled person, then such witness is required
to attend the place where they reside.
If there is a witness without the conditions mentioned above, he is required to
attend at any place as the police officer ordered.
- The State Government may provide for the payment by the police officer
of the reasonable expenses of every person attending under sub section (1)
at any place other than his residence.
Any police officer or investigating officer may examine the witness orally who
is acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
The witness is bound to answer every question asked by the officer, other than
the questions which may expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or
The police may reduce the statement in writing taken in the examination and make
a separate true record of the statement of each witness he examines.
Provided that the statement may also be recorded through audio-video electronic
Section 162-Statements to police not to be signed- Use of statements in evidence
Any Statement made by the witness, which is reduced in writing by the police
officer shall not be signed by the witness. And such statement, or any record in
the police diary, or part of such statement or record cannot be used for any
purpose in the inquiry or trial of the offence under investigation at the time
when the statement was made.
Such statement can only be used to cross examine the witness as provided by
section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, section 27 of the Indian Evidence
Act and clause (1) of section 32 of that act.
The accused can use such statement as evidence under above mentioned sections of
the Indian Evidence Act, with the permission of the court, and the prosecution
may use the statement when it is sufficiently proved.
Section 163- No inducement to be offered
No police officer or any other person in authority can induce the witness to
give statement by threatening or promising him as mentioned in section 24 of the
Indian Evidence Act.
But if the witness wants to give any statement on their own will, then no police
officer can prevent him from making the statement.
Section 164-Recording of confessions and statement
Any confession or statement can be recorded by any Metropolitan Magistrate or
Judicial Magistrate whether or not they has jurisdiction in the case. The
confession can be recorded during the investigation or afterwards before the
commencement of the inquiry or trial
The word 'Confession' has neither been defined in Cr.P.C. nor the Indian
Evidence Act. But there provisions in the Indian Evidence Act from section 24-30
related to Confession.
The confession can be recorded through audio-video electronic means in the
presence of the accused person's advocate.
The confession cannot be recorded by the police officer who has given the powers
of a Magistrate.
Before recording any confession, the Magistrate has to inform the person that he
is not bound to make a confession and that confession can be used against him.
The Magistrate shall not record any confession if he has a reason to believe
that it's not voluntary.
Section 281 of Cr.P.C. provides the manner in which the accused person's
confession is recorded, the confession shall be signed by the person making the
confession, and the Magistrate shall make a memorandum at the foot of such
record to the following effect:
"I have explained to (name) that he is not bound to make a confession and that,
if he does so, any confession he may make may be used as evidence against him
and I believe that this confession was voluntarily made. It was taken in my
presence and hearing, and was read over to the person making it and admitted by
him to be correct, and it contains a full and true account of statement made by
Section 164A- Medical examination of the victim of rape
When the offence of committing rape or attempt to commit rape is under
investigation, it is proposed that the woman who is a rape victim or with whom
attempt of rape has been committed should be examined by a medical practitioner
employed in the government hospital or local authority. And in absence of such
practitioner by any other registered medical practitioner. The examination
should be done with the consent of the victim, or any person who is competent to
give the consent on her behalf. And she shall be sent to the practitioner within
twenty-four hours from the time of receiving the information of commission of
When the woman is sent to the registered medical practitioner, he shall examine
her person without any delay and also prepare a report of his examination of the
- The name and address of the woman and of the person by whom she was
- The age of the woman
- The description of material taken from the person of the woman for DNA
- Marks or injury, if any, on the person of the woman
- General mental condition of the woman, and
- Other material particulars in reasonable details.
The report should also give reasons for each conclusion of every examination.
The report should also include the consent given by the woman or by someone who
is competent to give the consent on behalf of the victim.
And also include the time of the commencement and completion of the medical
The registered medical practitioner shall forward the report to the
investigating officer without any delay and the investigating officer shall send
it to the Magistrate.
If the medical examination is done without the consent of the victim then it
will be considered as Illegal.
Section 165-Search by police officer
If the investigating officer has reasonable grounds to believe that anything
necessary for the purpose of investigation of the case he is assigned to may be
found in any place within the limits of the police station if which he is in
charge, and such thing should be obtained without any delay, then the officer
should write and specify his reasons of belief in the record and also the thing
for which search should be made.
The police officer shall do the search by himself and if he is unable to do so
and there is not any other person competent to do the search, then he can write
his reasons and require any subordinate officer to do the search. And also
specify the place to be searched.
The object of the search is that if there is any object that is necessary for
the case and the investigation, and if the object is not found then it will be
difficult to solve or understand the case.
The general provisions in section 100 of Cr.P.C. may apply to the search being
made in this section.
Copies of the record shall be sent to the nearest Magistrate who is empowered to
take cognizance of the case and to the owner free of cost.
Section 166-When officer in charge of police station may require another to
issue search warrant
In this section, the officer in charge of the police station or the police
officer who is doing the investigation and who is not below the rank of
sub-inspector can require an officer in charge of any other police station or
even any other district to make the search within the limits of his own station.
Such officer will have to follow the provisions in section 165 relating to the
search and forwarding the object found to the officer who made the search
If the officer in charge has a reason to believe that delay in search might
result in concealment or destruction of the evidence, then that officer in
charge may proceed the officer who was required for the search and that officer
in charge may do the search as if that place were within the limits of his own
The officer in charge who's making the search in another officer's local limits
shall send him a notice of the search before proceeding.
And shall also give a notice to the owner of the place that's going to be
Section 167-Procedure when the investigation cannot be completed in twenty-four
If any arrested person is in custody and it seems like that the investigation
will take more than 24 hours and the investigating officer believes that the
accusation or information is right then the investigating officer or the officer
in charge of the police station may transmit the arrested person and copy of the
entries in the diary to a Judicial Magistrate if he's not below the rank of
It doesn't matter if such Magistrate does or doesn't have the jurisdiction of
the case, he can keep the accused in custody as he thinks fit but not exceeding
15 days. But if such magistrate doesn't have the jurisdiction and he considers
further detention unnecessary then he may order the accused person to be
forwarded to a Magistrate having jurisdiction of the case.
Such magistrate can detain the accused for more than 15 days but he will not be
in police custody, and if the magistrate is satisfied that adequate grounds
exist for doing so then he can keep the person in detention for 90 days if the
investigation is related to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for
life or imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years, and 60 days if the
investigation is in relation to any other offence. And the accused person may
get bail after the period of 90 or 60 days.
And if the police wants to keep the accused in their custody then they will have
to produce the accused before the magistrate. And whenever the police needs
further detention they will have to produce the accused before the magistrate.
The Judicial Magistrate of second class who is not empowered in this behalf by
high court shall not authorise detention in police custody.
Section 168-Report of investigation by subordinate police officer
If any subordinate police officer makes the investigation then he has to report
the result of investigation to the officer in charge of the police station.
Section 169- Released of accused when evidence deficient
Under this section, if the officer in charge finds no sufficient evidence or
reasonable ground of suspicion to forward the accused to the Magistrate then
such accused person shall be released from the custody on his executing bonds.
Section 170-Cases to be sent to Magistrate when evidence is sufficient
If it appears to the officer in charge of the police station that there is
sufficient evidence or reasonable grounds against the accused, the he shall
forward the accused to the Magistrate to take cognizance on the case upon a
police report and to try the accused or commit him for trial.
Section 171-Complainant and witnesses not to be required to accompany police
officer and not to be subject to restraint
If any complainant or witness is on their way to court to secure their presence
then they aren't required to follow any police officer and the police officer
may also not force the witness without any valid reason.
In case of the complainant or witness refuses to attend or to execute the bond
then he will be forwarded to the Magistrate and will be kept in custody until he
executes such bond or until the hearing of the case is completed.
Section 172-Diary of proceedings in investigation
Every police officer who is making the investigating shall enter all the
information and proceedings regarding the investigation in a diary, and it
should also include the time at which he began and closed the investigation, the
places he visited, statement of the circumstances ascertained through his
investigation and statements of witnesses recorded during the investigation.
The case diary cannot be used as evidence but can be used to get any information
regarding the case in trials. Neither accused nor the prosecution can use the
case diary as evidence. But if the police officer uses the case diary to refresh
his memory then it will be done under section 161 of the Indian Evidence Act.
Section 173-Report of police officer on completion of investigation
Every investigation taking place under this chapter shall be completed without
This concept is 'Speedy Justice'.
As soon as the investigation is completed, the charge sheet shall be sent to the
magistrate who is empowered to take cognizance of the case, by the police
If there is a superior officer appointed for the investigation then he shall
forward the report to the magistrate.
Superior police officer is given the power to give orders regarding further
investigation pending the orders of magistrate.
Magistrate can give order to investigation even without taking cognizance of the
case when the police officer is not investigating the case appropriately. (Under
If it appears to the magistrate that the accused is released on bond and he
shall be again taken in custody then the magistrate can give order to discharge
the bond or any other instruction as he finds appropriate.
With the report that is being forwarded to the magistrate, there are some other
documents which also must be forwarded by the investigating officer.
Including the documents or relevant extracts which are related to section 170.
Also the statements of witnesses recorded under 161.
If it appears to the police officer that there are some documents which aren't
necessary or relevant to be given to the accused the he shall append a note
requesting the magistrate to exclude all that part and also should state the
If the report has already been forwarded to the magistrate but then the officer
in charge obtains more evidence, oral or documentary, then he shall forward this
to the magistrate and investigation can be done again regarding the same case.
Section 174-Police to inquire and report in suicide, etc.
If officer in charge of the police station or some other police officer who is
empowered by the state government gets any information that a person has
committed suicide, or has been killed by another or by an animal or by machinery
or by accident or has died under some circumstances that raise suspicion that
some other person has committed the offence, then he shall proceed with the
investigation but before he shall inform nearest executive magistrate for the
He shall proceed to the place where the body of deceased person
is and will make the investigation in the presence of two or more neighbourhood
inhabitants. And draw up a report of the apparent cause of death. Such as in
what manner the person died, or by what weapon and search for any marks.
After the investigation such report shall be forwarded to the district
magistrate or the sub-divisional magistrate.
Section 175-Power to summon persons
If the police officer thinks that there is a person who can give a statement
regarding the investigation in section 174, then such person shall get a summon
order by the police officer and he will be required in court.
Section 176-Inquiry by Magistrate into cause of death
In the case of unnatural death, the magistrate also has the power to do inquiry
in the case of section 174.
In the case where any person dies or disappears or rape is alleged to have been
committed on any woman, while such person or woman is in the custody of police
or any other custody, with this the judicial magistrate and the metropolitan
magistrate are given power to do inquiry if they have the jurisdiction of that
All the evidence obtained in the inquiry shall be recorded by the magistrate.
During the investigation, if the magistrate or the investigating officer
considers that examination of the deceased person is necessary, and it may
discover the reason of his death, then the magistrate may cause the body to be
The magistrate shall inform the relatives of the deceased person during the
If the case is related to disappearance, death or rape then the judicial
magistrate or executive magistrate or the metropolitan magistrate considers that
the dead body should be examined to find the cause of death, then the dead body
will be examined by the qualified medical examiner or nearest civil surgeon. And
if the magistrate considers that it is not necessary then they will not do the