The PROCEDURE OF POLICE REPORT ON COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATION UNDER CrPC, 1973 BY ANJANI SAWHNEY @LEXCLIQ

At the end of the investigation, the police are obliged, until Section 173 of the CrPC to follow certain procedures laid down in Section 169 of the CrPC. The report by the police is the end product of such an investigation by police in the type of “charge-sheet” or “challan.” The cases of absence of evidence were covered by Section 169. Section 170 provides for general instructions on the part of the accused, for both Sections 169 and 170, for the trial and Section 173. The term “final report” is not used in CrPC but is known as “final report” in the report submitted by the police officer. The inquiry consists of several phases, which finally lead to a police opinion on the covered and collected material or evidence. Then a case is brought in order to place the accused before the Magistrate for trial and to present a final report in accordance with section 169 and an accusation under section 170. The establishment of such an opinion by the police is the last step in the investigation and the police and no other authority shall take this last step.

 

Police report:

Section 2(r) of CrPC refers to the term ‘police report’ whereby a police official forwards a report under section 173 to a magistrate (2). In accordance with the details set out in clauses(a) to (g) of sub-section(2) of Section 173, the report should be prescribed by the State government. This section calls the police report the End Report. If this report is an attempt by the accused to commit crime, this report is often referred to as the “challan or charge sheet.”

  • The indictment made by the police correlates and mentions the private person’s complaint concerning the criminal proceedings. A Police Officer’ s submission of the Charge Sheet shows that the initial investigation and preparation of the same case is completed, and now the Magistrate can take offence as set out in Rama Shankar v. State [AIR 1956 All 525] under his consideration.
  • Until the police officer has received the final report in accordance with Section 173, the Magistrate may not interfere in any judicial capacity or as court. Furthermore, the judicial order on police inquiry as stated in M.L. Sethi v. R.P. Kapur [AIR 1967 SC 528] cannot be made by the Magistrate.

 

A Magistrate who has a police report is responsible for reviewing his order and requiring a “charge sheet.” Where the plaintiff and the accused filed each other’s plaintiffs, but there are no reports and statements from the police in the Court concerning the accused’s complaint. The defendant was considered a disadvantage when he projected his defence, and the defendant was released.

 

The “charge sheet” of the police is related to the private person’s complaint concerning criminal proceedings. The initial phase of the investigation together with the preparation is when the charging sheet is sent.

If, after an investigation and examining of up to ten witnesses referred to by the Deputy Inspector of the Police as “mistake of fact,” the Magistrate, by accepting this report, orders that the case is recorded as a judicial order, and that no inspector can re-open the matter by filing an indictment for the same after re-investigation.

Documents and Statements to be Forwarded with Report [Section 173(5) to (7)]:

 

In accordance with Section 170 of the CrPC, all documents or relevant extracts of the same (other than those extracts in an investigation already forwarded to the magistrate) should be forwarded to the Police Officier, as well as the statements recorded under Section 161 of those on whom the prosecution is dependent, as referred to under Section 173 of the Act (5).

 

There may be no comprehensive testing of the documents. It includes postmortem test reports, chemical examiners, handwriting or fingerprint experts, etc. The prosecutor can ask the accused for copies of the police statements during the investigation and can use the statement to defend himself.

In the event that the report relates to a case under section 170, i.e. a case in which adequate proof has been available for dispatching the accused to a magistrate, the police officer shall forward the report with the accused to the Magistrate:

 

  • All important and new documents conveyed following the inquiry on which the prosecution claims to rely on other documents than the old ones already sent to the magistrate during the initial inquiry should be presented to the police officers.

 

  • The declarations recorded following Section 161 of everyone suggested to be considered as witnesses by the Prosecution under Section 173 (5).

 

Under section 173(6) of Article 173 of CrPc, inform the police officer whether the officer feels that any of the statements made by the witnesses put forward by the prosecution are not relevant to the subject-matter of the case, or whether its confession to the accused in favour of justice is not essential, and is inappropriate in the public interest. In this scenario, the police officer shall state the part of the declaration and shall add to it a note requesting that the Magistrate leave the part of those copies which shall be provided to the accused and indicating his reasons why such a request is made.

 

However, when investigating the case, the police officer finds it convenient to do so rather than to comply with Section 173(7), he may provide the accused with copies of all or any documents referred to in the subsection (5).

 

Supplementary Report on further investigation:

 

If further proof is obtained, the report submitted by the police officer shall not prevent further investigation of an offence.

 

Section 173 says nothing in the investigation concerning the crimes that have taken place, and if they manage to obtain anything irrespective of the old evidence that already exists, the police officer shall submit to the Magistrate, all additional evidence that has been collected after the report was submitted.

 

The Magistrate did not have to hear the accused about whom the inquiry report was file in court in accordance with Section 173(2) for further inquiry after Section 173(8). But if a witness is accused after knowledge has been received, the magistrate ought to be heard. Section 167(b) has been ordered to carry out further investigations, while no time limit has been established for completion of the investigation.

 

It can be seen that, according to Section 156(3), a power of request for further inquiry was given to the magistrate that the magistrate can carry out even after a report was submitted by the police officer. The power of the police officer to further investigate the case after the report is filed under section 173 is not affected by this provision (8). The magistrate cannot, however, order further investigation following the appearance of the accused following the acknowledgement of the crime based on the police report. (Randhir Rana v. State 1997).

If no cognizable offence is disclosed prima facie by the FIR or other relevant material collected by the police, the Magistrate has no powers to investigate in that case. In such a case, the High Court can stop and dismiss such an investigation by exercising the powers inherent in Section 482 or by exercising powers pursuant to Article 226. [The Muthiah People v. State, Police Inspector (2006)7 SCC 296]. [Popular Muthiah v. State.

 

The basic idea behind Section 173(8) is to present the defendant in favour of justice if the investigative officer find other proofs of guilt or innocence of the accused person.

Police report on completion of the investigation:

When the investigation is finished, the police officer must send a report to a competent judge in accordance with section 173. In the case the judge disagrees with the police and sees the evidence as unsatisfactory in the prosecution of the accused person, the bond is taken before the judge for appearance in accordance with Section 169. Even after the release of the accused person pursuant to Section 169(a), the police may proceed with the investigation. If there is sufficient evidence against that accused, then a police report will be submitted as provided in Section 173 and the accused will again be arrested for that same crime.

Three different types of reports are expected by police officers during three different investigation phases:

·       Section 157 requires that the officer in charge of a police station submit a preliminary report to the magistrate.

·       Under section 168 a report shall be presented to the official in charge of the station by a subordinate police officer.

·       In section 173, the Magistrate must receive a final report from the police officer upon completion of the inquiry.

Once the investigation has been completed, it will be for the enquiring policeman to decide whether the case permits or not a judge to be brought before the accused. The Court would then follow the procedure set out in Sections 169 or 170 and submit a report under Section 173 to the Magistrate. The need for a swift investigation is maintained by providing a general instruction to complete each investigation without undue delay under Section 173. (1).

For example – The investigation into the rape of the child may be completed in accordance with Sub-section 1A (as inserted by the 2008 amendment), within three months from the date that the police station officer ordered the information.

Particulars of the report:

Once the investigation into the case is complete, the police officer must submit the final report to the authorised judge who can take further action on the case. A report by the State Government in the form provided for in Article 173(2)(i) states:

  1. The names of the parties
  2. The nature of the information
  3. The names of the persons who appear to be familiar with the circumstances of the case
  4. Whether any offence appears to have been committed and if so, then by whom
  5. Whether the accused been arrested
  6. Whether the accused has been released on his bond and if so, then whether with or without sureties
  7. Whether he has been put in custody under Section 170.

 

The report submitted by the police is part of the inquiry.

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