Procedure when Investigation for a Criminal Offence is Completed

Instances or the Procedure when Investigation for a Criminal Offence is Completed

Introduction

When a normal procedure of Investigation for an Offence is completed, there are some other specific steps to be taken in furtherance of that investigation.

But sometimes this investigation is not completed within the time specified under Section 57 of CrPC i.e. 24 hours, for that the procedural law has another provision of Section 167, which ensures liberal majority rule philosophy. The section states that if the investigating officer has a reason to believe that investigation is not yet complete and needs more time for clarifying the accusations against the accused, will forward his request to the Magistrate after the 24hrs. Along with the till then investigation report and reasons for Remand of Accused.

This provision is made to shield the accused from barbarities by the police and to offer the chance to the Magistrate to choose the subject of Remand judicially, to encourage the investigation, and no confinement without hearing. Also, it provides the right to the accused to contradict his remand. For this reason, it has been given that the accused or captured individual can’t be kept for over 24 hours. This section comes into action in the accompanying conditions-

  • If the accused is detained without the issue of a warrant
  • If more time than 24 hrs. is required for investigation
  • If the grounds of such detainment are verified as correct

This process of Remand for the accused is forwarded by the Sub-inspector or above authority to the Judicial Magistrate or Metropolitan Magistrate. This Magistrate with jurisdiction will order for further custody for not more than 15 days if he has a reason to believe that such custody is not unnecessary. In the case of Executive Magistrate, it will be no more than 7 days, where for further orders he needs to commit it to the competent Magistrate.

Such detention will not be Police Custody. And the period of it cannot be increased more than

  • A period of 90 days, if the offence is of such a nature being punished with 10 years of imprisonment, imprisonment for Life or Death Penalty.
  • And a period of 60 days for other offences.

If such a period so accumulated from the date of arrest is expired, then the accused will be automatically provided with bail if he has his sureties with him according to clause(2) of the section.

The Magistrate shall also forward its copy to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, along with the reasons for granting the remand.

According to Section 167 clause(5)&(6), if the Magistrate orders for stopping of investigation in case of summons within 6 months under (5), then such as order according to (6) can be discarded by the Session’s Judge if an application is made to him by the investigating officer and he thinks fit to allow.

Procedure after completion of the Investigation

When the investigation is completed whether in 24 hrs. Or in a further time period, now there are some duties of the investigating officer and the magistrate being mentioned which need to be followed so that the trial of the case can be initiated.

Among them, the first instance is that, if the investigating officer finds that there is a lack of evidence or reasonable grounds which stand against the accused, then he will release the accused by signing a bond with or without sureties, before forwarding him to the Magistrate.

If this is not the case and there is enough evidence against the accused, then the officer in charge will forward him to the Magistrate, so that the Magistrate will take the Cognizance of the offence and may try the accused.

If the offence committed by the accused is bailable, then the accused can be released on bail and has to only appear before the Magistrate, whether once or daily by signing a bail bond.

Also according to the provision of Section 172 of the code, the investigating officer has to maintain a record i.e. a case diary, so as to inform the Magistrate about the daily investigation so as to assist him in the trial. This does not include the recorded statements of the witnesses and is not counted as evidence in the proceedings.

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Now after the investigation is completed, without any delay a final report which is concluded after the collection of evidence and examination of the witnesses called Challan is sent to the Magistrate according to the provision of Section 173 by a superior police officer, so appointed by the State Government. Such an officer while pendency of the Magistrate’s order, may order for further investigation to the investigating officer because investigation can be conducted even after the submission of the report to the Magistrate.

Also, if the investigating officer finds any part of the investigation not of much importance in the case, May humbly ask the Magistrate to exclude such an irrelevant part from the report.

According to clause (2) of the aforesaid section, this report comprises of the name of parties, type of information, names of the witnesses or the acquaintances, verification of the commitment of the offence, info about the person claimed as Accused, the arrest of accused done or not, released or not on bail with or without sureties after filing the bond or not and whether he has been committed to the Magistrate according to section 170 of the code. In the report, the officer also needs to communicate the action which shall be taken by him.

As said before, the report mentioned under this section is called the “Charge Sheet”, where it’s mandatory for the investigating officer to send it to the Magistrate. It is also known as the ‘Completion Report’. This report can be of 2 kinds

1. CLOSURE REPORT

It is the report in which it is stated that there was no evidence found against the accused to prove the charge against him. When the report is filed to the Magistrate, after receiving such he will declare the case as ‘closed’. He can also order for further procedure of investigation, summon the informant of the offence to challenge his orders, or may simply reject the report and himself take the cognizance of the offence. This type of report is mentioned under Section 169 of the Code.

2. FINAL REPORT/CHARGE-SHEET

This is the final report being made by the investigating officer to prove the accusations against the accused. It elaborates on the type of offence along with every detail of the procedure of investigation by the police. It enumerates the whole facts of the case in a brief manner with the copy of the FIR, list of witnesses, statements recorded under section 161 and 164, list of items seized and other evidence.

On the basis of this report, the framing of the Charges is done by the Magistrate as it is distinct from the FIR and elaborates the whole story of the commitment of the Offence.

Conclusion

To sum up it can be said that after the charge sheet is filed, the course of investigation ends and the Trial of the case starts. Further investigation can be ordered by the Magistrate even after the charge sheet has been filed. And the police officer may also at his convenience forward true copies of the documents to the accused of Magistrate’s perusal.

But here according to Section 174 of the code, a different type of report called the Inquest Report is made in the matters involving suicidal or unnatural deaths and death by any offence. This report is of high key importance as here the victim’s body is given to the doctor for its post-mortem examination. It helps with confirmed evidence of death but not substantive evidence. 

Thus all these mark the initiation of the trial proceedings in the criminal case.

Also Read: Attributes of Investigation under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

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