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Stages of Trial, Inquiry, Investigation of Criminal Procedure 1973

Cr.P.C. Allows to conduct an investigation in the following five cases:

  1. In security proceedings under the Code, when a person informed against appears, the Magistrate must inquire about the truth of the information and, if necessary, take further evidence. Such investigation should be conducted in the same manner in which summons cases are tried.
  2. In cases of land or water disputes, which are likely to breach the peace, Magistrate is empowered, without reference to the merits of the claims, hear the parties, and conclude the enquiry  and decide the question whether any, and which of the party, at the date of the order, was in possession of the property in dispute. [Section 145].
  3. On receiving a report from the police in a non-cognizable case, the Magistrate may 
    1. direct the investigation; Or
    2. proceed to a hold preliminary inquiry or 
    3. depute any subordinate theologian to do so, 
    4. otherwise decide the case. [Section 159].
  4.  A Magistrate must, in the case of a person dying in police custody, and in other cases may, hold an inquiry into the cause of the death of any person dying an unnatural death (disinterring the dead body, if necessary) wither instead of, or in addition to, the investigation by the Police Officer concerned.
  5. When a complaint of an offence is made to a Magistrate, he may (for reason to be recorded in writing) postpone the issue of process for compelling the attendance of person complained against, and either-

    1. May inquire into the case himself; or 
    2. May direct an inquiry to be made by any Magistrate subordinate to him, or by any Police Officer, or by any other person for ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the complaint. (Section 202).

Investigation [Section 2(h)]: Investigation as defined section 2(h) of the Criminal Procedure Code has very wide and inclusive meaning. It includes:-

  1. All the proceedings for collection of evidence, materials and facts.
  2. Done by the police officer or any person authorised by the Magistrate.
Investigation is systematic, minute and thorough examination. It finds fact about something under the Code investigations consist of:

  1. Proceeding to the spot
  2. Ascertaining of facts and circumstances of a case
  3. Discovery and arrest of suspected offender
  4. Collection of evidence.
  5. Examination of persons
  6. Search of places and seizure of things necessary.
  7. Formation of opinion on the material collected as to whether there is a case to place the accused before the Magistrate for trial and if so, taking necessary steps for same by filing a charge sheet under Section 173 Cr.P.C

Distinction between Investigation and Inquiry

Investigation

Inquiry

Its object is to collect evidence for the purpose of prosecution.

 Its object is to determine the truth or falsity of certain facts, so that further action may be takes.

Investigation is not a judicial process.

Inquiry may be Judicial as well as Non-Judicial.

Investigation begins by a process of collection of materials and for that purpose inspection is must and this inspection is done by a police officer.

The process begins after investigation. It begins by interrogation and not by inspection.

Distinction between Investigation and Trial

Investigation

Trial

1. Investigation is an administrative process

1. Trial is a judicial process.

2. Investigation precedes trial

2. Trial starts after investigation.


Judicial Proceeding: [Section 2(i)]: Any stage in lawful administration of justice in which evidence may be legally recorded for the decision of matter in issue in the case. The expression indicates that the evidence need not necessarily be taken, it is sufficient if evidence is contemplated to be taken on oath. It includes the whole process by which the case can be decided. For eg. Investigation proceeding u/s. 202 Cr.P.C., proceeding u/s. 164 Cr.P.C. and inquiry by the Magistrate before issuing an order u/s. 144 Cr.P.C., proceeding u/s. 107 Cr.P.C.

Offence [Section 2(n)]: According to Section 2(n) the meaning of offence means any act or omission made punishable by any law for the time being in force, and includes any act in respect of which a complaint may be made under Section 20 of the Cattle-Trespass Act, 1871.

In the simple meaning, any act or omission which is prohibited by law , if anyone does any prohibited act or omission then it said he has committed an offence

Summons Case and Warrant Case [Section 2(w) and Section 2(x)]:

According to Section 2(x) Warrant case means a case relating to an offence punishable with:
i. Death
ii. Imprisonment for life
iii. Imprisonment for a term exceeding two year

According to Section 2(w), A  case relating to an offence but not related to warrant case

Therefore summons case is punishable with imprisonment upto two years. For the purpose of trial criminal cases are distinguished in summons case and warrant case. This distinction is based on nature of offence and measure of punishment.

Distinction between Warrant Case & Summons Case:

Bases of Distinction

Warrant Case

Summon Case

Quantum of Punishment

More

Less

Trial Procedure

Elaborate

Not elaborate

Chargesheet

Charge

Notice only particulars of offence are required to be conveyed

Conversion

Warrant Case cannot be converted into summons case.

It can be converted into warrant case.

Special Procedure

Under Section 248 (3)

No special procedure

End of case

Withdrawal of charges is possible.

Only withdrawal of complaint is possible.


Wherever the word “Magistrate” is used in the Cr.P.C.. It refers only to the Judicial Magistrate. However qua other Acts, it will depend upon the nature of work/job. i.e. they my judicial or executive Magistrate.


Other Preliminary Provisions
Construction of references [Section 3]:

As the present Code contains references to several expression, like “Chief Judicial Magistrate”, “Magistrate of the first class”, “Magistrate of the seconds class”, “Magistrate” (without any qualifying words), Sec. 3 lays down some rules of construction of these and other terms.

All offences under I.P.C. and other laws [Section 4]
Section 4 provides that for all offences under I.P.C. will apply without any condition and for all other offences under Special Acts procedure would be as per the procedure prescribed therein (as per the procedure mentioned in the Special Act). If no procedure is provided in the Special Act then Cr.P.C. would apply. For eg.
a) N.D.P.S. Act
b) Prevention of Corruption Act
In Khatri Vs. State of Bihar (AIR 1981 SC 1968), The Supreme Court has said that it is apparent from Section 4 that the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code are applicable where an offence  under IPC or under any other given law is being investigated, inquired into, tried or otherwise dealt with.

Savings [Section 5]

Section 5 of the Code states that nothing is contained in the Code, in the absence of any specific provision to the contrary, in effecting any special or local law for time being in force, or conferring or affecting any particular jurisdiction or power in any prescribed Procedure by any other law for the time being force

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