The Duties of an Officer-In-Charge of Police Station on Receipt of Information relating To a Cognizable Offence

On receiving information of the commission of a cognizable offence, the police officer has forthwith to send a report of the same to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence upon a police report, and proceed in person or depute one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as the State Government may prescribe to the report to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case and to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender.

Where information as to the commission of any offence is given against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the local investigation may be dispensed with. Further, if it appears to the police officer that there is no sufficient ground for investigation, he shall not investigate the case and notify to the informant of this fact. In either case the police officer has to record his reasons for so doing in his report to the Magistrate :

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Provided further that in relation to an offence of rape, the recording of statement of the victim shall be conducted at the residence of the victim or in the place of her choice and as far as practicable by a woman police officer in the presence of her parents or guardian or near relative or social worker of the locality. (Section 157)

Power to hold investigation or preliminary enquiry:

On receiving such report the Magistrate may direct an investigation or at once proceed or depute any subordinate Magistrate to hold a preliminary inquiry, or otherwise dispose of the case. (Section 159)

Statements to police not to be signed:

A police officer making an investigation may, by a written order, require the attendance before him of witnesses, being within the local limits or any adjoining station and acquainted with the circumstances of the case for the purpose of oral examination. But a male person under the age of 15 years or woman shall not be required to attend any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides. (Section 160).

Such witnesses are bound to answer all questions relating to the case put to them by such officer other than questions the answers to which would tend to expose them to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.

The police officer, however, may reduce into writing any statement made to him in the course of such examination and make a separate record of the statement of each such person who statement he records :

Provided that statement made under this sub-section may also be recorded by audio-video electronic means. [Section 161 (3)]. But such statements to police shall not be required to be signed by the person making them. (Section 162)

Search by police officer.—An investigating police officer, or an officer-in-charge of a police station, may, if he has reasonable grounds for believing that anything necessary for investigation into an offence may be found in any place within his police station and that such thing cannot be otherwise obtained without undue delay, such officer may after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying the thing for which search is to be made search or cause a search for such thing to be made. (Section 165)

Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in 24 hours:

Under the provisions of sub-sections (1-2) of Section 167 of the Code when an accused is in custody and it appears that investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours and there are grounds for believing that the accusation or information is well founded, the officer in charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation, not below the rank of a sub-inspector, shall forthwith forward a copy of the entries in the diary relating to the case and shall at the same time forward the accused to the nearest judicial Magistrate.

Such Magistrate may, from time to time, authorize the detention of the accused in such custody after recording his reasons for so doing for a term not exceeding fifteen days in the whole. If the Magistrate has no jurisdiction to try the case or commit it for trial, and considers further detention unnecessary, he may or the accused to be forwarded to a Magistrate having such jurisdiction.

Paragraph (a) to the proviso to sub-section (2) added by the Amendment Act, 1978, provides that the Magistrate may authorize the detention of the accused persons, otherwise than in the custody of the police, beyond the period of fifteen days, if he is satisfied that adequate grounds exist for doing so but no Magistrate shall authorize the detention of the accused person in custody under this paragraph for a total period exceeding—(i) ninety days, where the investigation related to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years; (ii) sixty days, where the investigation relates to any other offence, and on the expiry of the said period of ninety days, or sixty days, as the case may be, the accused person shall be released on bail if he is prepared to and does furnish, bail, and every person released on bail under this sub-section shall be deemed to be so released under the provisions of Chap. XXXIII (Provisions as to bail and bonds).

No Magistrate shall authorize detention of the accused in custody of the police under this section unless the accused is produced before him in person for the first time and subsequently every time till the accused remains in the custody of the police, but the Magistrate may extend further detention in judicial custody on production of the accused either in person or through the medium of electronic video linkage. [Proviso (b) to sub-section (2)]. Further, no Magistrate of the second class, not specially empowered in this behalf by the High Court, shall authorize detention in the custody of the police. [Proviso (c) to sub-section (2)].

Explanation I added by the Amendment Act, 1978, lays down that for the avoidance of doubts it is hereby declared that, notwithstanding the expiry of the period specified in paragraph (a) above, the accused shall be detained in custody so long as he does not furnish bail.

Explanation II says that if any question arises whether any accused person was produced before the Magistrate as required under paragraph (b), the production of the accused person may be proved by his signature on the order authorizing detention or by the order certified by the Magistrate as to production of the accused person through the medium of electronic video linkage, as the case may be.

Sub-section (2A), added by the Amendment Act, 1978, provides that notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the officer in charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation, if he is not below the rank of a sub-inspector, may, where a judicial Magistrate is not available transmit to the nearest executive Magistrate, on whom the powers of a judicial Magistrate or metropolitan Magistrate have been conferred, a copy of the entry in the diary relating to the case, and shall, at the same time, forward the accused to such executive Magistrate and thereupon such executive Magistrate may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, authorize the detention of the accused person in such custody as he may think fit for a term not exceeding seven days in the aggregate; and on the expiry of the period of detention so authorized, the accused person shall be released on bail except where an order for further detention of the accused person has been made by a Magistrate competent to make such order; and where an order for such further detention is made, the period during which the accused person was detained in custody under the orders made by the executive Magistrate under this sub-section shall be taken into account in computing the period specified, in paragraph (a) of the proviso to sub-section (2) : provided that before the expiry of the period aforesaid the executive Magistrate shall transmit to the nearest judicial Magistrate the records of the case together with a copy of the entries in the diary relating to the case which was transmitted to him by the officer in charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation, as the case may be:

Provided further that in case of a woman under eighteen years of age, the detention shall be authorized to be in the custody of a remand home or recognized social institution.

A Magistrate authorizing under Section 17 detention in the custody of the police shall record his reasons for so doing. [Section 167 (3)]

Any Magistrate other than the Chief Judicial Magistrate making such order shall forward a copy of his order, with his reasons for making it to the Chief Judicial Magistrate. [Section 167 (4)].

If in any case triable by a Magistrate as a summons case the investigation is not concluded within a period of six months from the date on which the accused was arrested, the Magistrate shall make an order stopping further investigation into the offence unless the officer making the investigation satisfies the Magistrate that for special reasons and in the interests of justice the continuation of the investigation beyond the period of six months is necessary.

[Section 167 (5)] Where an order stopping further investigation into an offence has been made, the Sessions Judge may, if he is satisfied on an application made to him or otherwise, that further investigation into the offence ought to be made, vacate the order made under sub-section (5) and direct further investigation to be made into the offence subject to such directions with regard to bail and other matters as he may specify. [Section 167 (6)]

Case to be sent to Magistrate when evidence is sufficient:

If upon investigation it appears to the officer in charge of the police station that there is not sufficient evidence or reasonable ground or suspicion to justify the forwarding of the accused to a Magistrate, such officer shall release him on his executing a bond with or without sureties, to appear when required before a Magistrate (Section 169).

If, however, it appears to him that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground, he shall forward the accused under custody to a Magistrate empowered to try him or commit him for trial or, if the offence is bailable and the accused is able to give security, take security from him for his appearance before such Magistrate. Along with the forwarding of the accused to such Magistrate or taking security for his appearance before such Magistrate, the officer in charge of a police station shall send to the Magistrate any weapon or other articles necessary to be produced before him, and shall also require the complainant and other persons acquainted with circumstances of the case to execute a bond to appear before the Magistrate as directed to give evidence.

The officer in whose presence the bond is executed shall deliver a copy thereof to one of the persons who executed it, and shall then send it to the Magistrate the original with his report. (Section 170). It will appear from the above that under the provisions of Section 170 a police officer has been empowered to take recognizance from the accused for his appearance before a Magistrate.

Diary of proceeding in investigation:

A police officer making an investigation has to maintain a diary which contains all the steps that he takes in the investigation. It sets forth the time at which the information reached him, the time at which he began and closed his investigation the place or places visited by him, and a statement of the circumstances ascertained through his investigation. (Section 172)

Report of police officer:

Every such investigation of the police officer shall be completed without unnecessary delay. The investigation in relation to rape of a child may be completed within three months from the date on which the information was recorded by the officer in charge of the police station. As soon as it is completed the officer-in-charge of the police station shall : (i) forward to a duty empowered Magistrate a report setting further the names of the parties the nature of the information and the names of the persons who are acquainted with the case and state whether any offence appeared to have been committed and if so, by whom, whether the accused has been arrested and whether the accused has been forwarded to custody or released on his bond with or without sureties, and (ii) communicate the action taken by his to the person by whom the information relating to the commission of the offence was first given. [, Section 173 (1) and (2)]

When the report of the officer in charge of the police station forwarded to the Magistrate is in respect of a case to which Section 170 (i.e., cases to be sent to a duly empowered Magistrate when evidence is sufficient) applies, the police officer shall forward to the Magistrate along with the report—

(a) All documents or relevant extracts thereof on which the prosecution proposes to rely other than those already sent to the Magistrate during investigation;

(b) The statements recorded under Section 161 (examination of witnesses by police) of all the persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses. [Section 173 (5)}

Where, however, the police officer is of opinion that any part of the statement, recorded under Section 161 is not relevant, for the inquiry or trial or that its disclosure to the accused is not essential in the interest of justice and is inexpedient in the public interest, he shall indicate that part of statement and append a note requesting the Magistrate to exclude that part from the copies to be granted to the accused and stating his reasons for making such request.

Maybe the Magistrate after perusing any such part of a statement and considering the reasons given by the police officer for the request, direct that a copy of that part of the statement or of such portion thereof as the Magistrate thinks proper ought to be furnished to the accused. (Section 207)

Where the police officer investigating the case finds it convenient to do so, he may furnish to the accused copies of all or any of the documents referred to in sub-section. [Section 173 (7)}