Kinds of Inquiries under CrPC

Forums The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 Kinds of Inquiries under CrPC

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  • #3311

    The Code of criminal procedure,1973 states about many provisions regarding investigations and inquiry. Some of such sections are section 174,175 and 176 of code of criminal procedure which deals with inquiries into suicide or inquiries into sudden, violent, or unnatural deaths. In code of criminal procedure, section 174 provides for such inquiries by the police, section 176 by the magistrate. Section 154 of CrPC states about the first information relating to cognisable offences, section 156 and section 157 of CrPC provides the power of police to investigate and procedure to investigate in cognisable offences respectively.
    Ques: Whether Sections 174,175,176 of CrPC are different or similar to Section 154,156,157 of CrPC? If they’re different, How are they different from each other?

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    • #3312

      In order to answer the said question we will first need to clearly differentiate between Investigation & Inquiry. Investigation is done by the police officer or any person authorised, which involves collecting of evidences for the purpose of inquiry, where the persons are examined & interrogated. Inquiry on the other hand is undertaken by the magistrate or court in order to answer a said question judicially under the code. Another term that is called in question is Inquest. Inquest can be done by the police or the magistrate especially for ascertainment of the cause of death in cases of suicide, unnatural death, death caused in police custody (exclusively taken up by the Magistrate) etc. After we get a hang of the three terms we will be able to distinguish between the two sets of sections present in the code.
      Section 154, 156 & 157 of the code deal exclusively with the power of the police to get an information of a cognizable offence, investigate that offence & follow the procedure for that investigation mentioned is section 157. While, if we study section 174 & 176 of the code, the main objective is merely to ascertain whether a person has died under suspicious circumstances or unnatural death and if so what is the apparent cause of death. After which an inquest report has to be made describing the same. To specifically draw a difference between section 154 & 174, section 174 is not as detailed as section 154. Inquest report does not require the details of the accused, or details of the incident, which are the main ingredients of an FIR & investigation report. After making of the inquest report the police officer shall hold an investigation. But the main objective of section 174 & 176 remains mere ascertainment of cause of death which is suspicious or unnatural. Section 176 deals majorly with Custodial deaths & rapes, on which an inquiry is held by the magistrate. This inquiry is other than or in addition to a police investigation. The main aim being that in cases of custodial deaths and rape, police officers & their investigations are not always to be trusted.
      Thus section 154, 156 & 157 deal with power of police & section 174 & 176 gives power mainly to the magistrate to keep a check on the investigating powers of the police & not solely rely on the investigation report of the police, especially in cases of unnatural deaths, custodial deaths etc.

    • #3313

      Section 154, 155, 156, 157 of CRPC talk about writing a complaint (FIR), investigation power of
      police or magistrate in Cognisable and non-cognizable offenses. Whereas sections 174, 175,
      176 of CRPC particularly talk about investigating the power and process of making a report by a
      police officer or magistrate in unnatural deaths like suicide or death by the animal, etc.
      In section 154 of CRPC, a complaint is filed (FIR) it can be in oral or written form, if in the oral
      form then the police station in-charge shall write or under his direction should be written and
      shall be signed by the person giving it as a copy of the information or complain (FIR) shall be
      given free of cost to the informant (complaint). In section 174, if any information receives that a
      person has committed suicide or killed by animal or death of person create suspicious that
      some other person has committed an offense, he shall inform the nearest magistrate about it
      and shall proceed to the place where the dead body found and prepare a report of the incident
      with minimum two local respectable people of that area. After the report is prepared then it shall
      be signed by investigating police officer and also other person and shall be forwarded to the
      In section 155 of CRPC, without the permission of the magistrate have the power to trial a
      non-cognizable case, a police officer or investigating officer can’t Investigate a non-cognizable
      case. In section 156, Any magistrate empowered under section 190 of CRPC may order for
      investigation of a Cognizable case when a police officer or superintendent rejects. In section
      174, 175, 176 of CRPC, the magistrate can also make the report and investigate when the case
      involves suicide by a woman or the death of a woman raising a reasonable suspicion that some
      other person committed an offense or death of a woman, any relative of women requested in
      this behalf, that any this incident occurred within seven years of her marriage. If something
      happens in police custody like suicide, someone missing, rape, etc then any magistrate so
      empowered may hold an inquiry and shall record all the evidence and also magistrate has
      power to power to examine the dead body of any person who has already buried in ordered to
      discover the cause of his death.

    • #3691

      Section 154, 156, 157 of CRPC refers to the cognizable case which deals with investigation whereas section 174, 175, 176 refers to the non-cognizable case which deals with the case of inquiry. According to Section 2(g) of CrPC, every inquiry other than a trial is conducted under the CrPC by a Magistrate or Court. Inquiry refers to proceedings conducted by a Court or a Magistrate and according to Section 2(h) of the CrPC investigation includes all proceedings under the CrPC for collection of evidence conducted by a Police Officer or any person (other than a Magistrate) authorized by a Magistrate in this behalf. An investigation refers to the proceedings or steps taken by an authority like Police Officer. An investigation is not conducted by Magistrate, it is conducted by a person authorized on this behalf by the Magistrate.
      Section 154, 156, 157 of CRPC provides that under a Cognizable offense, the Police Officer has to receive the First Information Report (FIR) relating to the cognizable offense where doesn’t need to obtain the Magistrate’s permission and immediately work on the investigation after a general diary entry. The FIR is the option for the investigation to proceed with the procedure and has full authority by the Police officer over the cognizable case.
      Section 174 and 175 of CRPC exclusively deals with the skeptical case of unnatural death and accidents and in a quest to ascertain the actual cause of death of the victim. Here inquest report has the implications for an inquiry about the case of death, which is apparently not due to natural causes rather than FIR. We can even draw statement that where cases of custodial deaths and rape come up police officers & their investigations are not admissible as a shred of evidence and trust factor least in seem section 174, 175, and 176 giving power to the magistrate to take case inspection at every level and section 154, 156, 157 enacted the powers and procedure for investigation by Police Officer.

    • #3740

      To begin with, let’s understand the difference between Inquiry (174, 176) and Investigation (155, 156). An investigation is the first step taken by the police officer in any matter of offence and the culprit thereof whereas inquiry includes everything done by a Magistrate, irrespective of whether the case has been challenged or not.
      S. 154, 155 and 156 of CrPC are completely based on power of the police to gather related information of the cognizable, non-cognizable offence and investigate these offences. Whereas S. 174, 175 and 176 of the code carry the objective of police inquiry, reporting, power of summoning and to figure the cause of death through inquiry by magistrate. Purpose of section 174 and 176 remains to inquire into cause of death which is suspicious or unnatural.
      There’s another term under s. 176(2) – ‘inquest’ means an inquiry conducted by the medical officers or sometimes with the help of a jury into the manner of death of a person, who has died under suspicious circumstances or has died in prison. The provisions relating to the inquest report are covered under Chapter XII of the Code.
      Therefore section 154, 156 and 157 deal with power of police & section 174 & 176 gives power to the magistrate to keep a check on the investigating powers of the police so as to not completely rely on the investigation report of the police, especially in cases of unnatural deaths, custodial deaths and other such cases.

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