Preliminary enquiry means,
if the information given by the complainant does not reveal
or disclose the commission of a cognizable offence by any person, but indicates the need
for an inquiry, preliminary inquiry may be conducted, for the sole purpose of ascertaining if the commission of a cognizable offence is taken place or not.
In case the preliminary inquiry discloses that a cognizable offence has been
committed then an FIR must be registered. In case the preliminary inquiry ends up in
closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of this closure must be supplied to the first
informant forthwith and not later than a week. The same must lay out reasons in brief for not proceeding further on behalf of the complainants complaint. Registering the FIR is mandatory if information disclosed indicates the commission of any cognizable offence. The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering the offence if a cognizable offence is disclosed in the preliminary enquiry. With regard to the erring officers who do not
register the FIR on the information for commission of cognizable offence as received,
legal actions can be taken against them.
1. PRELIMINARY INQUIRY.
• Section 157 of Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (CrPc) deals with the procedure of the preliminary inquiry.
• The objective of preliminary inquiry is to ensure that a criminal investigation process is not initiated as a frivolous and untenable complaint.
• A preliminary inquiry is only done to ascertain whether the information reveals the commission of cognizable offenses (A cognizable offense is one in which the police may arrest a person without a warrant. They are authorized to start an investigation into a cognizable case on their own and do not require any orders from the court to do so)
• If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offense, FIR must be registered.
2. FIR (FIRST INFORMATION REPORT)
• Section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure,1973(CrPc) defines what amounts to the first information
• FIR is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of the cognizable offense.
• FIR can be formed without preliminary inquiry in some of the offenses.
• Mandatory information disclosed indicated the commission of cognizable offenses.
• FIR is mandatory for the offenses to proceed with the investigation.