‘Investigation‘ as provided under Chapter XII of the Criminal Procedure Code consists of the steps of proceeding to the spot, investigating the facts and circumstances of the case, taking measures for discovery and arrest of the alleged offender, examining the persons acquainted with the circumstances of the case, searching and seizing any material and ultimately submitting a report under Section 173, Cr.P.C. If, in the opinion of the investigating officer, the accused should be tried.
When a public servant demands bribe and in a trap laid with a decoy that public servant makes that demand and a complaint in writing is given by the decoy, since the demand amounts to a cognizable offence, the information given by the complainant is in relation to the commission of a cognizable offence within the meaning of Section 154, Criminal Procedure Code.
Whatever is done by the police officer competent to investigate into this offence must be deemed to be in the course of the investigation under Chapter XII of the Code. The steps to be taken generally in- the course of the investigation into a cognizable offence are not exhaustive.
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The object of the investigating officer being to collect evidence, he has to do all things necessary which he considers relevant and material without committing breach of the mandatory provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. It will, therefore, be impracticable to expect, in laying down the principles guiding the investigation, as to what should a police officer do in a particular case for ascertainment of true facts.
His investigation cannot be merely mechanical but must be an intelligent one. In the course of the investigation he cannot compel anyone to assist him. But if anyone voluntarily assists him he can utilize it. There cannot be bar for the police officer to test the truth of the information received.
Though, after receiving information about a cognizable offence whatever is clone by the investigating officer in consequence of that information will be in the course of the investigation, the condition precedent for such investigation is the reasonable suspicion of the commission of the offence of which he had information. Laying of trap is not prohibited in the course of investigation.
The courts have reluctantly permitted to adopt the necessary lesser evil of laying traps to eradicate the greater evil of corruption by which the society at large is affected.
There is no basis for giving a narrow construction to the words ‘every investigation under this Chapter shall be completed without necessary delay’ and ‘as soon as it is completed, the officer in charge of the police station shall forward to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report’ in Section 173(1), Cr.P.C.
While investigating an offence under Chapter XII, Cr.P.C. if the police officer comes to know from other than the information received that another offence had been committed, there cannot be a bar for him to investigate into that offence and send a report finally as to the offences made out according to his opinion. It is for the court which takes cognizance of that report under Section 173, Cr.P.C. to take the case for trial following the necessary procedure.
Therefore, there is nothing illegal in submitting a report under Section 173, Cr.PC. in respect of not only the offence of which the police had received information but also in respect of that committed in the course of the investigation after investigating into all those offences |1999 Mad. LAV. (Cr.) 90 Mad)|.
In a case where the Magistrate to whom a report is forwarded under sub-section (2) (1) of Section 173 decides not to take cognizance of the offence and to drop the proceedings or takes the view that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against some of the persons mentioned in the first information report, the Magistrate must give notice to the informant and provide him an opportunity to be heard at the time of consideration of the report.
However, either from the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure or from the principles of natural justice, no obligation on the Magistrate to issue notice to the injured person or to a relative of the deceased for providing such person an opportunity to be heard at the time of consideration of the report can be spelt out, unless such person is the informant who has lodged the first information report.
But even if such person is not entitled to notice from the Magistrate, he can appear before the Magistrate and make his submissions when the report is considered by the Magistrate for the purpose of deciding what action he should take on the report. Bhugwant Singh v. Commissioner of Police, A.I.R. 1985 S.C. 1285.1