Updated: Jun 21
Author: SAHIL KIRORIWAL
(Student) B.B.A.LL.B. , II year, FIMT School of Law, GGIPU
A Criminal charge is a violation of the criminal law which is prohibited by the state and community in order to maintain discipline and order in the country for every person’s well-being and so that every person can enjoy his or her freedom and protect its fundamental rights from being violated. In this the person can be charged with fine or imprisonment or both as per the crime in India.
Offence In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. 
There is a list of types of offences which can be seen below:
Bailable offences: under section 436 of Cr. P.C., there some offences which are bailable subject to fulfilment of some certain conditions. In these, the police have to grant bail at the time of arrest.
Non bailable offences: In these cases, bail cannot be given by police as a matter of right. The accused can apply for a bail in the court under section 437 and 439. (Anticipatory bail: this is a type of bail where the accused can apply for bail under section 438 if the accusation is of a non bailable offence. It depends on the type of accusation and the series of events and situation.)
Cognizable offence: in this the police can arrest a person without any warrant under section 2(c) of Cr. P.C.
Non cognizable offence: The offences for which the police cannot arrest any person with these accusations without a warrant. Defined under section 2(I) .
STAGES IN INSTITUTION OF CRIMINAL CASES
FIRST INFORMATION REPORT (FIR)
It Is formal record of a complaint, by police in case of commission of a cognizable offence, and can be considered as a first step in the process of the investigation of a cognizable offence by Police. Under Section 154 of Cr. P.C., the aggrieved person must file a report when the alleged offence takes place. Every information relating to the alleged offence must be either orally or in written should be given to the police officer. If given orally , the officer must write in the informant’s presence and then must read the whole report to the informant word by word and every detail should recited to the informant by officer and then should be signed by the aggrieved person. And then according the sub section the copy of the FIR should be given to the informant forthwith, free of cost. Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer-in-charge of police station to record the information referred to in sub-section (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police concerned, who if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer-in-charge of the police station in relation to that offence. If the information was conveyed to police on telephone and DO entry was made, it will not constitute an FIR even if the information disclosed commission of cognizable offence.
FIR, though not an acceptable piece of evidence though can be used by the defence to impeach the credit of the person who lodged the FIR U/S-155(3) of I.E.Act.
Once the FIR is lodged the police are legally bound to start investigating the case. Investigation includes collecting evidence, questioning witnesses, inspecting the crime scene, forensic testing, recording statements etc. The police have to do some various steps as per Cr. P.C.:
a) Collect Evidences – After the FIR, the police have to start by collecting evidences against the accused and all the relevant evidences and things which can be used in the investigation. Investigating the crime scene, searching the accused, aggrieved person, the areas of crime, all this helps in finding relevant evidences. Things like mobile phone, wallet, call recordings etc. turn out to be some important evidences.
b) Find Witnesses – Finding of the witnesses is also a very important level in stage of evidence as the witness of the crime is treated as a important evidence in the case as eye witness. A witness is a person who has personally seen an event happen. The event could be a crime or an accident or anything. Sections 118 – 134 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 talks about who can testify as a witness, how can one testify, what statements will be considered as testimony, and so on. Police find these witnesses by interrogating the caller who called reporting a crime , talking to the public present, talking to persons nearby crime area, etc.
c) Interrogation of the accused - In the year 2009, section 41D was introduced in the Code of Criminal Procedure in order to give statutory recognition to the right to legal assistance to a person when he is arrested and interrogated. The police officer in charge of the case is not allowed to interrogate the suspect. However, the court may allow the interrogations to be conducted if it opines the interrogation being necessary under the facts produced before the court.
d) Confession or statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. is not a piece of substantive evidence and it's only use (as in the case of a First Information statement under Section 154 of Cr.P.C.) is to contradict or corroborate the maker.
e) Scientific analysis ( Forensic ) – Scientific analysis of the objects have to be done by the police in order to analyse the fingerprints, blood (in any) , other things like hair ( DNA) etc. in case of a dead body , the police have to send the body to the forensics in order to get all the details of the body and also the weapon or how the person became dead.
PRODUCTION OF ACCUSED BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE
The rights of the accused begin from the time of his arrest. The Constitution of India under Article 22 provides for the protection of the arrested person to the extent that he has a right to be informed of the reason for arrest and he must be produced before the nearest Magistrate within a period of 24 hours. If the accused is not presented before the magistrate, Article 22 would be violated and no court can direct the authorities to give a positive direction in that case.
REMAND OR BAIL
If the police cannot complete the investigation within 24 hours, they have to present the accused before the magistrate for the extension of custody. The magistrate cannot grant the custody over 15 days. However, if the magistrate is not satisfied by that, he can extend it 167(2)(a) which is called material custody. But it cannot be over 90 days where the offence punishable with death, imprisonment of 10 years or more. 60 days where the investigation if other offence. And on the expiry of the 90 or 60 days, the accused can be granted a bail by applying.
This report is basically the final report under section 173 in which the conclusion of the case is there with the evidences collected. If the evidence collected are deficient for the case and could not prove the accused guilty then the police have to file a report under section 169 and release the accused and undertaking of the magistrate for cognizance.
This report is filed when the police have no evidence to prove the allegation. after the closure report the magistrate has 4 options:
1) To accept the report and close the case
2) Directing the investigating agency to investigate more if he thinks there is some gap in the investigation.
3) Issue notice as he is the only person challenging the closure report
4) May reject the closure report and take cognizance under section 190 and 204 issue summons to the accused and directing him to be present before him.
The report under Sec 169 Cr Pc is referred to as a ‘closure Report.
In a case where the Director-General of Anti-Corruption Bureau gave an order and a report under Sec 169 Cr Pc and it was a ‘speaking order’ containing reasons that there is absolutely no evidence to prosecute the accused, the direction given by the Magistrate when the case itself does not contain any evidence to proceed further, the direction of the court has to be viewed as bad in law. This view finds support when there is a finding by Lokayukta that there is no material against the accused. As the apex court ruled that a reference is made to the investigating officer or the courts to Section 169 Cr Pc, the same has to be read as a reference to Sec 173 Cr Pc.
This is a final report where the police have to report the collected evidences which are necessary for the case and all the steps and whole investigation of the police. It includes all the statements of accused, witnesses and eye witnesses under section 161, 164, and a copy of FIR. List of tangible evidences and documents. According to the chapter 6 of Cr. P.C. the magistrate can either reject the charge sheet or can accept it and frame the charges , and post the case for the trial. ‘The purpose of framing a charge is to give intimation to the accused of clear, unambiguous and precise notice of the nature of the accusation that the accused is called upon to meet in the course of a trial’.
From FIR to Charge sheet, there are a lot of things that the statutory duties have to follow. All within the persons fundamental rights. No person shall be punished for a wrong cause and therefore police have a lot of responsibilities that they have to do in order to investigate and solve the cases by collecting evidences within the boundary surrounded by the rights. No right of a person shall be left or broken in spite of being accused. Solving a criminal case primely includes collection of evidences and that Stage of Evidences is the most important and if there are not enough evidences then the case cannot be looked up forward. charge sheet is the last step where the police have the main work , after the charge sheet , the magistrate issues notice where the case can be heard for a trial by the courts and then the courts decide the rest if the things resulting in punishment or not guilty as per the evidences against accused.
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