7 Apr 2021

Basis of Charge-Sheet and the Manner of Investigation by Police


SECTION 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973- The procedure of investigation in criminal cases has been incorporated. 

INVESTIGATION: Includes all the procedures which are done by the police officer under the Code for the collection of evidence.

LINE OF INVESTIGATION: Police on registration of FIR shall upon perusal of the facts of the case decide the line of investigation i.e whether there is circumstantial evidence or eyewitnesses. 


CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE: Something which is a chain of circumstances that lead to the crime for example previous animosity, threats, last seen theory. It is basically connection of various circumstances to the crime. 

*EYE WITNESSES: are those who have seen the incident take place. 

Police officer who is pursuing the investigation is empowered to require the attendance of the witnesses (SECTION 160, CrPC). 

Witnesses: Who are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.

Section 160 of the Code explicitly mention: No male below fifteen years or a woman shall be called to attend at any other place than the place where she resides. 

Non-compliance of summons under Section 160: 

*Punishable under Section 174 of the Code 

(simple imprisonment up to one month or with a fine up to INR 500 or both).

Section 160Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973:

  • attendance of the witnesses 
  • furnishing of relevant information about them.  

The order which requires the attendance of a person needs to be in written form. 

The police officer cannot insist upon the witnesses for the production of documents before him. 

Most crucial part of the investigation---> Examination of Witnesses (The statements made by them can hold a person guilty) 

Power to conduct witness examination-----> Police officer who is investigating the case.

Section 161 lays down the procedure for the examination of witnesses by the police.

Section 161- witnesses are bound to answer the questions which are related to the case truly. 


Investigating officer---> Shall examine the persons who are acquainted with the facts of the case. 

Duty of the investigating officer----> Record the statements of the eyewitnesses without any delay. 

After examining the witnesses----->Police officer to write down the statement made by the witness. 

No delay on the part of the police officer investigating the case in examining the witnesses.

In case of Delay of the examination of the witness-----> Onus lies on the investigating officer for explaining the reasons for the delay.

If DELAY EXPLAINED: NO adverse impact upon the probable value of a particular witness. 

Police officer while examining the witnesses is not bound to reduce the statements made into writing. 

Preferred: Statements should be written or the substance of the whole examination should be written down at least. 

Recorded statements are to be noted down in the case diary maintained under Section 172 of the Code. 

A police officer or the investigating officer: Empowered under section 165 of the Code to search the premises whenever:

  • feels necessary or 
  • has reasonable grounds to believe the same. 

* Investigating officer or the officer-in-charge conducts the search when he believes that there are sufficient or reasonable grounds to pursue the same.

* Search is conducted when there is an absolute necessity for the same.

* The police officer-in-charge or the investigating officer who has a valid warrant is to be allowed to conduct the search of a place. Force may be used if he is not allowed to do so.

Section 93(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973- Grounds under which a warrant for search shall be issued).

*Search has to be recorded in the diary otherwise it becomes illegal.

* Investigating officer would go to the locality where the offence was committed and get two people called the‘Panchas'- Evidence given by the Panchas is of Paramount Importance. 

'Panchas' sign a document called the Panchnama which contains the evidence collected out of the search. 

Sign by them:

  1. Validates the search and
  2. Validates the procedure adopted during the investigation. 

  • The search is not just only of the premises but also of a person. 

  • Section 47 of the Code, the search of a place can be conducted by the police when they have to arrest a person. 

  • If it is a female, a female officer shall search her with utmost decency. 

  • The search of the closed place or of a person has to be made before two respectable persons of the society. These respectable persons are known as the ‘Panchas'. 

  • They need to sign the document validating the search. 

  • However, the Panchas need not necessarily be called as witnesses.

  • A memorandum of the search is prepared by the investigating officer or the officer- in-charge. 

  • It needs to be submitted to the Magistrate. 

BASIC OBJECTIVE OF SEARCH-----> To find evidence which may help in solving the case. 


Panchnama has not been defined anywhere in the law. However, it is a document which holds great value in criminal cases. The Panchnama states things which were found at a particular place and at a particular time. 


Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure:

Whenever a 

  • Court or 
  • the officer-in-charge of a police station 

feels that:

  • a document or 
  • some other thing

is necessary for the purpose of the investigation, 


  • Court may issue summon or
  • the officer may in writing, order the person in whose possession the document is to be produced. 

The document shall be produced at the date and time specified in the summons served to the person. 

This section does not apply to 

  • a person who is accused and 
  • on trial. 
  • BECAUSE-----> Self-incrimination under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India (Court cannot issue a summons for the production of a document or a thing by the accused).

Section 92 of the Code:

if a

  • document or 
  • other thing or 
  • a parcel

is in the custody of a 

  • postal or 
  • telegraph authority, 

and the Magistrate whether 

  • Judicial or 
  • Executive, 

any of the Courts wanted that that document for the purpose of investigation, 

such Magistrate or the Court may order the authority to produce the document before them. 

Section 173 of the Code: Investigating officer to file a REPORT before the Magistrate after the collection of evidence and examination of witnesses are done with. 

This section requires that each and every investigation shall be completed without any unnecessary delay. 



CLOSURE REPORT: Report under Section 169 of the Code can be referred to as the Closure Report. 

Closure report is the one in which it is stated:

  • Not enough evidence to prove that the offence has been committed by the accused. 

Once the closure report is filed before the Magistrate, he may: 

  1. accept and the report the case as closed,
  2. direct a further investigation into the case,
  3. issue a notice to the first informant as he is the only person who can challenge the report 
  4. he may directly reject the closure and take cognizance of the case. 


A charge sheet is a final report prepared by the:

  • investigation agencies or
  • law enforcement agencies 

for proving the accusation of a crime in a criminal court of law. 

The report is basically submitted by the police officer in order to prove that:

  • the accused is connected with any offence or
  • has committed any offence punishable under any penal statute having effect in India. 

The report entails and embodies:

  • all the stringent records right from the commencement of investigation procedure of lodging an FIR to till the completion of investigation and preparation of final report. 

  • Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides for report of the police officer. 

  • Filing of the Charge-Sheet indicates the end of investigation. 

Purpose of a Charge-Sheet:

  1. The purpose of a charge-sheet is to notify a person of criminal charges being issued against them. 

  1. After the charge-sheet is filed, the person against whom the charge-sheet has been filed comes to be known as an accused. 

  1. The filing of charge-sheet with the magistrate indicates commencement of criminal proceedings.


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