January 4, 2024
Statue of Lady Justice

The investigation process under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system. It is an essential stage that helps in gathering evidence, identifying suspects, and establishing the truth behind criminal offenses. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the investigation under Crpc, purpose of investigation under Crpc, the authorities responsible for conducting investigations, and the power of Police to investigate under Crpc.


The primary purpose of investigation under CrPC is to

  • Collect evidence and information related to a criminal offense
  • Ascertain the facts and circumstances surrounding an alleged crime
  • Identify the perpetrators, and gather evidence to establish guilt or innocence

Additionally, investigations serve to protect the rights of the accused by ensuring that due process is followed and that the rule of law is upheld. The ultimate goal of an investigation is to uncover the truth and ensure that justice is served.


Under the CrPC, investigations are primarily conducted by police officers. The responsibility for investigating criminal cases lies with the law enforcement agencies, such as the police. The police have the authority to initiate investigations based on complaints, information, or their own knowledge of a cognizable offense.


The CrPC grants extensive powers to police officers to conduct thorough and effective investigations. These powers are aimed at enabling law enforcement to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and take necessary actions to ensure that justice is served. Some of the key powers vested in police officers during the investigation process include:

  1. Power to Investigate: Section 156 of the CrPC, 1973 empowers a police officer in charge of a police station to investigate any cognizable case without the need for an order from a magistrate. This provision allows the police to take prompt action upon receiving information about a cognizable offense.
  2. Arrest and Detention: Section 41 of the CrPC provides police officers with the authority to arrest individuals suspected of committing a cognizable offense. Additionally, Section 167 of the CrPC outlines the provisions for the detention of arrested persons during the course of an investigation.
  3. Search and Seizure: Under Section 165 of the CrPC, police officers have the power to conduct searches and seize relevant evidence during an investigation. However, these powers are subject to certain procedural safeguards and limitations to prevent abuse.
  4.  Recording Statements: Police officers are authorized to record statements from witnesses and suspects during the course of an investigation. Section 161 of the CrPC outlines the procedure for recording statements, which must be done in accordance with prescribed legal requirements.
  5.  Collection of Evidence: Police officers have the authority to collect physical evidence, such as documents, weapons, or other items that may be relevant to a criminal case. This includes obtaining forensic evidence and conducting scientific tests as necessary.  For example, conducting identification parade under Section 54A, medical examination of accused under Section 53 and medical examination of accused of rape under Section 53 A.


Several provisions under the CrPC, 1973 govern the process of investigation and outline the powers and duties of police officers. Some of the key provisions relevant to investigation under CrPC include:

  • Section 154: This section deals with the registration of First Information Report (FIR) upon receipt of information about a cognizable offense.
  • Section 156: It empowers a police officer in charge of a police station to investigate any cognizable case without an order from a magistrate.
  • Section 41: This section outlines the powers of arrest by a police officer without a warrant.
    Section 165: It provides for the power of a police officer to conduct searches and seize evidence even without a warrant.
  • Section 167: This section deals with the procedure for detention during investigation.
  • Section 172: It outlines the procedure for diary entries by investigating officers
  • Section 173: This section deals with the submission of a police report upon completion of an investigation.


  • D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal (1997): This case is significant as it laid down guidelines to be followed by the police during the arrest and detention of individuals. The Supreme Court emphasized the need to protect the rights of the accused and outlined specific procedures to prevent custodial abuse and ensure fair treatment of detainees.
  • State of Maharashtra v. Christian Community Welfare Council of India (2004): This case dealt with the powers of the police to conduct searches and seizures during an investigation. The Supreme Court emphasized the importance of following procedural safeguards and obtaining search warrants, except in exceptional circumstances, to prevent arbitrary exercise of police powers.
  • Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra (1983): In this case, the Supreme Court highlighted the rights of arrested persons, particularly women and juveniles, during investigation and detention. The Court emphasized the need for special provisions to protect vulnerable groups during the investigative process.

These cases have played a crucial role in defining and safeguarding the rights of individuals during investigations and have contributed to establishing important legal principles governing police conduct and investigative procedures in India.

The investigation process under CrPC is a critical stage in criminal proceedings, as it serves as the foundation for establishing guilt or innocence in criminal cases. By understanding the purpose of investigation, the authorities responsible for conducting investigations, and the powers vested in police officers, individuals can gain insight into how criminal cases are investigated and processed within the legal framework. It is essential for law enforcement agencies to exercise their powers responsibly and within the bounds of law to ensure that justice is served while upholding individual rights and due process.

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