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Role of Police in Investigating a Crime

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Every person has a Fundamental Right to be represented by a lawyer, according to Article 22 of the Constitution. The State is required by Article 39A of the Constitution to give a lawyer to any citizen who is unable to afford one owing to poverty or another impairment. The police, the public prosecutor, the defense lawyer, and the judge are the four main players in the criminal justice process. 

Role of Police in Investigating a Crime

The investigation of every complaint concerning a crime is an important function of the police. Witness statements are recorded, and various types of evidence are collected as part of the inquiry. Compulsion on part of the police to form an opinion based on the inquiry. The police will submit a charge sheet in court if they believe the evidence indicates the accused person’s guilt. It is the role of the judge, not the police, to determine whether a person is guilty or innocent. 

In the meantime, the rule of law means that everyone, even the police, is bound by the law. Police investigations must be carried out in conformity with the law and with the highest regard for human rights. The Supreme Court has established criteria for police officers to observe during arrests, detentions, and interrogations. During the investigation, the police are not permitted to torture, beat, or shoot somebody. They are unable to impose any type of punishment on a person, even for minor infractions. 

Types of Investigation

The following are some examples of research types

  1. Civil investigation: These are the investigations that take place during civil proceedings in which there is no breach of the law and only an issue of money or property to be resolved. 
  2. Negligence investigation: These investigations are undertaken by either the plaintiff’s attorney to prove the defendant’s liability or the defendant’s attorney to deny the plaintiff’s claims. Surveillance and interrogating witnesses are used to accomplish this.
  3. Corporate investigation: Incorporate investigations, the investigator watches the company’s operations and also gives information regarding fraud occurring within or outside the organization.
  4. General investigation: It is a broad phrase that encompasses a wide range of investigative operations. These operations can be carried out for a variety of reasons, including locating witnesses, detecting dishonest personnel, and detecting fraud. 

Article 22 of the Constitution

Every arrested individual is guaranteed the following Fundamental Rights under Article 22 of the Constitution and criminal law:

  • The right to be notified of the crime for which the individual is being arrested at the time of the arrest.
  • The right to appear in front of a magistrate within 24 hours of being arrested.
  • The right not to be tortured or mistreated while incarcerated. 
  • In police custody, confessions made are not admissible as evidence.
  • Women and minors under the age of 15 are not permitted to be summoned to the police station only for the purpose of questioning. 

D.K.Basu Guidelines

For the arrest, imprisonment, and interrogation of any person, the Supreme Court of India establishes particular rules and processes that the police and other authorities must follow. The D.K. Basu Guidelines comprise the following items: 

  1. The officers who carry out the arrest or interrogation should wear name tags with their designations that are clear, accurate, and conspicuous.
  2. At the time of arrest, a memo of arrest should be written up that includes the time and date of the arrest. At least one witness needs to attest to it, which might be a family member of the person detained. The individual arrested should countersign the arrest memo.
  3. A person who has been arrested, detained, or interrogated has the right to notify a relative, friend, or well-wisher.
  4. When a friend or relative lives outside the district, police must notify them of the time, place of arrest, and custody location within 8 to 12 hours of the arrest. 

First Information Report(FIR)

The police can begin their investigation into a crime once a First Information Report (FIR) is filed. When a person provides information concerning a cognizable offense, an officer in charge of a police station is required by law to file an FIR. The police might receive this information either orally or in writing. The date, time, and place of the incident are usually included in the FIR, as well as the basic details of the crime, such as a description of the events. The identities of the accused and witnesses are also mentioned if they are known. The complainant’s name and address are also listed in the FIR. Police can file an FIR if the complainant signs a required form. The complainant has a legal right to receive a free copy of the police report. 

Role of Public Prosecutor

A criminal offence that is considered a public wrong is done not only against the victims, but also against society at large.The public prosecutor represents the state’s interests. After the police have completed the investigation and submitted the charge sheet in court, they will take over. They have no involvement with the probe. The Prosecutor is in charge of prosecuting cases on behalf of the government. It is their obligation as a court official to behave impartially, allowing the court to make a decision. 

Role of the Judge

The Judge in an open court conducts trials impartially. He hears all of the witnesses and all of the evidence given by the prosecution and defence.The judge determines whether the accused individual is guilty or innocent based on the evidence presented and in line with the law. If the accused is found guilty, the judge will issue a punishment that may include imprisonment, a fine, or both, depending on the legislation. 

Sample Questions

Question 1: What is the role of a public prosecutor?


A Public Prosecutor is a key state government official who is appointed by the governor under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. 

Question 2: What are the rules that the police must follow when conducting an investigation?


Police investigations must be carried out in conformity with the law and with the utmost respect for human rights. During an inquiry, police officers are not authorized to torture, beat, or shoot somebody. They are unable to impose any type of punishment on a person, even for minor infractions. 

Question 3: What makes a prosecutor a Public Prosecutor?


Because a criminal offence is considered a public wrong, done not only against the victim, but also against society as a whole, the prosecutor who represents the state is known as a Public Prosecutor. 

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Last Updated : 24 May, 2023
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