The term Investigation, Inquiry and Trial are different stages of case.
INVESTIGATION is the process conducted by police officer to collect evidences.
INQUIRY is the process conducted by Magistrate or court to determine whether the proceedings of the case to be moved to trial or not.
TRIAL is a judicial proceeding which ends with deciding whether the accused person is Acquittal or Conviction.
Investigation is defined under section 2(h) of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 which states that “Investigation includes all the proceedings under this code for the collection of evidence, conducted by any person or the police officer (other than the magistrate) who is authorized by a magistrate-in behalf.”
Investigation can always be done by police officer and if the police officer is not present at the spot the magistrate can appoint any other person for the investigation.
1. The first part includes "proceeding towards the spot":- Whenever police receives any FIR or any information regarding cognizable offence, Cognizable offence means those offence in which the police can arrest the accused without warrant, provided with the fact that accused is found out on the spot.
2. "Discovery and Arrest of the Accused":- After reaching the spot of crime and investigation the police has to primarily search or discover the accused, and if accused is found out or discovered then he/she can be arrested at the spot without warrant.
3. "Examination of Accused":- After the discovery of accused the police will take a written statement of accused and the people who were present at the time of commition of crime, every person's statement is recorded. The statement is recorded under the section 161 of CrPC.
4. "Search of evidences and Seizure of things":- The police can search the place where the accused has resided the crime to get more evidences by seeking a search warrant through the magistrate. While on other side, police officer can seize the tool of offence or the weapon of offence at the spot of investigation.
So these are some basic investigation steps that are taken by police officer or the person appointed for the investigation purpose, after the launching of FIR, they head towards the spot of offence and then they prepare Spot Punchanama and its an important part to have signatures of 2 eyewitnesses on the Punchanama.
While arresting the accused the police should also make Arrest Punchanama with compulsion of having signatures of 2 eyewitnesses.
After all these processes of investigation of spot, searching or discovering of the accused, examination of accused, search of evidences and seizure of things the Investigation can be concluded when charge sheet has been registered or filed before the court procedure. The charge sheet will be filed under the section 173 of CrPC.
Inquiry is defined under Section 2(g) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 referring to any inquiry other than trial under this code, conducted by a Magistrate or a Court. Section 159 of CrPC explains an order given by the magistrate or Court to make a preliminary inquiry in order to see whether the offence has been actually committed and if yes then who are the people involved in the offence. Inquiry is the judicial process which helps to determine the truth of the complaint and also determines whether the further proceedings that is Trial is required or not. It shall be conducted by a Magistrate or Court only. The main purpose of an inquiry is to determine the truth of the facts of the case.
In the case, Jagdish Ram v. State Of Rajasthan it was held that it is not necessary to record detailed orders. But the magistrate must get satisfied to see that there is sufficient ground for the further proceedings. In the case of Punjab National Bank Others v. Surendra Prasad Sinha, it is held that the issuing of the process should not be mechanical nor should be an instrument of harassment.
• Section 202 of CrPC determine whether there is a prima facie case and also to find out that there is sufficient ground for further proceedings against the accused.
• Section 203 of CrPC see whether the complaint need to be dismissed on the finding that there is no sufficient ground for proceedings.
• Section 204 of CrPC determine whether the process should be issued or not.
Types of inquiry :
There are 6 kinds of inquiry under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 . They are -
Judicial inquiry : Judicial Inquiry is a process in which inquiry is proceeded in a matter raging to public concern which was done by a Judge, appointed by the government.
Non-judicial inquiry : it is also known as an administrative inquiry which means an inquiry which is not for the purpose of the enforcement of the law.
Preliminary inquiry : it is an inquiry done prior to the trial for the purpose of indicating the criminal nature of the offence or for the reason that whether the trials should start or not.
Local inquiry : Section 148 of CrPC deals with local inquiry defining that the magistrate may depute any subordinate magistrate for making a local inquiry. The magistrate may also direct instructions for the inquiry and for the guidance of the subordinate magistrate.
Inquiry into offence : Inquiry into offence can never end up in conviction or acquittal. The inquiry into offence just bases up the case for the trial. Inquiry into offence is related to general information about the offence committed.
Inquiry into matter other than offence : It includes such inquiry which is based on matters other than the offence, this includes general inquiries made or any other inquiry which excludes the particular offence.
It was observed by Supreme Court in the case of Moly Vs State of Kerala (2004) 4 SCC 584 that trial is not defined in Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 . Further in Ratilal Bhanji Vs State of Maharashtra (1979) 2 SCC 179, Supreme Court stated that trial starts when charge is framed against accused in warrant case. In case of Hardeep Singh Vs State of Punjab (2014) 3 SCC 92, Supreme Court held that trial is different from inquiry. The aim of trial is to fasten the responsibility upon person who is evidence in the case. The term trial is not defined under CrPC. A trial is final and last process of deciding whether the accused person is Aquittal or Conviction.
The trial begins as soon as accused is brought into the court before magistrate. Trial begins when the committal proceedings is done by magistrate. The purpose of conducting criminal trial is the court finds out whether the accused is guilty of the offence for which he has been charged. The court scan all the evidences given by both the parties and then only gives judgement. Section 190 of CrPC state all those requirements that need to be accomplished before Magistrate starts the proceeding.
Generally, there are 4 kinds of Trials :-
1. Trial by court of a session
2. Trial by a Magistrate
3. Summary Trials
4. Summon cases
• Section from 225-237 of CrPC deals with Warrant Cases by Court of Session.
• Section 238-250 of CrPC handles Warrant Cases by Magistrate.
• Section 251-259 of CrPC provides procedure for trial of Summon Cases
• Section 260-265 make Provisions related to Summary Trials.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INVESTIGATION, INQUIRY AND TRIAL
Difference between Investigation and Inquiry:-
Inquiry includes a every inquiry other than a trial conducted under this code by a magistrate or court. The inquiry relates to the proceedings that are carried out by the Magistrate before a trial is done.
Authority to Conduct: An inquiry must be done by magistrate or court, whereas an investigation is conducted by the police officer or a person appointed for the investigation by the magistrate itself.
Object: The inquiry of an object is to be determined by the truth or falsity of certain facts in order to take further action from thereon, while the collection of evidence is the object of investigation.
Stage: Inquiry is the second stage, whereas primarily investigation of case is performed. And again to mention inquiry is performed by the magistrate.
Commencement: After the complaint is filed to the magistrate the commencement of inquiry comes into scene, whereas investigation comes into scene after the FIR is lodged or complaint is made to magistrate.
Difference between Trial and Inquiry:-
The term trial is not defined by CrPC. "A proceedings, which starts when the case is called by judge and magistrate on the bench, the accused is in the representative and dock for both defense and prosecution are in the court for the hearing of case and this can end accord to either conviction or acquittal ", trial pre-supposes the commission of an offence and generally begins with the framing of charges.
Ending: As defined above in thedefinition of trial, it is a judicial proceeding which can end with either acquittal or conviction. But the inquiries can have different endings according to the situations.
Presupposition: Trial is used under the code which presupposes the idea of offence, but "inquiry" does not necessarily presupposes the idea of offence. It can extend to the matters which are not offences.
Defined: the term inquiry has been defined by the code under section 4(1)(k), but the term "Trial'' has not been defined by any code.
Purpose: The purpose of "trial" is to determine the guilt of the accused, but the purpose of "inquiry" is to search the truth and falsity of facts of the case.