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What is Police officers power to investigate cognizable case? Procedure for investigation? Report how submitted? Power to hold investigation or preliminary inquiry? Section 156, 157, 158 and 159 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973

Police officers power to investigate, cognizable case, Procedure for investigation, Report how submitted and Power to hold investigation or preliminary inquiry are defined under Section 156, 157, 158 and 159 of CRPC 1973. Provisions under these sections are:



Section 156 of CRPC "Police officers power to investigate cognizable case"
(1) Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such station would have power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII.

(2) No proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate.

(3) Any Magistrate empowered under section 190 may order such an investigation as above-mentioned.

Amendment of section 156.-In section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, (2 of 1974) in its application to the State of Maharashtra (hereinafter referred to as "the said Code"), after sub-section (3), the following provisos shall be added, namely:-

"Provided that, no Magistrate shall order an investigation under this section against a person who is or was a public servant as defined under any other law for the time being in force, in respect of the act done by such public servant while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duties, except with the previous sanction under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or under any law for the time being in force:
Provided further that, the sanctioning authority shall take a decision within a period of ninety days from the date of the receipt of the proposal for sanction and in case the sanctioning authority fails to take the decision within the said stipulated period of ninety days, the sanction shall be deemed to have been accorded by the sanctioning authority.".

[Vide Maharashtra Act 33 of 2016, s. 2.]


Section 157 of CRPC "Procedure for investigation"

(1) If, from information received or otherwise, an officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission of an offence which he is empowered under section 156 to investigate, he shall forthwith send a report of the same to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence upon a police report and shall proceed in person, or shall depute one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as the State Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, to proceed, to the spot, to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender:


Provided that--

(a) when information as to the commission of any such offence is given against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the officer in charge of a police station need not proceed in person or depute a subordinate officer to make an investigation on the spot;

(b) if it appears to the officer in charge of a police station that there is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not investigate the case.

1[Provided further that in relation to an offence of rape, the recording of statement of the victim shall be conducted at the residence of the victim or in the place of her choice and as far as practicable by a woman police officer in the presence of her parents or guardian or near relatives or social worker of the locality.]

(2) In each of the cases mentioned in clauses (a) and (b) of the proviso to sub-section (1), the officer in charge of the police station shall state in his report his reasons for not fully complying with the requirements of that subsection, and, in the case mentioned in clause (b) of the said proviso, the officer shall also forthwith notify to the informant, if any, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government, the fact that he will not investigate the case or cause it to be investigated.


1. Ins. by Act 5 of 2009, s.11 (w.e.f. 31-12-2009).


Section 158 of CRPC "Report how submitted"
(1) Every report sent to a Magistrate under section 157 shall, if the State Government so directs, be submitted through such superior officer of police as the State Government, by general or special order, appoints in that behalf.

(2) Such superior officer may give such instructions to the officer in charge of the police station as he thinks fit, and shall, after recording such instructions on such report, transmit the same without delay to the Magistrate.

Section 159 of CRPC "Power to hold investigation or preliminary inquiry"
Such Magistrate, on receiving such report, may direct an investigation, or, if he thinks fit, at once proceed, or depute any Magistrate subordinate to him to proceed, to hold a preliminary inquiry into, or otherwise to dispose of, the case in the manner provided in this Code.

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