What is the Role of the Police in Investigating a Crime?
One of the most important functions of the police is to investigate any complaint about the commission of a crime.
An investigation includes recording statements of witnesses and collecting different kinds of evidence.
On the basis of the investigation, the police are required to form an opinion.
If the police think that the evidence points to the guilt of the accused person, then they file a chargesheet in the court.
The police have no power to decide whether a person is guilty or innocent, that is for the judge to decide.
In the previous chapters we have learnt that everybody has to follow the law of land. Therefore the police investigation has to be in accordance with the laws and in due with full respect of human rights.
The SUPREME COURT has given few guidelines for the police investigation, detention, arrest and other procedure; and they have to follow it.
The police personnels are not allowed to beat, shoot or torture anyone during the interrogation.
They cannot impose any form of punishment on a person even for petty offences.
What is FIR!!
It is with the registration of an FIR(First Information Report) that the police can begin their investigations into a crime.
The law states that it is compulsory for an officer in-charge of a police station to register an FIR whenever a person gives information about a cognizable offence.
This information can be given to the police either orally or in writing. The FIR usually mentions the date, time and place of the offence, details the basic facts of the offence, including a full description of the events.
If known, the identity of the accused persons and witnesses is also mentioned.
The FIR also states the name and address of the complainant.
There is a prescribed form in which the police registers an FIR and it is signed by the complainant.
The complainant also has a legal right to get a free copy of the FIR from the police.
In these regards, the ARTICLE 22 and the CRIMINAL LAW guarantee to every arrested person these FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS.
The person has the right to be informed at the time of arrest for the offence in which he is going to arrest.
The person has the right to be presented in front of a magistrate within the 24 hour of arrest.
The right for not to be ill treated or tortured during custody or arrest.
The confessions made in police custody cannot be used as evidence against the accused.
Any boy under 15 years of age and women cannot be called to the police station only for questioning.