Powers of Police in Investigation

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Powers of Police in Investigation

According to the preamble of Police Act, 1861 “the police officer is an instrument for the prevention and detection of crime. If any person is in trouble or he is having threat to his life he always remember the protector of our rights i.e police. The overall administration of the police is vested in hands of the state. Police department comes under the control of home ministry of the state. The head of the overall police department in the state is Director-General of police and in every district it vests with District-superintendent of police. Whereas in cities or metropolitan areas it is the commissioner of police who takes charge of overall administration. Police department plays an important role in maintaining peace and order. The derive the power to investigate from Criminal Procedure Code.


Police plays a crucial role in combating crime, preserving peace, maintaining public order. They basically play a dual role while maintaining law and order of any state. They also control illegal activities and sale of illegal articles to which many people fall prey and destroy their life. The role of the police officers in nutshell are:

To prevent crimes

To protect public properties

To promote and preserve public order

To maintain law and order.

To prevent and control terrorist activities.

To protect internal security

To prevent commission of any cognizable offences

To accurately register complaint brought by complainant

To register Zero FIR and not to just deny the person to lodge the complaint just because the place where offence was committed doesn’t comes under their jurisdiction

Preserve, promote and protect human rights and interest of weaker section, backward classes.

To take preventive action but a police must not exercise this power arbitrarily.

To do patrolling and prohibit sale of illegal articles.

VIP security and performance of various duties while visit of any VIP.


An investigation is an important segment of criminal procedure. The first step after a crime is committed or information received by a police officer about the commission of an offence is “investigation.” The purpose is to identify the offender and proceed him for trial so as to serve him with punishment as per the provisions of the Code. Section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure confers powers on police officers to investigate cognizable cases. In Non Cognizable cases, the police officer has no authority to investigate without warrant and has to obtain a warrant under Section 155 (2) of the Code. The term “investigation” has been defined in section 2(h) of the Code. Chapter XII (Sections 154 to 176) of the Code deals with information to police and their powers to investigate.

Powers of police officers

Attendance of witness

Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code empowers the police officer to require the attendance of witnesses who are within the jurisdiction of such police station. However, where the male person is below the age of 15 years or above the age of 65 years or woman or physically or mentally infirm person, the attendance of such person will be required at his place where he resides.

Examination of Witness

As per section 161 of the Code the police officer who has the power to investigate will examine the witness and reduce their statements in writing. This section also empowers to record the stamen in audio-visual electronic means. Moreover, a woman police officer is required to record the statement of the woman against whom an offence is committed.

Preparation of chargesheet

A police officer is empowered to submit a charge sheet post investigation. It includes a copy of FIR, statement of the complainant, witnesses, panchnama, dying declaration etc.

As soon as an investigation is completed the officer in-charge of a police station shall forward a report to a magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report in the form of the prescribed manner by the State Government stating the names of the parties, nature of the information, the names of the person appeared to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case, whether any offence appears to have be committed and if so, by whom, whether the accused has been arrested, whether he has been released on his bond or sureties, whether he has been forwarded in custody under section 170 of the criminal procedure code. He shall communicate to the informant the action taken by him.

Search by Police officer: section 165

Whenever an officer in charge of police station or a police officer making an investigation has reasonable grounds for believing that anything necessary for the purposes of an investigation into any offence which he is authorised to investigate may be found in any place within the limits of the police station of which he is in charge, or to which he is attached, and that such thing cannot in his opinion be otherwise obtained without undue delay, such officer may, after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying in such writing, so far as possible, the thing for which search is to be made, search, or cause search to be made, for such thing in any place within the limits of such station.

Right of Police to Interrogate:

It is a legitimate right of the police officer to interrogate any person on some credible information. It is also true that such persons seldom willingly furnish quick and correct clue to the crimes. A certain amount of coaxing and promising may, therefore, be necessary. That does not, however, mean that the police is at liberty to use third degree method, beat a person or resort to any physical torture. Interrogation should be purposeful to make the investigation effective. Use of force is barbaric and contrary to law. Police officers are custodian of law, if the themselves commit crime than no one would be safe in the society

Works Cited


  1. Hussaini, Lamya. “Powers of Police in Investigation.” Legal Service India, https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-3535-powers-of-police-in-investigation.html. Accessed 10 February 2022. Rai, Diva. “Procedure of Investigation under CrPC - iPleaders.” iPleaders Blog, 17 April 2020, https://blog.ipleaders.in/procedure-of-investigation-under-crpc/. Accessed 10 February 2022. “Role Of Police And Its Power To Investigate -.” lawnn.com, 14 February 2017, https://www.lawnn.com/role-police-power-investigate/. Accessed 10 February 2022.