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Report of police officer on completion of investigation (Section 173 of CrPc)

(1) Every investigation shall be completed without unnecessary delay;

(2) (i) As soon as the investigation is completed, a report is to be submitted to the magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence on a police report (i.e., the charge-sheet or the challan). The report is to be in the form prescribed by the State Government, stating:—

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(a) The names of the parties;

(b) The nature of the information;

(c) The names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case;

(d) Whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom;

(e) Whether the accused has been arrested;

(f) Whether he has been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties;

(g) Whether he has been forwarded in custody under Section 170 of the Code.

(ii) The officer shall also communicate, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government, the action taken by him, to the person, if any, by whom the information relating to the commission of the offence was first given.

(3) Where a superior officer of police has been appointed under Section 158, the report shall, in any case in which the State Government by general or special order so directs, be submitted through that officer, and he may, pending the orders of the Magistrate, direct the officer in charge of the police station to make further investigation.

(4) Whenever it appears from a report forwarded under Section 173 that the accused has been released on his bond, the Magistrate shall make such order for the discharge of such bond or otherwise as he thinks fit.

(5) When such report is in respect of a case to which Section 170 applies, the police officer shall forward to the Magistrate along with the report:—

(a) All documents or relevant extracts thereof on which the prosecution proposes to rely other than those already sent to the Magistrate during investigation;

(b) The statements recorded under Section 161 of all the persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses.

(6) If the police officer is of opinion that any part of any such statement recorded under Section 161 of the Code is not relevant to the subject-matter of the proceedings or that its disclosure to the accused is not essential in the interests of justice and is inexpedient in the public interest, he shall indicate that part of the statement and append a note requesting the Magistrate to exclude that part from the copies to be granted to the accused and stating his reasons for making such request.

(7) Where the police officer investigating the case finds it convenient so to do, he may furnish to the accused copies of all or any of the documents referred to in the provisions of Section 173(5) of the Code.

In Dinesh Dalmia v. C.B.I., it was observed that a charge-sheet is a final report within the meaning of Section 173(2). It is filed so as to enable the Court concerned to apply its mind as to whether cognizance of the offence thereupon should be taken or not.

The report is ordinarily filed in the form prescribed therefore. One of the requirements for submission of a police report is whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom.

In some cases, the accused having not been arrested, the investigation against him may not be complete. There may not be sufficient material for arriving at a decision that the absconding accused is also a person by whom the offence appears to have been committed. If the investigating officer finds sufficient evidence even against such an accused who had been absconding, law does not require that filing of the charge-sheet must await the arrest of the accused.

The power of the investigating officer to make a prayer for making further investigation in terms of sub-section (8) of Section 173 is not taken away only because a charge-sheet is filed. A further investigation is permissible even if order of cognizance of offence has been taken by the Magistrate.

So long a charge-sheet is not filed within the meaning of Section 173(2) investigation remains pending. It, however, does not preclude an investigation officer to carry on further investigation despite filing of a police report, no terms of Section 173(8).

The statutory scheme does not lead to a conclusion in regard to an investigation leading to filing of final forms under Section 173(2) and further investigation contemplated under Section 173(8).

Whereas only when a charge-sheet is not filed and investigation is kept pending, benefit of Section 167(2) proviso would be available to an offender; once, however, a charge-sheet is filed, the said right ceases. Such a right does not revive only because a further investigation remains pending within the meaning of Section 173(8).

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