Inquiry defined as under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Chapter XXIV deals with the general provisions as to inquiries and trials.

Abbreviation: –
P.R………….. Police Report.
P.O………….. Police Officer.
I.O.P…………. Issue of Process.

Essentials of Enquiry: –

  1. The inquiry will be conducted by the magistrate.
  2. Inquiry cannot be conducted by the P.O or private person.
  3. Inquiry means whatever everything is done by magistrate or court in CrPC.
  4. After charge framing the inquiry will be converted into the trail.
  5. Inquiry after the charge is called a trial.
  6. Inquiry and trial are mutually exclusive when inquiry ends the trial begins.
  7. A charge is a transitional stage from where inquiry turns into the trial.

Note: – In a criminal case, it may be possible that there is no investigation or trial but the inquiry will always be there.

Merely because P.R is submitted, the power of P.O to conduct an investigation will not come to an end. P.R is an opinion of the P.O. This opinion is too made on some materials. For instance, complaint, other documents, statements of sec 161, case property, disclosure statement, etc. based on these materials when P.O is satisfied that the offense is committed, he will submit the report in form of challan but he may also think that this material is not sufficient for collection therefore, he should collect some additional material accordingly he may continue with the investigation which is known as further investigation and whatever material he will collect during that further investigation, he will submit the same before the court in form of supplementary challan/ charge-sheet. 


It is conducted by P.O or any other person authorized by the magistrate. The purpose of the investigation is to collect the evidence.

An FIR is lodged but that does not mean that investigation is started, it is when the P.O after registering the FIR makes his mind for investigation then investigation starts. After FIR, an I.O will be appointed and after conducting an investigation he will submit P.R, and after P.R inquiry begins.

Note: – FIR is not part of the investigation because investigation starts after the FIR.

Is it necessary that criminal cases must have all three stages i.e. investigation, inquiry, and trial?

What an Enquiry Includes: –

  1. Cognizance
  2. I.O.P
  3. Documents.
  4. Complaint.
  5. Dismissal of complaint.
  6. Discharge of the accused.

What does Trail Includes: –

  1. Charge.
  2. Plea of guilt.
  3.  Evidence/ recording of evidence
  4. Examination of the chief.
  5. Cross-examination.
  6. Re-examination.
  7. Examination of sec 313.
  8. Sec 319 additional prosecution.
  9. Reference.
  10. Revision. 
  11. Judgment.
  12. Sentence.

 As per the definition of ‘inquiry’ in sec 2 (g), Enquiry and trial are mutually exclusive i.e. when the trial starts inquiry ends. In a larger sense, starting from the point of cognizance up-till the stage of final judgment and sentence it should be called inquiry only but for CrPC inquiry and trial have been separated. The trial is a stage starting from charge framing till sentence. It is not essential that in every criminal case all the three stages i.e. investigation, inquiry, and trial should co-exist. However, there may be cases wherein a criminal proceeding was limited to inquiry only i.e. there can be a case of pure inquiry only but there cannot be a case of only investigation or trial.

You cannot copy content of this page