Inquiry Investigation and Trial

Inquiry Investigation and Trial –



An inquiry differs from a trial under the code in two material aspects which are as follows:-

  1. Trial presupposes the commission of an offence but an inquiry made lewd enquiries into matters other than offence such as an enquiry concerning dispute as to immovable property etc.
  2. A trial is a judicial proceeding which necessarily ends into conviction or acquittal whereas it is not so in case of an inquiry enquiries may have various endings according to the circumstances of the case.

Key Differences Between Investigation and Inquiry

Difference between investigation and inquiry:

  1. In Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the definition of Investigation can be found in Section 2 (h), whereas Inquiry can be found in Section 2 (g).
  2. The investigation is performed by a Police Officer or any other person authorized by the Magistrate on this behalf, such as any governmental agency, for example, the Central Bureau of Investigation. Conversely, Inquiry is performed by the Magistrate or Court.
  3. Basically, Investigation and Inquiry are two separate stages of a criminal case, wherein investigation is regarded as the first stage in which the police officer on his own or after receiving the orders of the magistrate investigates the case. And when there is sufficient evidence to validate the commission of the offence, the police officer submits the report to the Magistrate. Thereafter, the second stage, which may be inquiry or trial.
  4. The primary objective of the investigation is to identify whether the alleged crime has been committed or not and if that is the case, then who committed the same and collect relevant evidence for the same. Oppositely, the prime objective of inquiry is to find out the truthfulness or falsehood of the allegations.
  5. Police start an investigation, as and when an FIR or complainthas been lodged, regarding the offence, whereas Inquiry is started by the Magistrate when the charge-sheet is filed by the police.
  6. The investigation comes to end when Police Report is filed. On the other hand, Inquiry takes place prior to the framing of charge, i.e. the point when charges are framed, the inquiry comes to end.
  7. An investigation is an administrative process, whereas an inquiry is a judicial process, in that during the course of proceeding evidence is taken on oath.


Comparison Chart

Meaning The investigation is the executive procedure of systematically collecting the facts and evidence, and determining the circumstances of the case. Inquiry is a legal process, which is initiated with an aim of clearance of doubt, finding out the truth or furtherance of knowledge regarding the case.
Defined in Section 2 (h) of CrPC Section 2 (g) of CrPC
Conducted by Police Officer or any other person authorized by Magistrate. Magistrate or Court
Stage First Stage Second Stage
Objective Collection of facts and evidence Determination of truth and falsehood of the allegations
Commencement When an FIR or complaint has been lodged. When charge-sheet is filed.
Ends in Filing of Police Report Framing of Charges
Nature of Process Administrative Process Judicial or Non-Judicial Process



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