The Role of Police in Criminal Justice System

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The Role of Police in Criminal Justice System

History of Bangladesh Police

Ancient Period

There is a long and very much old history of police. A study of history shows that police is as old as the civilization. In the city state of Rome police became a special institution by about the time of Augustus towards the Middle of the fist century B.C. In case of Bangladesh the history of policing is also very old.

Manushanghita, the hieroglyphics of Emperor Ashoka, and the stories of renowned travelers are the main sources of composing our history. These sources also give clues to compose the fragmented history of Bangladesh Police. In Orthoshastra by Koutilla, nine types of spies are mentioned. During that period policing was confined in the efforts of collecting intelligence in order to curb anti-governmental activities and to maintain law and order in the society. The duties of under cover spies were extended such a way that they used to conduct surveillance over the activities of ministers, civil and military officials. For this all means of temptations and instigations were used. Information about investigating techniques and investigating authorities may be found in Orthoshastra. The procedures of punishing the accused are also found in this book. Hence it maybe assumed that there was one kind of police under the local autonomous system in the rural and urban areas.

Medieval Period

Details of policing activities during the middle age cannot be found as well. However, during the periods of the great sultans, an official holding the position of Muhtasib used to perform the duties of policing. This person happened to be the chief of police and the in charge of public works and the inspector of public ethics simultaneously. In urban areas, Kotwals were responsible for performing police duties. Information regarding police systems during the Mughal period can be found in the book Aain-E-Akbori. The policing system introduced by Shershah Shuri, was further organized during the period of Emperor Akber, the great. The Emperor organized his administrative structure introducing Fouzdari (the principal representative of the Emperor), Mir Adal and Kazi (the head of judicial department) and Kotwal (the chief police official of larger cities). This system was very effective in maintaining the law and order in cities. The Kotwal police system was implemented in Dhaka City. Many district sadar police stations are still called Kotwali police stations. In Mughal period Kotwal emerged as an institution. According to the historians the Kotwal was minor luminary under the Muhtasib.

A Fouzdar was appointed to every administrative unit of the government (district). There were some artillery and cavalry forces under the Fouzdar. Thanadars was appointed dividing the parganas into small localities. There was a disciplined police system during the Mughal period though there was no professional police force like that of the British period. In general, it may be opined that there was a remarkable development in the maintenance of law and order and criminal administration during the reign of the Muslim rulers.

British Period

The establishment of a systematic police force in England was of slow growth and came into effect after its creation abroad. In the early stage of Industrial Revolution when England was facing grave crisis due to socioeconomic transformation the necessity of an effective organised police service was keenly felt Sir Robert Peel, the then Prime Minister introduced a bill in the British Parliament in 1829 which created an organised civil police in the nearby London Metro police. Initially there were some opposition to the existence of this uniform police but the success of the London police in controlling social disorder and crime captured imagination of not only the people of England but also of the whole Europe and America, New York city copied the London model with some modifications when it organised the first Municipal Police Force 1833.

In 1858 full control of the Indian Territory was taken over from the East India Company by the British government. The success of the London police organised under Peels Act of 1829 prompted the British government to reform the police system in the sub-continent on the line of the British constabularies. With this end in view a police commissioner was set up 1840 and on the recommendation of the commission of the Police Act (Act V of 1861) was passed by the British Parliament. Under this Act a police force was created in each province of British India and placed under the control of the provincial government. The administration of the police force of a province was vested upon an officer styled as the Inspector General of Police. The administration of the police in a district was placed under the Superintended of Police. The Act is still in force throughout the Sub-continent and has been regulating the function of police in Bangladesh as well as the other countries of the sub-continent.

Pakistan Period

After partition of the Sub-continent in 1947 police force in Bangladesh was first named as East Bengal Police and then as East Pakistan Police and it continued to function as provincial police force in the same lines as during the British rule.

Role of Police in Liberation War

The most glorious chapter of the history of Bangladesh Police came when Bengali-speaking police officers participated along with the citizens in Bangladesh Liberation War. During the liberation war a large number of police officers from all ranks including a Deputy Inspector General, some senior Superintendents of Police and many other gave their lives for the cause of liberation. Many police personnel embraced martyrdom on 25 March 1971 fighting with outdated .303 rifles against the Pakistani invaders. The resistance by the Bengali members of police at Rajarbag is basically the first chapter of armed struggles during the War of Independence. This armed resistance was a clear indication to all that they had no other alternative but to go for an armed struggle to achieve independence. The name and address of 1262 police officers of different ranks could be listed who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Bangladesh during the liberation war.

Again Mr. Mahbubuddin Ahmed, Bir Bikram, who was the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Jhenaidah at that time, led the historic guard of honour given to the members of the Mujibnagar Cabinet when the provisional Government of Bangladesh took oath on the auspicious day of April 17, 1971 during liberation war.

Bangladesh Period

After the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country on December 16, 1971 the police force was recognized and it assumed the role of a national police force. Bangladesh Police as like as other police forces over the world is primarily responsible for the preservation of peace and order, protection of life and property of the people and prevention and detection of crime. The traditional role of police in Bangladesh has undergone significant change after the liberation. The role of police is no longer confined to maintenance of law and order and prevention and detection of crime. To meet the need of an independent and developing country the police is now required playing a significant role in developing state and such kinds of activities by providing the basic security required for sustained economic growth of the country. Police also is contributing substantially in this field by keeping under control economic crimes which retread the process of the development. It is further playing a vital role in dealing with insurgency in some areas of the country which impedes development activities and threatens the security of the state.

Organization of Bangladesh Police

Bangladesh Police is headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Under the control of Police Headquarters, Bangladesh Police is divided into different branches.


  • Range Police
  • Metropolitan Police
  • Special Branch (SB)
  • Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
  • Railway Police (GRP)
  • Highway Police
  • Industrial Police
  • Specialized Security and Protection Battalion (SSPBn)
  • Armed Police Battalion (APBn)
  • Rapid Action Battalion(RAB)

Range & District Police

  • Outside the Dhaka capital region and other metropolitan cities, police is organised into Police Ranges, headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), who control several Police Districts. Now there are seven Police Ranges in seven administrative divisions and two Police Ranges for railways and highways.
  • The Police District is the fulcrum of police activity and each Police District is headed by a Superintendent of Police (SP).
  • The Police District is made up of one or more Circles, and is under the command of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) often referred to as the Circle ASP.
  • Under the Police Circles are the police stations, generally under the control of an Inspector of Police who is called Officer-in-Charge (OC). Under him several Sub-Inspector of Police works. As per the various Bangladeshi laws, Sub-Inspector (and above) are the only officers who can file a charge sheet in the court.

Each Police Range maintains its own Range Reserve Force (RRF) and district police also maintains its own Special Armed Force (SAF) which is responsible for emergencies and crowd control issues. They are generally activated only on orders from the Superintendent of Police, and higher-level authorities. The armed constabulary do not usually come into contact with the general public unless they are assigned to VIP duty or to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may also be sent to quell outbreaks of student or labor unrest, organized crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in anti-terrorist operations.

Names of the Police Ranges in seven administrative divisions are:

Name of the Police Range
1 Dhaka Range
2 Chittagong Range
3 Khulna Range
4 Rajshahi Range
5 Sylhet Range
6 Barisal Range
7 Rangpur Range
Name of the Metropolitan Police
1 Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP)
2 Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP)
3 Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP)
4 Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP)
5 Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP)
6 Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP)

Criminal Investigation Department (CID)

  • The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is a special unit of Bangladesh Police responsible for carrying out investigations into crimes grievous in nature, including terrorism, murders and organized crime. It also gives forensic support to law enforcing agencies. It is headquartered in Malibag, Dhaka, and maintains two training schools named the Detective Training School and the Forensic Training Institute.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

  • In 2004, elite force of Bangladesh Police Rapid Action Battalion was raised, consisting of the personnel of Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Ansar. It works under the command of Inspector General of Police


The weapons used by Bangladesh police are:

  • 9 mm Pistols
  • L.M.G (Light Machine Gun)
  • M.M.G ( Medium Machine Gun)
  • .38 Smith and Wesson
  • Shot gun (12 Bore)
  • 7.62 mm Chinese Rifle
  • 7.62 x 51 G3 Rifle
  • AK 47
  • Tear Shell (Gas Gun)
  • 7.62 Sub Machine Gun
  • Gas Grenade



Preventive jurisdiction, under the Code of Criminal Proceeding 1898, is classified under two broad heads. The first may be called magisterial action; and the second police action. The magisterial preventive jurisdiction is dealt with in chapters 8 and is quasi-judicial and quasi-executive. cases falling under the second head are purely executive. they fall into three categories:(1) prevention of cognizable offence(section 149-151); (2) prevention of injury to public property(section 152); and (3) inspection of weights and measures(section 153).unlike the first head, there is no judicial inquiry at all; and from the very urgency of the cases the police have to act on their own initiative and of their own knowledge. the powers given are very wide indeed and their exercise is ordinarily summary

149. Police to prevent cognizable offences: Every police officer may interpose for the

purpose of preventing, and shall, to the best of his ability, prevent the commission of any cognizable offence.

APPLICATION:- This section applies for prevention of cognizable offence only. Interpose connotes active intervention and not merely a prohibition by word of mouth(25 CWN 63)

COMMENT(section 149):- police-officers have been armed with extensive powers to prevent commission of cognizable offence. Offence for which they could arrest without a warrant. First of all section 149 enables a police-officer to prevent the commission of a cognizable offence(section 149).

150. Information of design to commit such offences: Every police officer receiving

information of a design to commit any cognizable offence shall communicate such

information to the police officer to whom he is subordinate, and to any other officer whose duty it is to prevent or take cognizance of the commission of any such offence.

COMMENT(section 150):- If the police-officer receives information of a design to commit such an offence, he can either pass on the information to his superior police-officer or to any other officer.

151. Arrest to prevent such offences: A police officer knowing of a design to commit

any cognizable offence may arrest, without orders from a Magistrate and without a

warrant, the person so designing, if it appears to such officer that the commission of the

offence cannot be otherwise prevented.

CASES REFERANCE:- 22 BLD(AD) 83- Khushida Begum and another Vs. Golam Mustafa and others-The provision in section 151 C.P.C and section 561A Cr.P.C do not empower or authorized the court to make an order affecting the other party in the proceeding without hearing him in disregard of the time old maxim audi alterem partem.

COMMENT(section 151):- Arrest under section 151 is possible only if the person concerned is believed to have a design to commit a cognizable offence. Where a detenu was unable to furnish security and the magistrate ordered his detention in judicial custody without holding enquiry and without applying his mind, the order of detention was held illegal.

152. Prevention of injury to public property: A police officer may of his own authority

interpose to prevent any injury attempted to be committed in his view to any public

property, movable or immovable, or the removal or injury of any public landmark or buoy

or other mark used for navigation.

COMMENT (section 152):- The one essential requirement of this section is that the attempt must be committed ”in the view” of the police-officer. The emergency arising here is not so great as the one arising under section 149-151,thought it certainly is more pressing than the one referred to in section 153

153. Inspection of weights and measures: (1) Any officer in charge of a police station

may, without a warrant, enter any place within the limits of such station for the purpose

of inspecting or searching for any weights or measures or instruments for weighing, used or kept therein whenever he has reason to believe that there are in such place any

weights, measures or instruments for weighing which are false.

(2) If he finds in such place any weights, measures or instruments for weighing which are raise, he may seize the same, and shall forthwith give information of such seizure to a Magistrate having jurisdiction.

COMMENT (section 153):- The officer who can act under this section is the officer in charge of a police –station, and the place searched should be within the limits of that station. All he can do is to seize false weights or measures if any are found and to report the seizure to the magistrate having jurisdiction.


Police have been given some duties and power both in the Cr.P.C and in the police Act 1861 to prevent crimes in general. Compared to the provision in the Cr.P.C the police Act gives wider powers for the prevention of offences in general. Chapter 8 of the Cr.P.C gives some special powers with regard to prevention of crimes. These powers are apart from the powers to arrest without warrant under section 154.



Arrest is the beginning of imprisonment. Its purpose may be classified as: Preventive (in order to terminate a breach of peace). Punitive (to take a person before a magistrate to answer for an offence or to be bound over).and Protective (where mentally ill persons are arrested for their own protection).There is no necessary assumption that arrest will be followed by a charge. A constable who reasonable suspect a person of involvement in an offence may arrest that person with a view to interrogating him in the more formal atmosphere of a police station.


The Code of Criminal proceding,1898 provide that an arrest occurs when a police officer states in terms that a person is arrested, when he used force to restrain the individual concerned, or when by words or conduct he makes it clear that he will, if necessary, used force to prevent the individual from going where he wants to go. Thus the police officer must say before arrest to the person to be arrested ”I am arresting you”.


The Cr.P.C has given power to arrest to both general public and police officer. Thus arrest may be made by police officers and also in some circumstances by an individual.

Sec. 46.Arrest how made.- (1) In making an arrest the Police-officer or other

person making the same shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested, unless there be a submission to the custody by word or action.

(2) If such person forcibly resists the endeavor to arrest him, or attempts to evade the arrest, such Police-officer or other person may use all means necessary to effect the arrest.

(3) Nothing in this section gives a right to cause the death of a person

who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with transportation for


CASE REFERANCE:-This section does not restrict the powers of the police to enter the place to be search without any demand. AIR 1914 Cal 456=15 Cri L Jour 385(DB)

Sec. 47. Search of place entered by Person sought to be arrested.- If any person

acting under a warrant of arrest, or any Police-officer having authority to arrest, has reason to believe that the person to be arrested has entered into, or is within, any place, the person residing in, or being in charge of, such place shall, on demand of such person acting as aforesaid or such Police-officer, allow him free ingress thereto, and afford all reasonable facilities for a search therein.

COMMENT:- While making the arrest under warrant or in case of a warrantable case the police officer may ask free ingress to any residence or place where he has reason to believe that the person to ‘be arrested is hiding or has entered into.

Sec. 48.Procedure where ingress not obtainable.- If ingress to such place cannot be obtained under section 47 it shall be lawful in any case for a person acting under a warrant and in any case in which a warrant may issue, but cannot be obtained without affording the person to be arrested an opportunity of escape, for a Police officer to enter such place and search therein, and in order to effect an entrance into such place, to break open any outer or inner door or window of any house or place, whether that of the person to be arrested or of any other person, if after notification of his authority and purpose and demand of admittance duly made, he cannot

otherwise obtain admittance:

Provided that, if any such place is an apartment in the actual occupancy of a woman (not being the person to be arrested) who, according to custom, does not appear in public such person or Police-officer shall, before entering such apartment, give notice to such woman that she is at liberty to withdraw and shall afford her every reasonable facility for withdrawing, and may then break open the apartment and enter it.

CASE REFERANCE:-A police officer entering into a building for purpose of arresting suspected persons will not be liable for trespass-clark vs Brojendra Kishore,36 Cal 433.

COMMENT:- ) If ingress to such place cannot be obtained under section 47 it shall be lawful for the police officer to break into the house or residence to effect the arrest .

If such a breaking into the house is to be done into a zanana, the police officer must give the women inside the zanana opportunity to withdraw themselves from it


Sec. 49.Power to break open doors and windows for purposes of liberation.-

Any Police-Officer or other person authorized to make an arrest may break open

any outer or inner door or window of any house or place in order to liberate himself or any other person who, having lawfully entered for the purpose of making an arrest, is detained therein.

CASE REFERANCE:-A magistrate has no jurisdiction to authorized the police to break open a door for the purpose of delivering properties alleged to have been wrongfully locked up by a person not having any title to it. AIR 1923 All 473=25 Cri L Jour 218.

COMMENT:- The person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape

Sec. 50.No unnecessary restraint.- The person arrested shall not be subjected to

more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.

Sec. 51.Search of arrested persons.- Wherever a person is arrested by a Police officer under a warrant which does not provide for the taking of bail, or under a warrant which provides for the taking of bail but the person arrested cannot furnish

bail, and Whenever a person is arrested without warrant, or by private person under a warrant, and cannot legally be admitted to bail, or is unable to furnish bail.

The officer making the arrest or, when the arrest is made by a private person, the Police-officer to whom he makes over the person arrested, may search such person, and place in safe custody all articles, other than necessary wearing apparel, found upon him.

CASE REFERANCE:-Issue of notice to surety without first forfeiting his bond is irregular. sanwan vs state 17 DLR(WP)141.

Where the search is genuine technical objections should not be allowed to prevail. Jaganath vs Emp AIR 1942 oudh 221.

Sec. 52.Mode of searching women. – Whenever it is necessary to cause a woman to be searched, the search shall be made by another woman, with strict regard to




Section 54 of the CrPC lays down the general power of arrest police officer. This power is general in the sense that a police officer may arrest a person without warrant or any kind of order from superior authority or court or Magistrate. In nine circumtance a police officer may, without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest a person:

Sec. 54.When Police may arrest without warrant.- (1) Any Police-officer may,

without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant, arrest,-

first, any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made or credible information has been received or a reasonable suspicion exists of his having been so concerned ;

secondly , any person having in his possession without lawful excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie on such person, any implement of house-breaking;

thirdly , any person who has been proclaimed as an offender either under this Code or by order of the Government;

fourthly , any person in whose possession anything is found which may reasonably be suspected to be stolen property and who may reasonably be suspected of having committed an offence with reference to such thing;

fifthly , any person who obstructs a Police-officer while in the execution of his duty, or who has escaped, or attempts to escape, from lawful custody;

sixthly , any person reasonably suspected of being a deserter from the armed forces of Bangladesh;

seventhly, any person who has been concerned in, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made or credible information has been received or a reasonable suspicion exists of his having been concerned in, any act committed at any place out of Bangladesh, which, if committed in Bangladesh, would have been punishable as an offence, and for which he is, under any law relating to extradition or under the Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881, or otherwise, liable to be apprehended or detained in custody in Bangladesh;

eighthly , any released convict committing a breach of any rule made under section 565, sub-section (3);

ninthly, any person for whose arrest a requisition has been received from another police-officer, provided that the requisition specified the person to be arrested and the offence or other cause for which the arrest is to be made and it appears there from that the person might lawfully be arrested without a warrant by the officer who issued the requisition.

Abuse of Police Power of Arrest (section 54)

Both the methods of policing in this country and the police been questioned over times. The work of the police is often characterised by brutality. Abuse of power by the police under section 54 of the CrPC and the Special Powers Act 1974 have been identified by different human rights watchdog agencies as the main sources human rights violation in the country. This is because the provision of both the laws allow the arrest of any person by the law enforcers without recourse to court order. Legal loopholes provide the police without excuse for arresting someone with impunity. The arrest is not everything. The method of extracting information from

the arrested person by the police is barbarous and this is the reason behind so many custodial deaths. The most of the custodial deaths are pure reson killing by criminals in uniform are a fact of life in Bangladesh. Abuse of power under sections 54 and 167 by the police and magistrates have been elaborately discussed by the High Court Division of the supreme Court in BLAST v Bangladesh (55 DLR 363). In this cases HCD has given 15 directives to the Government to follows along with recommendations to implement by way of amending the Cr.P.C. Of these 15 directions first 8 relates to the police power .of arrest under section 54″ of the CrPC which are as follows:

(1) No police officer shall arrest a person under section 54 of the Code for the purpose of detaining him under section 3 of the Special Powers Act, 1974. f;,

(2) A police officer shall disclose his identity and, if demanded, shall show his identity card to the person arrested and to the persons present at the time of arrest.

(3) Immediately after bringing the person arrested to the police station, die police officer shall record the reasons for the arrest including the knowledge which he has about the involvement of the person in a cognizable offence, particulars of the offence, circumstances under which arrest was made, the source of information and the reasons for believing the information, description of the place, note the date and time of arrest, name and address of the persons, if any, present at the time of arrest in a diary kept in die police station for that purpose.

(4) If at the time of arrest, the police officer finds any marks of injury on the person arrested, he shall record the reasons for such injury and shall take the person to the nearest hospital or Government doctor for treatment and shall obtain a certificate from the attending doctor about the injuries.

(5) He shall furnish die reasons for arrest to the person ‘arrested within three hours of bringing him to die police station.

(6) If the person is not arrested from his residence .or place of business, he shall inform the nearest relation of the person over phone, if any, or through a messenger within one hour of bringing him to the police station.

(7) He shall allow the person arrested to consult the lawyer of his choice if he so desires or to meet any of his nearest relations.

(8) When such person is produced before die nearest Magistrate under section 61, die police officer shall state in his forwarding letter under section 167(1) if the Code as to why the investigation could not be completed within 24 hours,why he considers that the accusation or the information against that person is well-founded. He shall also transmit copy of the relevant entries in the case diary BP form 38 to


Critical evaluation of General Power of arrest:-

Section54 gives a very wide and sweeping power to the h| ought to be rigorously construed (Sandino AIR 1934 Sind 197)

under this section a police officer may arrest a person on resonable suspicion

and there is a great danger of abusing it. What is resonable suspicion or complaint? There is no exact definition of this term.However, what is reasonable suspicion or complaint must depend on the circumstances of each particular case, but it must be at least found on some definite fact tending to throw suspicion on the person arrested, and not on a mere vague surmise or information. resonable suspicion means a bonafide belief on the part of the police-officer that an offence has been committed or is about to be committed (AIR 1943 Mad 218), Alhaj Md. YususfAli v The State, 22 BLD(HCD)231.

Instances of Special Power of Arrest by police officer:

(i) Any Officer in charge of a police station may arrest a vagabond, habitual offender without warrant under section 55.

(ii) A police officer may depute a subordinate to cause arrest without warrant and in such a case the subordinate officer can arrest without warrant (sec. 56).

(3) A police officer may arrest a person who commits a non-cognizable offence in presence of the police and refuses to give his name and address or the name and address given is believed to be false (sec. 57)

(4) A private person may arrest without warrant any person who is a proclaimed offender or who in his view commits a non-bailable and cognizable offence (sec. 59).

(5)Any Magistrate may at any time arrest or direct the arrest, in his presence, within the local limits of his jurisdiction of any person for whose arrest he is competent at the time and in the circumstances to issue a warrant (sec. 65).

(6) If a person in lawful custody escapes or is rescued, the person from whose custody he escaped or was rescued may immediately pursue and arrest him in any place in Bangladesh (sec. 66).

(7)An officer in Charge of a Police station may arrest •hi warrant any member of an unlawful assembly I icing commanded to disperse shows determination io disperse (sec. 128).

(8) Any police officer may arrest without warrant a person cannot otherwise be prevented from committing a in/able offence (sec. 151).

(9) Any police officer may arrest without warrant a person fails to fulfill the conditions on which a sentence has been suspended or remitted by the Government (sec.401(3) )



Criminal Justice set in motion: The criminal justice system can be set in motion by any of the two ways:

(1) By filing an FIR with regard to a cognizable offence; or

(2) By filing a complaint with regard to non-cognizable offence.

First Information Report (FIR):

The term ’’First Information Report’ is not mentioned in the Cr.P.C but those words arc understood to mean information recorded under section 154 of the Code of criminal proceeding 1898. It means the information which reaches the officer -in charge of a police station first on point of time about the commission of a cognizable offence. First information regarding a non-cognizable offence which is dealt with in section 155 0f the Cr.P.C. The word ‘information’ means something in the nature of a complaint or accusation, or at least information of a crime, given with the object of putting the police in motion in order to investigation, as distinguished from information obtained by the police when acting for investigating a crime.


Generally the victim gives the first information report with regard to commission of a non-cognizable offence. However, it may be given by those who have seen the commission of the crime or who has knowledge of the crime. It may be given orally or in writing. Oral in be recorded in writing by the police officer. It must be signed by the officer in charge of a police station and the informant. Unsigned information cannot be treated as an FIR.

A telephone message received by a police-station reporting the commission of a cognizable offence can be recorded as an FIR but the name and address of the informant must be taken by the recipient.

Again, the station writer himself can sign the report as the person giving the information because the information report may be merely hearsay and need not necessarily be given by a person who has first­hand knowledge of the crime.

Again, on the basis of hearsay or otherwise, police officer may go to the scene on suspicion of crime’ and may records a detailed information of the commission qf the crime and this record made by the police officer becomes an FIR.

FIR in Cognizable Offence:

First, any individual may file an FIR (First Information Report) under section 154 about the commission of a cognizable offence to police station; second, police may come to know about the commission of a cognizable offence from any other source, e.g. on a phone call, from hearsay source or on their own (section 157); third, after taking cognizance of an offence, cognizable or non-cognizable, under section 190 a Magistrate may send the same to a police station for investigation and report (sections 155(3) and 156(3) (also sec Regulation 245 of the Police Regulation, Bengal, 1943); fourth, having accepted a complaint under section 200 a Magistrate may send the same under section 202 to a police station to take it as an FIR to start investigation for report. Having received information from any of the above sources the officer-in charge must record the same in ,i book to be kept at every police station and this written information will be treated as First Information Report1.

There are some cases in which no FIR is required and these cases arc referred to as non-FIR prosecutions. For instance, cases under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 municipal or railway bye-laws, section 34 of the Police Act 1861, cases under sections 107, 109, 110, 144 and 145 of the CrPC. For initiation and investigation in these cases see Regulation No. 254 of the Police Regulations Bengal, 1943.

Purposes Served by an FIR:

(1) The object of an FIR from the view point of the informant is to set the criminal justice in motion

(2) The object of an FIR from the view point of the Investigating authority is to obtain information about the alleged criminal activity. so as to be able to take suitable steps for tracing and bringing to book the guilty party

(3) Another object is to obtain early information of alleged criminal activity, to record the circumstances before there is time for them to be forgotten or fabricated.

Importance of an FIR:

(i) FIR carries much importance with regard to the commission of a cognizable offence. It is the original story of the occurrence given generally at the earliest opportunity without much time left for fabrication. If FIR is not recorded when given, there will give room for fabrication by both the informant and the police.

(ii) FIR is the basis of the case set up by the informant. It is the basis of police investigation also.

(iii) It makes available to the judicial officers the materials on which the investigation commenced.

(iv) FIR is a safeguard against fabrication or forgetfulness. It has always been considered as the highest importance by the courts in criminal justice system. It can be used to corroborate or impeach the testimony of the person lodging it under section 145, 157 and 158 of the Evidence Act,

Evidential Value of FIR:

FIR is not in the nature of a formal ‘charge. It is just an information first in point of time about the commission of a cognizable offence. So it cannot be used as substantive evidence meaning that no judgment can be passed on the sole basis of an FIR. Evidence Act specifically declares that any information and statement given to the police are not admissible in evidence. However, as it is signed by both the informant and the recipient and being the earliest record it bears the most reliable source for the alleged criminality. And it may be put in evidence to support or contradict the evidence of the person who gave the Information. It enable the court to see what the prosecution case was when it was started and to check up any subsequent fabrication.

Duty of police Officer with regard to an FIR:

The officer-in- charge of a police station is statutorily bound to register a Case on the basis of an FIR with regard to a cognizable offence and then to proceed with investigation if he has reason to suspect the commission of an offence. This is the mandate of section l54(l)and he cannot embark upon an Enquiry as to whether the information laid by the informant is genuine and Reliable. if an 0fficer-in-chargeof a police station refuses to register a case on The basis of an FIR, the person aggrieved by such refusal has right to Complain to the superintendent of Police. For violation of any statutory duty By any police officer compliant can be lodged under section 42 of the Police Act 1861.before any action can be filed in the court against a police officer

Under section 42 of the Police Act a written notice must be served to the police officer and also to the District Superintendent or an Assistant superintendent of police. Penalty for violation of any of the statutory or

Regulatory duty by any police officer is three month imprisonment in the maximum.


Sec. 154. Information in cognizable cases.- Every information relating to the

Commission of a cognizable offence if given orally to an officer in charge of a

police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the information; and every such informant, whether given in writing or

reduced to writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person

giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such

officer in such form as the Government may prescribe in this behalf.

CASE REFERANCE:- 55 DLR63- Abul Hossain (Md) vs. state- There is nothing in the law to prevent a police officer from making a complaint when some facts come to his knowledge even if he cannot investigation.

45 DLR 142- Nazrul islam vs state-Where F.I.R dose not contain an important statement deposed to by the witnesses, it is clear that there has been subsequent embellishment of the prosecution case which makes it untrustworthy.

45 DLR 63- Bashir Ali vs state- an information even by way of confession made in police custody which relates to the fact discovered is admissible in evidence against the accused {Ref:9 DLR 11 (SC) }.

Sec. 155. Information in non-cognizable cases.- (1) When information is given to

an officer in charge of a police-station of the commission within the limits of such

station of a non-cognizable offence, he shall enter in a book to be kept as aforesaid

the substance of such information and refer the information to the Magistrate.

(2) No police-officer shall investigate a non-cognizable case without

the order of a magistrate of the first or second class having power to try such case or send the same for trial.

(3) Any police-office receiving such order may exercise the same powers in respect of the investigation (except the power to arrest without warrant) as an officer in charge of a police-station may exercise in a cognizable case.

CASE REFERANCE:-21 DLR 99-The state vs sirajul islam- Investigation of an offence by police under section 120 of the railways Act without magistrates prior and trial on the basis of police report is illegal under section 155(1).

20 BLD 9(HC) 26- The state vs syed Habibur Rahman@ Rocket- The vital fact have not been mentioned in the first information report although the FIR was lodged after a lapse of 13 days without any explanation which belies the evidence of the PWs and hence the condemned prisoner is entitled to get benefit of doubt.

COMMENT:-This section applies where the information relates solely to a non-cognizable offence. under this section a police officer cannot investigate a non-cognizable case and cannot submit a report with reference to it .without the order of a competent magistrate

Sec. 156. Investigation into cognizable cases.- (1) Any officer in charge of a

police-station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable

case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such

station would have power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XV

relating to the place of inquiry or trial.

(2) No proceeding of a police-officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate.

(3) Any Magistrate empowered under section 190 may order such an

investigation as above-mentioned

CASE REFERANCE:-27 DLR 342-The state vs Abul kashem-under section 156(3) magistrate may without taking cognizance of an offence send the case for investigation to police.

27 DLR 111-Khorshed Alam vs The State-The magistrate may direct further investigation on specified points under the power conferred upon him under section 156(3) of the code.

COMMENT:-This section the police have a stator right to investigation an alleged cognizable offence without requiring any authority from judicial offence.

Sec. 157. Procedure where cognizable offence suspected.- (1) If, from information received or otherwise, an officer in charge of a police-station has reason to suspect the commission of an offence which he is empowered under section 156 to investigate, he shall forthwith send a report of the same to Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence upon a police-report, and shall proceed in person, or shall depute one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as the Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf to proceed to the spot, to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender: Provided as follows:-

(a) when any information as to the commission of any such offence is given against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the officer in charge of a police-station need not proceed in person or depute a subordinate officer to make an investigation on the spot;

(b) if it appears to the officer in charge of a police-station that there is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not investigate the case.

(2) In each of the cases mentioned in clauses (a) and (b) of the proviso the sub-section (1), the officer in charge of the police-station shall state in his said report his reasons for not fully complying with the requirements of that sub-section, and in the case mentioned in clause (b), such officer shall also forthwith notify to the informant, if any, in such manner as may be prescribed by the Government, the fact that he will not investigate the case or cause it to be investigated.

CASE REFERANCE:- 29 DLR 256(SC)-Abdul Rahman vs The State- section 157 of the code lay down the procedure to adopted in matter of investigation.

COMMENT:-The police has a statutory duty to investigation a cognizable case under section 156 and a competent police officer is entitle to carry the investigation to its conclusion in accordance with the provision of the code. The word “Report” has been defined in the code.

Sec. 158. Reports under section 157 how submitted.- (1) Every report sent to a Magistrate under section 157 shall, if the Government so directs, be submitted through such superior officer of police as the Government by general or special order, appoints in that behalf.

(2) Such superior officer may give such instructions to the officer in charge of the police-station as he thinks fit, and shall, after recording such instructions on such report, transmit the same without delay to the Magistrate.

Sec. 159. Power to hold investigation of preliminary inquiry.- Such Magistrate, on receiving such report, may direct an investigation or, if he thinks fit at once proceed, or depute any Magistrate subordinate to him to proceed, to hold a preliminary inquiry into, or otherwise to dispose of, the case in manner provided in this Code.

Sec. 160. Police-officer’s power to require attendance of witnesses.- Any police officer making an investigation under this Chapter may, by order in writing, require the attendance before himself of any person being within the limits of his own or any adjoining station who, from the information given or otherwise, appears to be acquainted with the circumstances of the case; and such person shall attend as so required.

Sec. 161. Examination of witnessed by police.- (1) Any police-officer making an investigation under this Chapter or any police-officer not below such rank as the Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, acting on the requisition of such officer may examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.

(2) Such person shall be bound to answer all questions relating to such case put to him by such officer, other-than questions the answers to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.

(3) The police-officer may reduce into writing any statement made to him in the course of an examination under this section, and if he does so he shall make a separate record of the statement of each such person whose statement he records.

Sec. 162. Statements to police not to be signed; use of such statements in evidence.- (1) No statement made by any person to a police officer in the course ofan investigation under this Chapter shall, if reduced into writing, be signed by theperson making it; nor shall any such statement or any record thereof, whether in apolice-diary or otherwise, or any part of such statement or record, be used for anypurpose (save as hereinafter provided) at any inquiry or trial in respect of anyoffence under investigation at the time when such statement was made:Provided that, when any witness is called for the prosecution in suchinquiry or trial whose statement has been reduced into writing as aforesaid, theCourt shall on the request of the accused, refer to such writing and direct that the

accused be furnished with a coy thereof, in order that any part of such statement, if duly proved, may be used to contradict such witness in the manner prescribed by section 145 of the Evidence Act, 1872. When any part of such statement is so used, any part thereof may also be used in the re-examination of such witness, but for the purpose only of explaining any matter referred to in his cross-examination: Provided further that, if the Court is of opinion that any part of any such

statement is not relevant to the subject-matter of the inquiry or trial or that its disclosure to the accused is not essential in the interests of justice and is inexpedient in the public interests, it shall record such opinion (but not the reasons therefore) and shall exclude such part from the copy of the statement furnished to the accused.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to apply to any statement falling within the provisions of section 32, clause (l), of the Evidence Act, 1872 or to affect the provisions of section 27 of that Act.

Sec. 163. No inducement to be offered.- (1) No police-officer or other person in authority shall offer or make, or cause to be offered or made any such inducement, threat or promise as is mentioned in the Evidence Act, 1872, section 24.

(2) But no police-officer or other person shall prevent, by any caution or otherwise, any person from making in the course of any investigation under this Chapter any statement which he may be disposed to make of his own free will.

Sec. 164. Power to record statement and confessions.- (1) Any Metropolitan Magistrate, any Magistrate of the first class and any Magistrate of the second class specially empowered in this behalf by the Government may, if he is not a police officer, record any statement or confession made to him in the course of an investigation under this Chapter or at any time afterwards before the

commencement of the inquiry or trial.

(2) Such statements shall be recorded in such of the manners hereinafter prescribed for recording evidence as is, in his opinion, best fitted for the circumstances of the case. Such confessions shall be recorded and signed in the manner provided in section 364, and such statements or confessions shall then be forwarded to the Magistrate by whom the case is to be inquired into or tried.

(3) A Magistrate shall, before recording any such confession, explain to the person making it that he is not bound to make confession and that if he does so it may be used as evidence against him and no magistrate shall record any such confession unless, upon questioning the person making it, he has reason to believe that it was made voluntarily; and, when he records any confession, he shall make a

memorandum at the foot of such record to the following effect :-

“I have explained to (name) that he is not bound to make a confession and that, if he does so any confession he may this confession was voluntarily made. I was taken in my presence and hearing, an was read over to the person making it and admitted by him to be correct, and it contains a full and true account of the statement made by him.

(Singed) A. B.,


Explanation.- It is not necessary that the Magistrate receiving and recording a confession or statement should be a Magistrate having jurisdiction in the case.

Sec. 165. Information.- (1) Whenever an officer in charge of a 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 this 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 :

Provided that no such officer shall search, or cause search to be made, for anything which is in the custody of a bank or banker as defined in the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act, 1891 (XVII of 1891), and relates, or might disclose any information which relates, to the bank account of any person except,-

(a) for the purpose of investigating an offence under sections 403, 406, 408 and 409 and sections 421 to 424 (both inclusive) of the Penal Code) with the prior permission in writing of a Sessions Judge; and

(b) in other cases, with the prior permission in writing of the High Court Division.

(2) A Police-officer proceeding under sub-section (1) shall, if practicable, conduct the search in person.

(3) If he is unable to conduct the search in person, and there is no other person competent to make the search present at the time, he may after recording in writing his reasons for so doing require any officer subordinate to him to make the search, and he shall deliver to the subordinate officer an order in writing specifying the place to be searched and, so far as possible, the thing for which search is to be made; and such subordinate officer may thereupon search for such thing in such place.

(4) The provisions of this Code as to search warrants and the general provisions as to searches contained in section 102 and section 103 shall, so far as may be, apply to a search under this section.

(5) Copies of any record made under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) shall forthwith be sent to the nearest Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence and the owner or occupier of the place searched shall on application be furnished with a copy of the same by the Magistrate:

Provided that he shall pay for the same unless the Magistrate for some special reason thinks fit to furnish it free of cost.

Sec. 166. When officer in charge of police -station may require another to issue

search warrant.- (1) An Officer in charge of a police-station or a police-officer not being below the rank of sub-inspector making an investigation may require an officer in charge of another police-station, whether in the same or a different district, to cause a search to be made in any place, in any case in which the former officer might cause such search to be made, within the limits of his own station.

(2) Such officer, on being so required, shall proceed according to the provisions of section 165, and shall forward the thing found, if any, to the officer at whose request the search was made.

(3) Whenever there is reason to believe that the delay occasioned by requiring an officer in charge of another police-station to cause a search to be made under sub-section (1) might result in evidence of the commission of an offence being concealed or destroyed, it