Charge-Sheet/Police Report

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In the year 2012, prestigious National Police Academy Hyderabad sanctioned a research project to search and compile the pro-victim judgments pronounced by the Privy Council, Supreme Court of India as well as High Courts. About 400 cases were analyzed and their briefs were prepared. It is helpful to the victim party as well as to Judicial officers, Senior Police officers, Public Prosecutors and Advocates.

Charge-Sheet/Police Report

Relevant Provisions of Law 

  1. Section 2 (r): Police Report
  2. Section 173 : Report of police officer on completion of investigation.

Basic Principles of Law

  1. Police Report is complete even
  2. a) without relevant documents/statements.
  3. b) without report of FSL or other experts.
  4. The following documents are to be filed along with the Police Report, though not relied upon by the prosecution:-
  5. a) Statements recorded and documents taken into police possession during investigation.
  6. b) Statements recorded during the proceedings of Section 174 Cr.P.C.
  7. Additional documents/reports of experts can be filed even after presenting the Police Report in the Court.
  8. In one FIR, there may be two charge-sheets.
  9. On the basis of one incident, two FIRs can be registered. Police can also file two charge-sheets. 

Police Report-Meaning

In case State of W.B. v/s Anwar @ Answar Ali @ Anwar Rehman, 2000 Cri.L.J. 2189, the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court defined the meaning of police report as under:-

Para 17. Now the question is what is exactly the meaning of the term “Police Report” within the meaning of Section 173(2) of the Code? The term police report has been defined in Section 2(r) of the Code. As per this definition, it means “a report forwarded by a police officer to a Magistrate under sub-section (2) of Section 173.” This definition refers to the report contemplated by or under sub-section (2) of Section 173 only. It does not refer to documents/statements mentioned in sub-section (5) of Section 173. If it was really the intention of the legislature that statements/ documents referred to in Section 173(5) shall form part of the police report, legislature surely would have indicated this in the definition of the term “police report”. Definition of the term “police report”, as provided in Section 2(r), does not contain any such indication that without those documents/statements of witnesses, a police report shall cease to be a valid police report. Section 2(r) containing definition of the term “police report” is completely silent about the documents/statements mentioned in sub-section (5) of Section 173.

  1. Sub-section (2) of Section 173 further provides as to the form and contents of police report. It provides that police report shall contain certain particulars as mentioned therein and it shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the State

Government. It is, therefore, clear that apart from the particulars mentioned therein, a police report is not expected to contain any further statements/documents. Had it been the intention of the legislature that police report should also include documents/statements of witness as mentioned in sub-section (5) of Section 173, it could have easily indicated that requirement in sub-section (2) of Section 173. But sub-section (2) is completely silent in this regard. Equally, Section 2(r) does not make any reference to Section 173(5) though makes reference to Section 173(2).”

  1. When a police report is treated as complete

A police report is complete when it is in the prescribed form and contains the particulars mentioned in Section 173 (2) of Cr.P.C.

  1. a) It is complete even without the relevant documents/statements of wit

In case State of W.B. v/s Anwar @ Answar Ali @ Anwar Rehman, 2000 Cri.L.J. 2189,

Brief Facts of the case

On 24-1-97, acting upon secret information, police intercepted accused and two others and upon search recovered two packets containing about 2 kgs. heroine from the accused and another packet containing about 400 gms. of heroin from the possession of one Dipak Giri, being the companion of the accused. Police also seized an amount of Rs.35,200/- from the possession of the third accused Jamat Ali Mondal. Accordingly, an FIR was registered against all the three accused. They were arrested on the same day.

Before expiry of 90 days’ custody, police filed chargesheet against petitioner and others on 11-4-97.

One accused filed bail application before the Trial court on the ground that the police report was incomplete as papers/documents were not filed by the police with it. The Trial court dismissed the bail application.

In an appeal, the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court granted bail while accepting the above mentioned plea of the accused. State of Bengal filed an SLP in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court permitted the Advocate General for the State of West Bengal to move the High Court for the review of its order.

In the meantime, the accused also filed a petition for quashing the proceedings on the same ground of ‘incomplete police report’.

Proceedings before the Hon’ble Division Bench of Calcutta High Court

Plea of the accused

Plea of the accused was that along with the charge-sheet relevant papers/statement of witnesses as required by sub-section (5) of Section 173 of the Code were not filed nor were the copies of all such documents furnished to the petitioner/accused. It was further contended that charge-sheet filed in connection with this case without relevant documents is bad in law and hence cognizance taken in this case on the basis of such incomplete chargesheet is also equally bad and, therefore, same should be quashed.

Question of Law

Whether the police report without the relevant record/statements is incomplete?

Findings of the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court

The Hon’ble High Court held that a police report without relevant documents/ statements is not incomplete.

While holding so the Hon’ble High Court observed as under:-

Para 19. Therefore, if an Investigating Officer by accident or by design omits to forward the relevant documents/statements of witnesses to the Court along with the police report, it cannot be said that the charge-sheet is incomplete or that no cognizance can be taken by the Court on the basis of such charge-sheet.”

  1. b) It is complete even without report of Forensic Science Laboratory

In case Himmat Singh v/s State of Rajasthan, 1995 Cri.L.J. 2967

Brief Facts of the case

The petitioner, alongwith his wife and one Tapsu, was arrested in connection with an FIR lodged against them on 14-3-94 at Police Station, Pratabgarh, pertaining to the offences under Sections 8/12, 8/18, 25, 29, 8-A read with Sections 18 and 25A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. After his arrest on 19-3-94, on his information and at his instance, two Jericans of five litres each, containing ‘acetic Anhydride’, which is one of the components in the manufacture of brown sugar, and some other materials were recovered from the possession of the petitioner in the presence of the Motbir witnesses. According to the prosecution, this acetic Anhydride, which is used for the manufacture of brown sugar, was supplied by the petitioner to the persons, including co-accused Tapsu, for manufacturing brown sugar. The police, after necessary investigation, submitted the charge-sheet against the accused under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. The learned Magistrate took cognizance and proceeded with the trial.

Disposal of bail application of accused

The petitioner moved an application under Section 437 Cr. P.C. for the grant of bail before the Sessions Judge, Pratabgarh, who, by his order dated 20-7-94, dismissed the bail application filed by the petitioner by holding that at this stage it cannot he said that the petitioner is not guilty for the offence and, therefore, he cannot be released on bail in view of the provisions of Section 37 of the NDPS Act.

It was against this order, rejecting the bail application filed by the petitioner, that the petitioner moved bail application before the Hon’ble High Court and prayed for his release on bail during the pendency of the trial.

Proceedings before the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court

Plea of the accused

Plea of the accused was that the police, while submitting the charge-sheet under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C., has not filed the FSL report and in the absence of the FSL report, it cannot be said that the articles recovered from the petitioner, can be covered under the provisions of the Act and in the absence of the FSL report, the charge-sheet submitted by the police cannot be said to be a ‘charge-sheet’ as envisaged under Section 173(2) Cr. P.C. and as such, as per the provisions of Section 167(2), the petitioner is entitled to be released on bail.

Plea of the Public Prosecutor

The Public Prosecutor, on the other hand, submitted that the charge-sheet submitted by the police against the petitioner was complete and an additional document can he filed under Section 173(8) Cr. P.C., and as the charge-sheet was already submitted against the accused-petitioner, the provisions of Section 167(2) Cr. P.C. are not applicable in the case and the petitioner is not entitled to be released on bail.

Question of Law

Whether police report without FSL report is incomplete?

Findings of the Hon’ble High Court

The Hon’ble High Court held that police report without FSL report is not incomplete. While holding so the Hon’ble High Court observed as under:-

Para “4. ……It was considered necessary in the interest of both the prosecution as well as the defence and, therefore, the right of the police to further investigate the matter has been statutorily recognised and, therefore, the FSL report can b submitted even after filing of the challan and the challan presented by the investigating agency along with its report without the FSL report cannot be said to be an incomplete charge-sheet or not in conformity with the provisions of Section 173(2) Cr. P.C. and fulfils all the requirements. The contention, raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is therefore, devoid of any force.”

  1. Other statements/documents which are to be filed along with police report

The following documents/statements, though not relied upon by the prosecution, are to be filed along with the Police Report.

  1. a) All previous statements recorded during investigation.
  2. b) All documents taken into police possession.
  3. c) Statements recorded during proceedings of Section 174 Cr.P.C.

In case Santosh v/s State of Chattisgarh 2002 Cri.L.J. 1180.

Brief Facts of the Case

It was a case of murder. During the course of the trial the applicant/accused made an application before the trial Court inter alia submitting that the evidence collected during the course of the inquest has not been filed by the prosecution along with the charge-sheet and as the same is required to be filed for just and proper disposal of the trial, and the said statements may be required for the purposes of cross-examination, the prosecution agency be directed to produce the said documents before the Court.

The said application was opposed by the prosecution mainly on the following ground:-

  1. i) That the prosecution agency was not obliged to file each and every document but was required to file those documents on which they were placing reliance.
  2. ii) That when an inquest is made under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the evidence collected or the statements recorded during the course of the said inquest are neither required to be filed nor can be termed as evidence.

Findings of the Trial Court

The Trial Court held that in accordance with Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, if the evidence is collected or the statements are recorded the same is not required to be produced in the Court. The Trial Court further held that only those documents are required to be filed before the Court on which the prosecution was placing reliance. It was further held that statements recorded under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure alone are required to be filed along with the charge-sheet.

Feeling aggrieved the accused filed revision in the Hon’ble Chhattisgarh High Court.

Proceedings before the Chhattisgarh High Court

The plea of the accused and of the State Counsel was the same as was in the Trial court.

Questions of Law

  1. Whether the documents/statements taken on record during investigation, but not relied upon by the prosecution, are to be filed alongwith the police report?
  2. Whether statements recorded during proceedings of Section 174 Cr.P.C. are previous statements?
  3. Whether accused is entitled to call these statements?

Findings of the Hon’ble High Court

While answering these questions in affirmative, the Hon’ble High Court held as under:-

Para “15. If the accused has a right to summon the statements recorded during the course of another investigation then in a case like present he would not stand on a worse footing. The accused is certainly entitled to make a submission to the Court that each and every previous statement of the witness must be filed along the charge-sheet irrespective of the fact that such statements support or do not support the prosecution allegations.

  1. It would be contrary to law to hold that the prosecution agency is entitled to file only those statements or documents on which they are placing reliance. If such an authority is given to the police/prosecution agency it would lead to a judicial anarchism. The prosecution agency under such an authority would be entitled to suppress material documents and would not permit such evidence to see the light of the day which tends to support or help the case and cause of the accused. The police, the investigating agency and the prosecution agency are not the judges, they simply have to make investigation and submit the challan honestly before the Court. It is for the Court to decide in accordance with law after taking into consideration the evidence which is brought on the record. A Court is not entitled to say that it would not permit use of the statements recorded under Section 174, Cr. P.C. A previous statement of a witness recorded during the course of the enquiry, investigation and-or trial continues to be a previous statement and in accordance with Section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act the accused is entitled to contradict the maker of such statement with his previous statement.
  2. At this stage it would again be necessary to refer to Section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act. The said Section provides that a witness may be cross-examined as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced into writing, and relevant to matters in question, without such writing being shown to him, or being proved; ‘but, if it is intended to contradict him by the writing, his attention must before the writing can be proved, be called to those parts of it which are to be used for the purpose of contradicting him’. Section 145 covers a very larger field. When a person is authorised under Section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act to contradict a witness with his earlier statements whether written by him or reduced into writing then by no stretch of imagination it can be said that the statements recorded during the inquest under Section 174 and reduced into writing would not come under the mischief of previous statements.
  1. a) Additional documents can be produced, even after the filing of Police Report

In case Central Bureau of Investigation v/s R.S. Pai, 2002 Cri.L.J.2029

Brief Facts of the case

During the period 2-4-1992 to 20-5-1992, the FIM Division, Mumbai of Syndicate Bank received funds aggregating to Rs. 132.23 crores for Portfolio Management from Oil Industries Development Board, New Delhi. During this period, it was alleged that R. Sundaresan, the then Divisional Manager of the Bank and other bank officials conspired along with Directors and office-bearers of M/s. Fair Growth Investments Ltd. and M/s. Fair Growth Financial Services Ltd., and by dishonestly and fraudulently abusing their position as a public servant caused wrongful gain to private parties and corresponding loss to the Syndicate Bank. An amount of Rs. 90.58 crores was invested for the purpose of shares/debentures from M/s. Fair Growth Financial Services Ltd. and others without specific authorization from the Head Office of the Bank and without adhering to the guidelines of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the SEBI.

On 2-6-1993, on the written complaint of the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Bank, case No.RC 1 (BSC)/93-Mum. was registered under S. 120-B read with S. 420, I.P.C. and S. 13(2) read with S. 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against B.Sundaresan, Divisional Manager of Syndicate Bank and K. R. N. Shenoy, Managing Director of M/s. Fair Growth Investments Ltd.

After investigation, charge-sheet was filed by the CBI in the Special Court against respondents/accused. On 27-1-2000, respondents/accused filed discharge application before the Special Court. Pending hearing those applications, appellant/CBI sought production of additional documents, which were gathered during investigation but were not produced before the Court. That application was rejected.

Feeling aggrieved the CBI filed an appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. 

Proceedings before the Hon’ble Supreme Court

Plea of the CBI Counsel

The Counsel of the CBI submitted that the order passed by the Special Judge was illegal and contrary to the provisions of S. 173(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

It was further contended that normally the Investigating Officer is required to produce all the relevant documents at the time of submitting report, but the Investigating Officer committed mistake in not producing certain documents as in his opinion those documents were not relevant. Thereafter, it was found that those documents were relevant so as to connect the accused with the crime. It was further submitted that arguments for framing of the charge were not finally heard and, therefore, there was no justifiable reason to reject the application for production of additional documents.

Plea of the accused

Counsel of the accused submitted that under S. 173(5), Cr. P.C., the Investigating Officer has to produce all the documents at the time of submitting the report. Therefore, the order passed by the Special Court cannot be said, in any way, to be illegal or erroneous.

Question of Law

Whether prosecution can produce additional documents which are gathered during investigation, after submitting charge-sheet under S. 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973?

Findings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court

The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that Investigating Officer has power to produce additional documents subsequently. It was further held that U/s 173 (8) of Cr.P.C., the police is empowered to further investigate the case and to submit a further report. If further investigation is not precluded then prosecution cannot be restrained from producing the documents gathered prior to or subsequent to submitting of Police Report.

While holding so the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed as under:-

Para “7. From the aforesaid sub-sections, it is apparent that normally, the Investigating Officer is required to produce all the relevant documents at the time of submitting the charge-sheet. At the same time, as there is no specific prohibition, it cannot be held that the additional documents cannot be produced subsequently. If some mistake is committed in not producing the relevant documents at the time of submitting the report or charge-sheet, it is always open to the Investigating Officer to produce the same with the permission of the Court. In our view, considering the preliminary stage of prosecution and the context in which Police Officer is required to forward to the Magistrate all the documents or the relevant extracts thereof on which prosecution proposes to rely, the word ‘shall’ used in sub-section (5) cannot be interpreted as mandatory, but as directory. Normally, the documents gathered during the investigation upon which the prosecution wants to rely are required to be forwarded to the Magistrate, but if there is some omission, it would not mean that the remaining documents cannot be produced subsequently. Analogous provision under S. 173(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 was considered by this Court in Narayan Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh ((1958) SCR 283 at 293) and it was held that the word‘shall’ occurring in sub-section (4) of S. 173 and sub-section (3) of S. 207-A is not mandatory but only directory. Further, the scheme ofsub-section (8) of S. 173 also makes it abundantly clear that even after the charge-sheet is submitted, further investigation, if called for, is not precluded. If further investigation is not precluded then there is no question of not permitting the prosecution to produce additional documents which were gathered prior to or subsequent to investigation. In such cases, there cannot be any prejudice to the accused. Hence, the impugned order passed by the Special Court cannot be sustained.”

  1. b) Reports of experts can be filed after submitting the Police Report, even without an application

In case State v/s Nagaraj, 1996 Cri.L.J.3361

Brief Facts of the case

On 21-3-1988, in front of Basavangudi Police Station, the accused who was the driver of an auto rickshaw was found using kerosene by mixing with petrol as a fuel for his vehicle. It was contravention of R. 2 clause 3 of Kerosene (Restriction on Use) Order, 1966. Mixing of Kerosene with petrol was an offence punishable under S. 3 read with S. 7 of Essential Commodities Act.

The investigation in this case was to be completed within six months. Police did not receive the report of Chemical Examiner. Therefore, the charge-sheet could not be prepared. After one year, after the receipt of the report of Chemical Examiner, the Investigating Officer prepared the report and put it in the Court. He made an application with the request that he may be allowed to continue the investigation.

The accused filed an application with the prayer that as the Police Report was filed after the expiry of the limitation period, the proceedings may be quashed. The Special Judge accepted the prayer and stopped further proceedings.

Feeling aggrieved, the State filed an appeal in the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court. 

Proceedings before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court

Plea of the State Counsel

One plea of the State Counsel was that major portion of the investigation was completed within six months from the date of arrest. Only the receipt of the Forensic Science Laboratory was awaited. The investigation done by the Investigating Officer within such six months holds good. At the worst, that portion of the investigation which has extended beyond the period of six months from the date of arrest has to be excluded. The investigation done within six months from the date of arrest disclosed a prima facie case against the accused. The prosecution can rely upon the investigation done within that period for basing a prayer for conviction. In such a situation, proceedings cannot be stopped under Section 258 Cr.P.C.

The second contention was that there is a specific provision U/s 173 (8) of Cr.P.C. which permit the investigating agency to file a report into the Court even after the filing of the charge-sheet. In view of this provision, the filing of the report of Forensic Science Laboratory in the Court was in accordance with law.

Question of Law

One of the questions of law was as under:-

Whether reports of experts can be submitted in the Court after the filing of the charge-sheet?

Findings of the Hon’ble High Court

While answering this question in the affirmative, the Hon’ble High Court observed as under:-

Para “12. The learned High Court Government Pleader further submitted that with regard to the Chemical Examiner’s report and such other reports, there is a specific provision under S. 173(8), Cr. P.C., which permit the Investigating Agency to file it into the Court even after the investigation has been completed and the charge-sheet has been filed. Section 173(8), Cr. P.C. reads as follows :-

XXX

In view of this clear position under the law, in the case on hand, even submitting the Chemical Examiner’s report subsequently into the Court is in accordance with law and there was no need for the Investigating Officer to have filed an application for that purpose.” 

                                                        Part-B

  1. In one FIR, there may be two charge-sheets

In case Motishamsham Mohd. Ismail v/s Central Bureau of Investigation, 2003 Cri.LJ.4763

Brief Facts of the Case

The brief facts of the case are that with dishonest intention of cheating, accused furnished false information about his real date of birth, residential address and willfully suppressed the material information about his arrest and conviction and sentence of imprisonment, induced the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai and obtained a Passport bearing No.A741209 on 11-4-1997 and thereby committed offences punishable under Section 420, IPC and under Section 12(i) (b) of Passport Act, 1967.

In the course of investigation ten passports were ceased from the custody of the accused. Out of these ten passports one passport was issued by the Bangalore Passport Office and another one was issued by Bombay Passport Authority. These were issued in the name of Badshah Abdul Khadir Ismail. The accused got these passports issued by surpassing his real identity and by material information.

The CBI prepared different charge-sheets. One charge-sheet was filed in the Special Judge of CBI Bangalore. Another charge-sheet was to be filed at Mumbai. The accused filed an application in the Hon’ble Supreme Court for the transfer of the proceedings from Bombay to Bangalore. His request was accepted and the proceedings were transferred to the Court of Special Judge, Bangalore. The Special Judge did not consolidate both the cases but registered the second case as a different one and was to frame the charges against the accused in both the cases.

The accused filed an application before the Special Court of Bangalore with the prayer that against one FIR two charge-sheets cannot be filed in the Court. This plea of the accused was dismissed on the plea that the offences committed by the accused were different and filing of two charge-sheets is legal.

Feeling aggrieved, the accused filed a criminal revision 

Proceedings before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court

Plea of the accused

One contention of the accused was that an accused cannot be tried twice for the same offence. As per Section 173 (8) of Cr.P.C, if the Investigating Officer finds any raw material he can file additional charge-sheet only. Therefore, the proceedings in case No.2121/2002 were liable to be quashed.

Plea of the State Counsel

The plea of the State Counsel was that the offences committed by the accused were distinct and separate. One passport was issued by the Bombay Passport Authority and another by the Bangalore Passport Authority. Both these authorities fall in the jurisdiction of different Courts. Therefore, both the charge-sheets were legal and as per law.

Question of Law

When FIR registered against an accused is one, but the offences committed are distinct and separate, whether different charge-sheets can be filed?

Findings of the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court

While answering this question in the affirmative, the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court observed as under:-

“Para 10. When several offences are disclosed in the FIR of a particular accused, the law requires to proceed with the investigation and file charge-sheet. That apart, when the matter was before the Apex Court in which the accused moved for a transfer of the criminal case pending before the Bombay Magistrate Court, the accused did not raise any such plea. Nevertheless, it is open for the accused to seek for a discharge while hearing on the question of framing of charges. But in the present case, the offences alleged are distinct and separate, one arising within the jurisdiction of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore City wherein the Passport was issued by the Bangalore Passport Authority on 14-11-1990 and another Passport came to be issued by the Bombay Passport Authority on 11-4-1997. When the offences are distinct and separate, merely because of the reason that in both the cases witnesses are the same, materials are also the same and identical is of no consequence. If the offences were to be proved, the accused is liable to be prosecuted in accordance with law.”

  1. On the basis of one incident, two FIRs can be registered. Police can also file two charge-sheets.

When there are rival versions in respect of the same episode, two different FIRs may be registered and investigated. The police has power to prepare two charge-sheets and to submit them in the Court.

In case Kari Chaudhary v/s Most. Sita Devi & others 2002 Cri.L.J.923

Note:- This principle of law has already been discussed in chapter ‘FIR’. 

Cases Referred:-

  1. State of W.B. v/s Anwar @ Answar Ali @ Anwar Rehman, 2000 Cri.L.J.2189
  2. Himmat Singh v/s State of Rajasthan, 1995 Cri.L.J. 2967
  3. Motishamsham Mohd. Ismail v/s Central Bureau of Investigation, 2003 Cri.LJ.4763
  4. Kari Chaudhary v/s Most. Sita Devi & others 2002 Cri.L.J. 923
  5. Santosh v/s State of Chattishgarh 2002 Cri.L.J. 1180.
  6. Central Bureau of Investigation v/s R.S. Pai, 2002 Cri.L.J.2029.
  7. State v/s Nagaraj, 1996 Cri.L.J. 3361
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