Section 156

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898


Investigation into cognizable case


(1) Any officer incharge 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.


        (4)        Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) (2) or (3), no police officer shall investigate an offence under section 497 or section 498 of the Pakistan Penal Code, except upon a complaint made by the husband of the woman, or, in his absence, by some person who had the care of such woman on his behalf at the time when such offence was committed.


Court Decisions


Investigation  – Meaning, scope and purpose – Investigation included all proceedings under Criminal procedure code for collection of evidence conducted by police officer – Collection of evidence could not be confined only to such evidence which only favored prosecution – powers of police officer under S. 160, Cr. P.C were only up to the extent of requiring attendance of witness in course of investigation – Police officer conducting investigation could examine any person under S. 161, Cr. C. P who was supposed to be acquainted with facts and circumstances – Prosecution to course of investigation – Purpose of investigation was to find out the truth and to present same before Court by way of admissible and acceptable evidence as it was undertaken to protect innocent and never to let guilty escape because of carelessness, excess of zeal of negligence of police officers – Under provisions of S. 157, Cr. P.C  – Investigation agency was under a mandate to send FIR immediately to concerned magistrate – Provision of S. 157, Cr. P. C had been enacted to put effective check on and other sections of Cr. P. C.  dealing which investigation, had provided mechanism of check and balance so that fair and impartial investigation was conducted within framework of said provision and also without fear or favour from political and foreign elements or without nepotism and favoritism – If investigation was not conducted in that manner, subsequent proceedings based on such findings, would be bound to fall on the ground automatically. 1999 P.Cr.L.J 135


Investigation into cognizable caseIncharge of a police station upon receipt of information relating to commission of a cognizable offence orally or in writing is required to incorporate the same in a prescribed book and S. 156, Cr.P.C postulates that the officer Incharge of police Station may, without the order of the Magistrate, Investigate any cognizable offence-Investigation, thus, can commence after the registration of the F.I.R – Object of investigation is collection of evidence. PLD 2003 Kar. 309


Magistrate after examining the complainant in private complaint under S. 200, Cr.P.C., must proceed in accordance with provisions of chap. XVI, Cr.P.C. or after receiving private complaint if same disclosed some cognizable offence, could send it to police for investigation under S. 156(3), Cr.P.C. — After witness had been examined by the Magistrate, he could not refer the matter to police under S. 156(3), Cr.P.C. 2004 P Cr. L. J. 304

Quashing of F.I.R during investigation tantamount to throttling the investigation, which is not permissible in law. PLD 2003 Kar. 309


        Control or supervision by the High Court-Scope-high Court has no power of supervision or control over investigation agencies, which power is vested in the High Court in respect of courts subordinate to it-Conduct and manner of investigation is not to be scrutinized under constitutional jurisdiction which might amount to interference in police investigation as the same could not be substituted by the court. PLD 2003 Kar. 309


            Release of accused by the magistrate when evidence is deficient-Interference by High court – Scope-Such order of the Magistrate is not amenable to the revisional jurisdiction of High court, but due to lack of moral values and growing tendency of the abuse of power and lack of accountability, High court is competent under its constitutional jurisdiction to rectify the wrong in order to impart justice. if Investigating officer, after investigation of a case comes to a conclusion that the evidence against the accused is deficient, magistrate, who is competent to take the cognizance, can order for the release of accused upon such report submitted by Investigating officer-if, however, report of Investigating officer is mala fide and contrary to evidence collected during the course of investigation which makes out a prima facie case, the magistrate is competent to disagree with the report of Investigating officer-Magistrate is not supposed to act on police report in a mechanical manner and rubber stamp every action of the investigating officer-magistrate is required to act judicially-Such order of the magistrate although is an administrative order but it is his duty to examine the correctness of the report submitted by the Investigating officer. PLD 2003 Kar. 309


          Refusal by Magistrate to cancel the case registered against the accused under Ss. 324, 337-F(i), 504 & 34, P.P.C.-Validity-Case registered under S. 324, P.P.C was ordinarily triable by the session court, Magistrate, in circumstances, had rightly refused to cancel the case as the Magistrate was not supposed to take cognizance of the matter. PLD 2003 Kar. 309


          Further investigation into cognizable cases-Police/Investigation Agency is not debarred from conducting further investigation in any cognizable case after submission of charge sheet and there is no embargo on its powers in this context. 2000 P. Cr. L. J. 645


  Transfer of investigation by the Chief Minister-A Superintendent of Police can investigate himself into a cognizable offence or he can depute another police officer subordinate to him in the district to conduct investigation in such a case-­Similar powers can be exercised by the D.I.G. police, within his range. The I.G. Police can also exercise such powers for the entire province – The provision of Police Act and the Rules made thereunder take care of the manner and procedure in accordance with which such powers are to be exercised – No provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure or that of the Police Act and the Rules made thereunder confer any power on the Chief Minister of a Province to order the transfer of investigation of a criminal case from one police officer to an other police officer. KLR 1987 Cr. C. 131


 Defective investigation – case against Investigating officer was that he in a criminal case during course of investigation did not mention about “ sugarcane crop” wherefrom the accused involved in that case slipped away – Further allegation against the investigating officer was that he had failed to recover empties from the place of Wardat and to seal the Kalashnikov which was recovered form accused at the spot  – Investigating officer in his statement record under S. 342, Cr. P. C.  which appeared to be more plausible and convincing,  had stated that he did not act individually, but had acted as per instructions of his superior officers and stated the circumstances under which he could not find out/recovery the empties  – Investigating officer had further stated that soon after the incident, he was reverted and was directed to hand over the charge  – Regarding non Sealing of klashnikov, Investigating officer had stated that he was directed by his superiors he moved immediately  – Allegations that accused/ Investigating officer had acted in breach of his duties, was not proved beyond shadow of doubt  – Investigating officer, in circumstances, could not be convicted and sentenced conviction and sentence awarded to accused by Trail Court were set aside. 2000 P.Cr.L.J 1882


Case against accused was that he being Investigating officer in a criminal case after completion of investigation had failed to mention names of mashirs of identification parade in charge Sheet  with the result that those mashirs were not examined by Trial court and case resulted in acquittal of the accused Evidence on record had shown that mashirs and entire trial was not to be vitiated due to said irregularity as the same was curable under S. 537, Cr. P. C.    – Accused, even otherwise, could not be punished as it was not proved beyond shadow of doubt that he intentionally and improperly, without due diligence, had failed to pursue case and that he had acted in breach of his duties – conviction and sentence of accused were set aside. 2000 P.Cr.L.J 1882


C.I.A personnel knew it very well that they were not empowered to investigate this matter, yet, They had done so and in this we deliberately violated the provisions of S. 156 Cr. P. C.    – Although they had prior information about the offence which was likely to be committed, yet, they had not passed on this information to the concerned police and took upon themselves the task of investigation they had done was in violation of law and was also against the principle of supremacy of law – case was tried under the suppression of terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act , 1975 and being a special court , it could only proceed with the scheduled offence as mentioned in the Schedule of said Act, including the offences under sections 8 and 10 of Pakistan arms Ordinance, 1965  – It is noted that special courts constituted under above Act, are courts of limited jurisdiction and are only competent to proceed with the matters, which are mentioned proceed with the matters, which are mentioned in the Schedule of the Act, Impugned judgments of the Trial court and the high court were set aside. 2000 PSC (Crl.) SC (Pak) 493


It is well–settled that any illegality committed in the course of investigation does not affect the competence and jurisdiction of the court in trial interpretation of S. 156 – “when a thing if to be done in a particular manner it must be done in that way and not otherwise”, so this principle is not attracted in the given circumstances of the case keeping in view certain provisions of control of Narcotic Substances Act and Cr. P. C – Court has seldom exercised jurisdiction to quash FIR as law laid down by privy council which was subsequently approved and confirmed by supreme Court of Pakistan – KLR 1999 Cr.C (Lah) 173


Expert evidence–­Investigating Officer was under’ legal obligation after obtaining the handwriting of accused to have sent the same alongwith the letter to Handwriting Expert for his opinion—Such procedure having not been followed, opinion regarding the handwriting of accused was of no value which was disbelieved. 2001 P Cr. L J 445


Non‑calling of finger print expert in evidence to prove his report‑‑though under S. 510 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 report of Finger Print Expert could be received in evidence without calling for expert as a witness, but in absence of such corresponding provisions in Civil Procedure Code or Qanun‑e‑Shahadat, opinion‑ of expert would not be ipso facto admissible to be accepted in evidence without calling for expert as witness‑‑‑Court, therefore, was not required to confirm expert’s report on pattern of a Commission report.‑ 1994 C L C 1697


­Administration of special oath‑­Petitioner was complainant in a criminal case under Ss.440, 506, 148 & 149, P. P. C. and respondent Investigating Officer was pressing parties to get settled the matter on special oath of the Holy Quran ‑‑‑ Validity‑‑Mere matters during, investigation were to be disposed of on oath then the texture of whole of the working would become unnecessary‑‑­Such type of working might cause administrative chaos in the society with the passage of time leading towards judicial anarchy‑‑‑Investigating Officer was directed by High Court to investigate the case under statutory law contained in Criminal Procedure Code, 1898.   1999 Y L R 2263




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