Criminal Practice: Part 1 Issue I: The Stages of a Criminal Case: Pre-Proceeding Stage

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Salaamun A’laikum. This series known as ‘Criminal Practice’ is introduced in order to enrich ourselves with the knowledge of Laws regarding ‘Criminal Practice’. I will try to put important information regarding Criminal Practice in Bangladesh containing procedural and legal provisions and commentaries. Sometimes, comparative analogy will be drawn in order to find out the distinctions and/or solutions. Please bear in mind that this is an initiative taken for the benefit of all of us who can be lawyers, law students or totally naïve about law. So, don’t worry, join and share your views.

The Stages of a Criminal Case: Pre-Proceeding Stage
There are four steps in pre-proceeding stage:
1. First step: Initiation of a criminal case
2. Second step: Reporting to the Magistrate
3. Third step: Investigation
4. Fourth step: Final report/ Charge sheet

1. First step: Initiation of a criminal case

A criminal case can be initiated in one of the two ways:
I. Through filing a First Information Report (FIR) in case of cognizable (where arrest without warrant is permitted) offence. See the sample FIR below.
II. Complaint to Magistrate in case of cognizable and non-cognizable (where arrest without warrant is not permitted) offence.
Schedule II of CRPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) details the difference between cognizable and non-cognizable offence.

A Sample F I R

A Sample F I R

I. Through filing a First Information Report (FIR) in case of cognizable offence
If an officer-in-charge receives information about any cognizable offence from any of the below four sources then he must record the same and this written record will be treated as FIR and a FIR number or PS (police station) case number will be given. The sources are:

a) From an individual informant [section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC)]
b) From any other source such as phone call or by the police themselves or hearsay (section 157 of CRPC)
c) From a magistrate who sends an offence already taken in cognizance (cognizable or non-cognizable) to the police station for investigation and report [section 155(3) and 156(3) and Regulation 245 of Bengal Police Regulation (PRB) 1943]
d) From a magistrate who sends a complaint upon acceptance to a police station for inquiry (section 200 & 202 of CRPC)

II. Complaint to Magistrate in case of cognizable and non-cognizable offence
If a magistrate receives information about an offence from any of the below two sources then, upon examining the complainant on oath, he can either:
a) take cognizance [in this case the complaint is registered as CR (complaint registered) case]
or
b) dismiss
or
c) order inquiry or investigation of the matter [in this case complaint is entered as a petition simply known as CRP (Complaint Registered Petition)]

The sources for the magistrate to receive information in this case are:
a) From a police officer who forwards an informant to the magistrate in a non-cognizable offence after making a general diary (GD) (section 155 and 200 of CRPC)
b) From an individual who complains to the magistrate about the commission of a non-cognizable offence (section 200 of CRPC)

Criminal Case!

Criminal Case!

2. Second step: Reporting to the Magistrate
In case of FIR: The original copy of the FIR has to be sent to the Magistrate through a police officer within 24 hours (section 157 of CRPC and regulation 246 of PRB 1943 (Volume-1). Upon receiving the FIR the case will be registered as a GR case.
In case of CR case: After a case is registered as CR case then no further reporting to the magistrate as the case has been taken into cognizance.
In case of CRP case: After a case is registered as CRP case, then a report has to be given to the magistrate upon inquiry or investigation (see the third stage below). The Magistrate then can take the offence in cognizance if he sees reason for proceeding and the CRP case then turns to CR case.

3. Third Step: Investigation

Please note that, in case of a CR case there is no third stage (i.e. investigation). Only in case of FIR or CRP case there is investigation by the Police. However, this has to be understood by way of cognizable and non-cognizable offence.
In case of cognizable offence: The police can investigate without the order of a Magistrate (section 156 CRPC)
In case of non-cognizable offence: Order of a Magistrate is required (section 155 CRPC)
Please note the followings:
a) Investigation under CRPC: It has to be conducted by an IO (investigation officer) or anyone other than a Magistrate who has been authorised by a Magistrate for this purpose (section 173 CRPC).
b) Investigation under Special Powers Act (SPA) 1974: Only an officer not below the rank of sub-inspector (SI) can investigate (section 27 of SPA). He will report to the special tribunal which is the only body competent for this purpose.
c) Maintaining case diary during investigation is mandatory for the investigating officer.
d) Any person who is arrested during investigation has to be produced before a Magistrate if investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours of arrest. This is known as ‘forwarding’. In this case police may seek remand for the arrested person for more interrogation.

4. Fourth Step: Final Report/ Charge Sheet

For understanding this stage, please note the following:
a) Final Report: Upon investigation if no case of the offence is found then the police gives final report. It essentially releases an accused from custody or discharge him on bail as no case of the offence allegedly committed has been found against him (section 173 CPRC, Regulations 275-277 of PRB). Please note the following:
• The magistrate can accept or reject the report.
• If he rejects the report he may order further investigation by the police (no new PS number is given). He can also order inquiry and examine the complainant and take the offence in cognizance.
• If he accepts the report then the informant being aggrieved can file a naraji petition. Here the Magistrate upon examining the petitioner/complainant can issue process upon the accused (i.e. proceeding of a case will start then) or direct inquiry by any other Magistrate [Syed Azharul Kabir v Syed Ehsan Kabir, 4 MLR (AD) 343]
b) Charge Sheet: Upon investigation if any case of the offence is found then the police gives charge sheet by mentioning the name of those who have been formally charged for the offence. It essentially recommends for prosecuting the offender (Regulations 272-274 of PRB).
c) The final report or charge sheet has to be forwarded to the Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence (section 173 of CRPC).

-End of Part 1 Issue I

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2 Comments

Filed under Knowledge, Laws of Bangladesh, Legal

2 responses to “Criminal Practice: Part 1 Issue I: The Stages of a Criminal Case: Pre-Proceeding Stage

  1. AR AKASH

    via,would u please give me a chance to work with u as a junior?

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