A preliminary inquiry is an inquiry prior to the trial and which is done for the purpose of Indicating the criminal nature of the offence or for the reason that whether the trials should Start or not.
Section 157 of Crpc deals with the procedure of preliminary inquiry which explains that when Certain information about an offence is received by the police officer and the highlighting point Of the offence is that it should be a cognizable offence, so if any information regarding any Cognizable offence is received by the police officer, he is accountable to make the report of it and Such report shall be sent to the magistrate of that jurisdiction.
The process of the preliminary Enquiry must be finished within 3 months of the initiation of the enquiry. Hence, the respective DIsGs are supposed to monitor all the Preliminary Enquiries which are been pending for more Than three months. At the conclusion of enquiry in every PE, the Investigating Officer will prepare An Enquiry Conclusion Report in the prescribed form and submit it to the Superintendent of Police.
The three-Judge bench in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. Of UP and Others opined that registration of First Information Report (hereinafter FIR) should be Non-Mandatory. They reasoned that an officer should be satisfied that an offense is made out in the FIR after a preliminary inquiry as an FIR leads to serious consequences for the accused and for this reason the need for a preliminary inquiry is implicit with the provisions of section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure. These provisions should be read down in the light of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. And, the preliminary inquiry will not be held in every case . If the police officer feels that there is no enough information related to cognizable offence then the officer can held the preliminary inquiry.
Preliminary Inquiry not as a rule but an exception it can be done in certain cases but not in Every case. Preliminary inquiry may be allowed to be conducted ,which will depend on the facts And circumstances of each case .And the duration of preliminary Inquiry is of “7” days. If that Duration extends more than 7 days ,police should have to write the reasons in the diary.
The category of cases in which the preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:
Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes.
Medical negligence cases
SUPREME COURT GUIDELINES IN LALITHA KUMARI CASE :
1) The scope of Preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the Information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any Cognizable offence.
2) Registration of FIR is mandatory under section 154 of the code,if the information Discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is Permissible in such a situation.
3) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not ,If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence ,the FIR must be Registered In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint , a Copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first information forth with And not later than one week . It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the Complaint and not proceeding further.
CONCLUSION: Preliminary Inquiry makes most justice to the cases like Matrimonial cases and medical negligence cases and some more cases . And, Doing preliminary Inquiry helps to save the innocents by going depth on to the cases by the preliminary Inquiry. And ,Even dignity , privacy and liberty of life is also a fundamental right according to article 21 of the Indian constitution. So, Preliminary Inquiry is not allowed in all type of cases as there will be sensitive matters in few cases and that will infringes the rights of the people . So, exceptions are made in preliminary inquiry cases.
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