An investigation by Police: A Comparison between FBI and Indian Police

Nov 19, 2020

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Indian Police are two different law enforcement bodies in two different states. Though both the organizations have similar responsibilities, still there is a lot to separate them. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is the United States government’s domestic law enforcement agency. It is responsible for gathering domestic intelligence so that all threats to the United States government are eliminated. The Police, on the other hand, handles the day to day maintenance of law and order that includes taking all the necessary measures to prevent violation of the law, and further investigating the act of violation. Police are the civil force of a state, whereas the FBI is an organization which works for the government of the United States. The FBI is also responsible for assisting federal, state, local and international agencies.

An investigation by the Indian Police

The investigation has been defined in section 2(h) of the Code of Criminal procedure; Investigation includes all the proceedings under this Code for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or by any person (other than a Magistrate) who is authorized by a Magistrate on his behalf.

The investigation of an offence consists of:

1. Proceeding to the spot.

2. Ascertainment of facts and circumstances of the case.

3. Discovery and arrest of the suspect.

4. Collection of evidence which may include:

o Examination of persons concerned and reducing their statement to writing.

o Search and seizure of places and things respectively considered necessary.

5. Formation of opinion as to whether there is a case for trial, and taking necessary steps accordingly.

Section 157 of the Code provides with the procedure of investigation supposed to be followed by the Police, for collection of evidence. The investigation of a cognizable case begins when a police officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence based on FIR or any other information so received. It requires that prompt intimation of the FIR be sent to the Magistrate. The officer shall proceed in person to the place of event for investigation of facts and circumstances, or shall authorize one of his subordinate officers to visit the location, and if necessary, steps for the discovery and arrest of the person shall be taken.

When the information received by the police officer is not serious, there is no need for the officer to investigate the location in person or send one of his subordinate officers for the same. If no sufficient ground exists for entering on an investigation, he shall not investigate the case. And shall mention it in his report for not complying with the requirements of this section, and notify the person who filed the FIR or tipped the police officer with information that he will not investigate the case or cause it to be investigated. The officer shall then send his report to the concerned Magistrate to take cognizance of the offence.

The Magistrate, under Section 159, has been vested with powers, in case if he feels necessary, after receiving the report to the immediate investigation or to conduct himself or direct a subordinate Magistrate to hold a preliminary inquiry. As stated by the Supreme Court, the Magistrate has no power to stop the investigation after it has started. The police officers are empowered to call upon any person who is acquainted with the case or holds valuable information, for investigation. The police officer has the power to examine the witness called and is, therefore, told to reduce all the statements made by the witnesses on a paper as a good practice.

The police officer is empowered under section 165 of the Code to search for any place which he has reasonable grounds to believe that contains something necessary concerning the investigation he is authorized to make. In the absence of sufficient evidence and reasonable grounds to justify the forwarding of the accused to the Magistrate, the police officer shall release him on him executing a bond, with or without sureties, and may ask him to appear before the Magistrate when required. When the police officer has sufficient evidence and reasonable grounds, he shall forward the accused to the Magistrate, so that the Magistrate can take cognizance of the offence and try the accused or commit him for trial. If the offence is bailable, the accused shall be given security and be released on bail, only to appear before the Magistrate when required, and for his day to day attendance before the Magistrate.

Investigation by FBI

If a crime is brought to the attention of federal authorities, whether by a victim of the crime or a witness of the crime, the federal law enforcement agency will investigate to determine whether a federal offence was committed and, if so, who committed it.

If it is concluded that a crime was committed and a suspect has been identified, federal law enforcement officers have the power to arrest without an arrest warrant. In the case of federal offences that are particularly termed as white-collar crimes (e.g., violations of the federal securities laws), agents have acquired documents from suspects and innocent parties as part of the investigation. To do so, the agents can apply for a search warrant from a magistrate (or judge) to search for a particular place for relevant evidence. The agents can also request a subpoena from a grand jury.

A grand jury is an impartial body of citizens selected from the community that has the responsibility to investigate into a crime to judge whether a violation of law has taken place and by whom. To make that determination, a grand jury can issue subpoenas to any person who holds valuable information regarding the case. While investigating, the grand jury also has the power to compel testimony, including the testimony of a crime victim. Suppose the grand jury concludes that there is credible information to believe that a particular person committed a crime. In that case, the grand jury will issue a charging document known as an indictment. Whenever a grand jury is involved in an investigation, the agents will work closely with an attorney from the U.S. government, either from the local U.S. Attorney’s Office or the U.S. Department of Justice, before arresting to determine whether a crime was committed and, if so, who is responsible.


FBI and the Indian Police are two different organizations which work following two very separate sets of parameters; hence, their way of investigation differs a lot. The FBI, on the one hand, works for the United States of America Government following the constitution. The Indian Police, on the other hand, have different departments in every state, with every state having their civil force working for the state government.