Difference Between Inquiry And Investigation (With Table)

The word inquiry means to ask for information. And the word investigation means formal systematic research or study. Though the words mean a little similar they have a very distinct meaning, especially in the official departments. The police department, CBI, CID, FBI, and courts are the official departments that legally have the right to do an inquiry or investigation. And that’s where we will see the distinct differences between the two words.

Inquiry vs Investigation

The main difference between an Inquiry and an Investigation is that an inquiry is made by a magistrate or court while the investigation is done by a man legally authorized like a police officer. An Investigation is never made by a magistrate, they inquire. A court dont look and gather the evidence, they ask for the information.

An Inquiry is a proceeding conducted by the magistrate or court. It is aimed to determine the truth of the registered case. It is a judicial process to find out if the evidence submitted to the court related to the case is original or fake.

An investigation is a series of research studies or inquiries made to gather information and evidence against the accused. It is the procedure to gather evidence and facts which is done by police authorities or departments like CBI, CID, etc. It is not judicial, which means not related to a judgment by the court.

Comparison Table Between Inquiry And Investigation

Parameters of ComparisonInquiryInvestigation
DefinitionAn inquiry is a process of asking for information to find out the truth.An investigation is a systematic procedure of research studies to gather evidence.
AimThe aim of the inquiry is to determine the truth, to know if the allegations are true or not.The aim of the investigation is to collect facts and evidence.
Conducted byAn inquiry is conducted by a magistrate or court.An investigation is conducted by a magistrate-authorized person like a police officer
StageAn inquiry is the second stage in a case.An investigation is the first stage in a case.
Nature of ProcessAn inquiry can be a judicial or non-judicial process.An investigation is a non-judicial process. It is an administrative process.

What is Inquiry?

An inquiry is a legal process conducted by a magistrate or court. An inquiry is never conducted by anyone else other than a magistrate or court. The rule of inquiry is mentioned in Section 2(g) of the criminal procedure code, 1973. It states that every inquiry other than a trial has to be conducted by a Magistrate or Court.

The main objective of the inquiry is to find out the truth about the case, whether the information inquiry determines if the allegations are falsified or not. It can be a judicial process or a non-judicial process. An inquiry is commenced when a charge sheet is filed. It is the second stage in a case. When an inquiry is made, the trial is initiated.

Indeed, Section 159 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, explains that to make an inquiry, an order is given by the magistrate or Court. This preliminary inquiry is made in order to know whether the offense has been committed. And if that’s the case, how many people are involved, and who are they?

An inquiry helps to understand the nature of the crime. The inquiry helps to extract information of the case filed to help prove the offense.

What is Investigation?

An investigation is a systematic procedure of research study to gain evidence and facts. An investigation is done by an authorized person of law. The person is authorized by the magistrate or court such as a police officer. According to Section 2 (g) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the work of the police officer is an investigation. An investigation is the very first stage of a case which is commenced when an FIR or complaint is lodged.

An investigation is a non-judicial process, it is an administrative procedure. The main objective of an investigation is to collect facts and evidence to determine if there is enough evidence to put the accused on trial and file a charge sheet.

An investigation involves searching, interviews, collection of evidence, and then the evidence is used to inform criminal trials. The investigation is done by legally authorized people but there are also private investigators. The criminal investigation is a concept that goes way back to 1700 BCE. The first mention was in the writings of the Code of Hammurabi, according to which the accuser and the accused, both have the right to present the evidence from their side.

Main Differences Between Inquiry And Investigation

  1. An inquiry is conducted by a magistrate or court while on the other hand investigation is conducted by a person authorized by the court like a police officer.
  2. An inquiry can be a judicial or non-judicial process. An investigation is an administrative process, a non-judicial process.
  3. The inquiry aims to determine the truth, to know if the allegations are true or not. The aim of the investigation is to collect facts, evidence, and people to testify.
  4. An inquiry is commenced when a charge-sheet is filed while an investigation takes place when an FIR or complaint has been lodged.
  5. An inquiry is the second stage in a case, the investigation being the first stage.

Conclusion

Inquiry is a legal process, done by the magistrate or court to find out if the evidence and information gathered by the police authorities are correct or not. The aim is to determine the truth and resolve doubts. An inquiry is commenced when a charge sheet is filed.

An investigation is an administrative process done by a magistrate authorized person such as a police officer to find evidence against the reported crime. An investigation is the very first stage of a case to discover facts and arrest the suspected persons and put the accused on trial.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/cd2b9d441604a1285e33f7c6841bd280/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=40590
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10584600701807752
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.2334-4822.2008.tb00499.x
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