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The definition of the word “investigation” is not exhaustive. An investigation by the police commences with the first step taken by the police-officer in the matter of the offence and the culprit thereof. The word ‘inquiry’ means to include everything done in a case by a Magistrate whether the case has been challenged or not. It does not always mean a judicial inquiry. The word “inquiry must be distinguished” from “investigation” under Chapter XIV on the one hand and a “trail” on the other. A “trail” is a judicial proceeding which ends in conviction or acquittal. All other proceedings are inquiries which have various endings according to circumstances.
2. Relevant Provisions
Section 4(1)(k) Cr.P.C 1898 for Inquiry
Section 4(1)(I), 1898 for investigation
3. Inquiry
i. Literal Meaning of Inquiry
a. Research  b. Interrogation c. Investigation
ii. Meaning of Inquiry
a. Any proceedings conducted by Magistrate
b. Any proceedings conducted by a Court
iii. Definition u/s 4(1)(k) Cr.P.C
Inquiry includes every inquiry other than a trial conducted under this code by a magistrate or Court”.
(v) Kinds of Inquiry
a. Departmental Inquiry b. Judicial Inquiry
(vi) Inquiry vs Trial
Inquiry is the proceeding which may be prior to trial.
(vii) Authority to conduct Inquiry
Magistrate or Court
4. Investigation
i. Literal Meaning of Investigation
a. Study b. Search  c. Inquiry
ii. Meaning of Investigation
a. Proceeding conducted by Police Officer
b. Proceeding for the collection of evidence
iii. Definition of Inquiry
Investigation includes all the proceedings under this code for the collection of evidence”.
iv. Nature of Investigation
Criminal in nature
v. Object of Investigation
To collect evidence relating to commission of an offence.
vi. Authority to Investigate
The Police officer or any person authorized by a Magistrate not a Magistrate.
5. Trial
i. Literal meaning of Trial
a. Attempt b. Examination by a test c. Judicial examination or investigation
ii. Meaning of Trial
The judicial proceedings conducted by Court.
iii. Commencement of Trial
Trial starts after submission of challan till announcement of judgment.
iv. End of Trial
a. In acquittal or b. Conviction
v. Procedure for Trial under Cr.P.C
a. Trial by Magistrateb. Summary Trial
c. Trial by High Court & Court of Session

6. Distinction between Inquiry, Investigation and Trial
Following are the distinction between inquiry, investigation and Trial
i. Conducting Authority
a. Inquiry. Magistrate or the Court
b. Investigation. Police officer or any person authorized by a Magistrate.
c. Trial. Judge or a Magistrate
iii. Commencement
a. Inquiry. It starts when complaint is filed to the Magistrate
b. Investigation. It starts when FIR is lodged or complaint is made to the Magistrate.
c. Trial. It starts either by framing of charge or arrangement of the accused.
iv. As to meaning
a. Inquiry. Any proceedings conducted by Magistrate or a Court.
b. Investigation. Proceedings conducted by Police Officer.
c. Trial. The Judicial Proceedings conducted by Court.
v. Result
a. Inquiry. It finishes only with the recommendations.
b. Investigation. It finishes with the result but with opinion of the police officer to be submitted before the Court.
c. Trial. It finishes with the punishment or acquittal.
vi. Purpose
a. Inquiry. Determination of truth.
b. Collection of evidence for reading near the truth.
c. Trial. Finalization of truth and falsity.
vii. Proceedings
a. Inquiry. It is proceedings by Magistrate.
b. Investigation. It is proceeding by Police Officer
c. Trial. It is judicial proceedings.
viii. Framing of Charge
a. Inquiry. In a charge is framed during inquiry.
b. Investigation. In it, no charge is framed.
c. Trial. It starts after farming of charge.
ix. Remedy.
a. Inquiry. Appeal or revision against decision.
b. Investigation. Second inquiry order
c. Trial. Transfer of investigation order
x. Process
a. Inquiry. It is the last processb. Investigation. It may be 1st and 2nd process.c. Trial. 1st process
Under the code investigation consists generally of the following steps; 1. Proceedings to the spot, 2. Ascertainment of the facts and circumstances of the case. 3. Discovery and arrest of the suspected offender 4. Collection of evidence relating to the commission of the offence which may consist of a. the examination of various persons (including the accused) and the reduction of their statement into writing, if the officer thinks fit, b the search of places or seizure of things considered necessary for the investigation and to be produced at the trial