Inquiry means every inquiry, other than a trial, conducted under this Code by a Magistrate or Court, Section 2(g), Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. According to the New Standard Dictionary, the word “inquiry” includes “investigation” into facts, causes, effects and relations generally; “to inquire”, according to the same dictionary means “to exert oneself to discover something”. Chambers 20th Century Dictionary lays down that the meaning of the term “to inquire” is “to ask, to seek” and the meaning of the term “inquiry” is given as: “search for knowledge; investigation”, Real Value Appliances Ltd. v. Canara Bank, (1998) 5 SCC 554.
Inquiry and trial — Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (India) — Ss. 319 and 2(g) — The word “inquiry” is not any inquiry relating to the investigation of the case by the investigating agency but is an inquiry after the case is brought to the notice of the court on the filing of the charge-sheet. The court can thereafter proceed to make inquiries and it is for this reason that an inquiry has been given to mean something other than the actual trial. (Paras 27 and 39). Trial is distinct from an inquiry and must necessarily succeed it. The purpose of the trial is to fasten the responsibility upon a person on the basis of facts presented and evidence led in this behalf. As “trial” means determination of issues adjudging the guilt or the innocence of a person, the person has to be aware of what is the case against him and it is only at the stage of framing of the charges that the court informs him of the same. The “trial“ commences only on charges being framed. (Paras 29 and 38), Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab, (2014) 3 SCC 92.