Orissa High Court Quashes Police Circular Order Conferring ‘Power Of Investigation’ On Graduate Constables & CI Havildars

The high court of Orissa passed a judgment on 10 March 2023, it recently nullified a Police Circular Order (PCO) which conferred ‘power of investigation’ on Graduate Constables and Crime Intelligence Havildars in the case of Minaketan Nayak & Ors. v. State of Odisha & Ors (W.P.(C) No. 14873 of 2022), passed by the Single Judge Bench of Justice Aditya Kumar Mohapatra.

Facts of the case

The petitioners are police constables employed by several Odisha police stations. Graduate Constables (GCs) and Crime Intelligence Havildars were given the authority to conduct investigations by the respondent authorities, per a resolution issued by the State Government (CIHs). Additionally, it was stated that such GCs and CIHs would receive institutional training in accredited institutions for 30 days, followed by 45 days of practical training in police stations. Then an exam would be held following the successful completion of the course. It was suggested that they be granted ad hoc authority of investigation after passing such an examination. However, the aforementioned Resolution made it clear that they would not be entitled to any further financial or service benefits as a result of this transfer of investigative authority. The aforementioned stipulations were later further altered by a PCO, which is now being contested in these writ petitions.


The Court cited Section 2(o) of the CrPC, which states that a “officer-in-charge of a Police Station” includes any police officer present at the station house who is above the rank of constable and is present when the officer in charge of the police station is absent from the station house or unable to perform his duties due to illness or other reasons, as well as any other police officer present when the State Government so directs. The Court further explained that in order for Graduate Constables and CI Havildars to perform the tasks stipulated in Sections 156 and 157 of the CrPC, they must first be designated as “officers,” either by being promoted to an existing position of officer or by creating new positions of junior officer in the cadre.

Accordingly, the impugned PCO was quashed.

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