Police to inquire and report on suicide, etc.
174.(1) The officer in charge of a police-station or some other police-officer specially empowered by the Government in that behalf, on receiving information that a person-
(a) has committed suicide, or
(b) has been killed by another, or by an animal, or by machinery or by an accident, or
(c) has died under circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person has committed an offence,
shall immediately give intimation thereof to the [nearest Executive Magistrate] empowered to hold inquests, and, unless otherwise directed by any rule prescribed by the Government, or by any general or special order [of the District Magistrate], shall proceed to the place where the body of such deceased person is, and there, in the presence of two or more respectable inhabitants of the neighborhood, shall make an investigation, and draw up a report of the apparent cause of death, describing such wounds, fractures, bruises and other marks of injury as may be found on the body, and stating in what manner, or by what weapon or instrument (if any), such marks appear to have been inflicted:
Provided that, unless the Government otherwise directs, it shall not be necessary under this sub-section, in any case where the death or any person has been caused by enemy action, to make any investigation or to draw up any report or to send any intimation to a Magistrate empowered to hold inquests.
(2) The report shall be signed by such police-officer and other persons, or by so many of them as concur therein, and shall be forthwith forwarded to [ the District Magistrate].
(3) When there is any doubt regarding the cause of death, or when for any other reason the police-officer considers it expedient so to do, he shall, subject to such rules as the Government may prescribe in this behalf, forward the body, with a view to its being examined, to the nearest Civil Surgeon, or other qualified medical man appointed in this behalf by the Government, if the state of the weather and the distance admit of its being so forwarded without risk of such putrefaction on the road as would render such examination useless.
(4) [Omitted by the Schedule of the Adaptation of Central Acts and Ordinances Order, 1949.]
[(5) The following Magistrates are empowered to hold inquest, namely, any District Magistrate or any other Executive Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf by the Government or the District Magistrate.]