The Progress Report
The Progress report carries on where the preliminary report concerning an investigation left off. As a general rule of the thumb, we prepare progress reports for a case on a scheduled basis, such as on the end of every month or on an as-and-when basis such as the times when an important development needs to be communicated to the client. If the preliminary report mentions that a lead or contact must be followed or an action must be taken, the progress report must reflect the actions taken in the interim period even if the matter is of minimal significance.
Here one must remember that a progress report if different from and more significant in value than our internal records. Records are called “Daily Progress Reports” and are meant for in-house use and reference. Internal Records are considered administrative documents which is not the case with investigative documents.
The Final Report
We prepare a Final Report when the investigation for a case is over and when:
a. A finite and definite conclusion has been reached.
b. All investigative leads and trails have been explored.
c. The client has decided to call the case off.
d. The matter has been settled.
The final report includes everything mentioned in the preliminary and progress reports and is an exclusive document that compiles all the facts and presents them as a cohesive whole.
Imagine for example, that Sharda Kumari was identified in the preliminary report as an eyewitness who was responsible for providing to the police certain crucial information that led to the identification of Mr. Navin Prasad as the driver of the car that killed Mrs. Shailaja Rane (Refer to the background of this fictional case here). In the progress report, it was reported by the investigator investigating the case that Sharda Kumari was interviewed and the comments that she made conflicted with her earlier testimony to the police. In a second progress report, it was reported that Sharda Kumari’s sister-in-law who lives with her in the joint family say, “I know who was driving that car and it wasnt Mr. Navin Prasad.” The final report will fit the pieces together to make it understandable for the reader.
The Summary of Facts
The Final Report based on the basic facts of a case can be quite long and can run into several pages in length. As a habit, our agency will ensure that the opening para of the Final Report will describe how our agency first became involved, such as the date when Mr. Navin Prasad first contacted us and decided to retain our services. We will then describe the central circumstances of the incident such as the death of Mrs. Shailaja Rane. This approach like the synopsis or the treatment note of a film script moves in a chronological fashion starting at the beginning and moving forward in time.
When a case involves crime, we need to examine the criminal code and determine the elements of proof. In the Navin Prasad matter, the crime cited by the Mumbai Police detective was involuntary manslaughter. When you research the criminal code, one might find the elements to be:
1. Causing the death of another
2. While performing a legal act
3. In an unlawful manner likely to cause death
The Police detective is convinced that Mr. Prasad has fulfilled the elements of proof. We, on the other hand have learned that an eyewitness has given conflicting statements and was heard to say on record that Mr. Prasad was not not the driver of the vehicle that accidentally and unfortunately killed Mrs. Rane. Futhermore, we have obtained a sworn written statement from the waiter of a restaurant who has declared that Mr. Prasad was dining at the time his vehicle was claimed to have struck and killed Mrs. Rane. I have obtained a copy of the bill from the restaurant to verify the time of the payment by Mr. Prasad for the meal.
The final report written by us will conclude that the elements of proof by Detective Sonawane have not been fulfilled.
To substantiate means to verify, corroborate or support a matter. The substantiation in a final report is basically the recitation of facts drawn from a wide variety of sources. These sources could be in the form of statements obtained from the suspect, victims, complainant and witnesses. It could also be in the form of notes, sketches, diagrams, pics, reports and analyses created by forensic experts and other official records. Below is what a substantiation report may look like:
The purported last will and testament of the deceased, Mr. Amit Patel is false as proved by the report of the questioned document examiner Paresh Mehta, who concluded that the signature on the document had been forged; by the report of the Mumbai Police Identification division’s fingerprint examiner Mahesh Pratap Singh, who further concluded that the document bore none of the fingerprints of the deceased; and by the sworn written statement of the deceased’s nurse Sangeetha Shetty, who recalled hearing Mr. Patel that he had “never prepared a will and who did not intend doing so in the future.”
Several statements of substantiation are likely, with each directed at proving or disproving the crime.
Our final report for a case will typically end with conclusions reached by the private investigator working on the case. The number of conclusions will be few unless the case was extremely complex. And in any case, we believe that everything in our reports must be stated in a simple, concise and logical manner. For the Navin Prasad case, the conclusion might be:
“I conclude that insufficient evidence exists to show Mr. Prasad was the driver of the vehicle that killed Mrs. Rane.”
For the Patel case, the conclusion might read:
I conclude that sufficient evidence exists to prove that the last will and testament of Mr. Amit Patel is false.
The final report will also contain various attachments in the form of written statement copies, lab reports, sketches, questionable documents, official records, maps, photographs, estimates of loss or damage, a list of people connected to the case and descriptions of physical evidence and the location where stored.
Amit Sen is the founding partner of Alliance One – who are among the best detective agencies in Mumbai specializing in providing thorough pre matrimonial investigation services in Mumbai among other private and corporate investigation services. Amit is also a trained pilot and an aviator and likes to remain grounded on the days when he is not flying high.