The general approach for investigation is a condition by the legal requirements. The general approach for investigation should, therefore, be formulated having regard to the terms of reference, scope, period, program, and procedure of the investigation and the attending legal requirements as explained below:
Clarity of terms of reference
The Inspector should ensure that all the terms of reference must be clear, unambiguous, not vague, and it should be in writing as it is more reliable and admissible. If he has any doubt about any item in the terms then he should obtain clarification in writing regarding the same. The inspector should also take into consideration the possible effect of limitations, if any, put in the terms of reference and should keep the central government informed in writing about their effect on the investigation.
Scope of Investigation
Inspector should determine the scope of the investigation based on the terms of reference. At this stage, it is useful for the Inspector to go into the history of the company and its affiliates for Associates. He should evaluate the terms of reference in sketching the scope of the investigation; this will enable him to locate the limitations, if any, in the terms of reference, not mentioned.
Period for investigation
Inspector should also have regard to the period over which the investigation should stretch. The evaluation of all terms of reference and the consequential determination of the scope of the investigation is the twin props on which the entire investigation would rest.
Framing of program
The next step is the investigator/inspector should frame his program for investigation in a systematic manner. He should keep adequate working notes and papers with references and cross-references properly and methodically to add him to the preparation of the report. The actual process of investigation would be essentially an evidence-gathering procedure and, at every step, he should have regard to the procedures laid down in these sections regarding the production of documents and evidence, examination on the oath, and seizure of documents. He should also keep his mind open to the facts which are unknown earlier considering such facts he comes across in the process of evidence collection and should assess whether the program of investigation needs amendment or modification.
Using the work of experts
He should also consider the assistance of other experts like engineers, lawyers, etc., necessary in the interest of comprehensive and full proof examination of the documents and information.
After completion of the steps in the investigation program and collecting all the information that he needed, the report should be prepared; however, an interim report may be made if required. The findings should be completed and exhaustive. Before he makes his final report he should obtain and keep on record the evidence relied upon by him. By the nature of things, such evidence should be as conclusive as possible depending on the circumstances of the case.