Inquiry vs Investigation
There are many different ways of acquiring knowledge such as gathering facts, experimentation, inquiry, and investigation. Whether it is a quest for knowledge or the process of getting justice for a victim of crime, inquiry and investigation seem to work as tools, to get to the facts and evidences to being out truth and to widen out knowledge base. Investigation and inquiry, though they look like very formal words mostly used in governmental departments and in courts of law, are concepts that are used in daily life without actually referring to these words. Though inquiry and investigation are similar meaning words and often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. This article attempts to bring out the subtle differences between these two words.
Inquiry is a process that is set in motion for the purpose of clearing a doubt, enhancing knowledge, or even finding a solution to a problem. Often we come across news where an inquiry committee is constituted by authorities against an officer facing charges of irregularities. The committee conducts inquiry using many tools such as talking to other people, looking at documents, asking questions with the accused and so on. Often, inquiry is conducted in matters of public interest. The word inquiry comes from inquire, which is to ask to clear doubts and to enhance knowledge.
Investigation is a formal way of looking into things, to get to facts and truth. When the word is used, the first image that crosses our minds is that of private investigators who are entrusted with the task of solving mysteries. These investigators get to the truth by analyzing the facts and piecing together parts of a jigsaw puzzle. Investigation involves systematic examination of facts to unravel the truth.
What is the difference between Inquiry and Investigation?
• If we go by dictionaries, we find that inquiry and investigation are similar and almost synonymous. In fact, they are used interchangeably.
• Another interesting point about the words is that investigation can be a part of an inquiry while inquiry can be a part of a larger investigation.
• However, investigation is more cumbersome and lengthy than an inquiry. The basic motive behind both inquiry and investigation is to unravel the truth.