First Information Report (FIR)

By Akanksha Chowdhury

Introduction –

A First Information Report is a type of document that is created by the police in countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan etc. whenever they receive any kind of information about cognizable offence. A FIR can be filed by either the victim or any member of his family, in the age of non-cognizable offences an entry is make in the community service register. [1] It is the first step in every criminal case and it contains all kinds of details about the particular incident such as where the accident took place, what was the time when it happened, who was the victim and his details etc. A provision for online filing of FIR has also been introduced in certain states were the complainant can file a complaint online during cases of Rape, Kidnapping, Murder, Dowry Death etc.

The definition of FIR is mention in section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure

1.Every information which relates to the commission of any kind of cognizable offence, if it is provided orally then the officer who is in charge of the police station should write it and if it is already written then it should be signed by the person who gives the information.[2]

2. A copy of the information as recorded under sub section (1) must be given to the informant free of cost.

3. If any party is refused by the police officer regarding filing of a complaint then that person can send the information to the Superintendent of Police, then if he is satisfied with the complaint

then he can investigate it himself or ask a police officer below him to do it.

In Moni Mohan vs Emperor, the important or essential conditions of FIR is mentioned –

> It is important that a piece of information should be present

> It should be in writing and if it is not in writing then it should be written later by the officer in charge.

> The main act should always be cognizable in nature.

Who can file a FIR?

Any person who has been victims of any kind of cognizable offence or has any kind of information about a particular crime that has happened can file a FIR with any police station within his jurisdiction. In the case of Hallu vs State of MP it was said that according to section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure anyone could file a complaint and it was not required that only those people who had personal knowledge of the crime could file a complaint at the police station. [3]

How to file FIR?

First of all, it is required to visit the nearest police station and then describe all the details to officer in charge.

> We can either tell the police office everything verbally or he has to write it down however if we say it verbally then later on the officer has to write it down for future reference and for carrying on the investigation

> If a written complaint is submitted then there has to be two copies one for the complainant and the other one for the officer

>After submitting the FIR, the officer will read it to us and if everything is correct than the complainant has to sign the FIR however it is very important for the complainant to sign it only after he verifies everything on his own.

>After all the process is completed a free copy of the FIR is provided to the complainant free of cost. It is really very important to verify the contents of a FIR as nothing can be changed later on however the complainant can add certain information later on.

Zero FIR

This concept was introduced so that FIRs could be filed by people in any police station as they want irrespective of the fact whether it comes under its jurisdiction or not.

The provision of Zero FIR had arrived on the recommendation of Justice Verma Committee, in the new criminal amendment act. It was done after the gang rape of the 23 old girl in Delhi.

The amendment for Zero fir was passed by the Lok Sabha on 19th March and by Rajya Sabha on 21st March.

Thus, after the concept was introduced it had become compulsory for the police stations to register the FIR irrespective of the fact that where it is under their jurisdiction or not and then the FIR has to be transferred to the respective police station. [4] This concept helped to ensure that speedy justice could take place specially in cases of heinous and ghastly crimes.

In the case of Kirti Vasishta vs State and Ors –

It held that as per section 154 of CrPc if a police stations receives any kind of information about a

particular offence then they have to register the FIR and if by chance the crime location is not under their jurisdiction, they should transfer it to the concerned Police station.

Delay in filing of FIR

It is always good to file the FIR as fast as possible as it will to ensure speedy justice however sometimes it might not be the cases there can be many reasons due to which an FIR can be registered very late however if the delay is properly explained than it would not lead to suspicions however if a person forgets any details or if he is not able to give reasons for his delay then the trust of the police may fade in him which would lead to lot of chaos .

In the case of P. Rajagopal vs State of Tamil Nadu –

It was observed that the whole family of the witness were scared of the accused as he came from a very rich and influential family and had helped the witness’s family on a lot of occasions. Under this case the court observed that delay in losing a complaint was completely reasonable as the accused had also appointed henchmen outside the house of the witness.

Filing of False FIR

In most cases either the victims or someone who knows about the crime files an FIR however in few circumstances certain false FIRs are also filed so as to take revenge by maligning their name and reputation.

Legal Procedures regarding False FIR –

It has been held that a person against whom false FIR is filed can file an application under section 482 of the CrPC to the High Court so that the FIR can be quashed.

According to this section the High Court has been provided with the power to pass any kind of order that it feels is important to prevent any kind of abuse or to provide justice to the people.

In the case of Abasaheb Homme vs State of Maharashtra –

It was said by the court that the power of the court to quash all types of false FIR should not be used always instead it should only be used when it is extremely necessary.

As the court has been given this power to ensure proper justice and also to make sure that the rule of law is not violated in any manner. [5]

Further it has been held that writ petition can also be filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution for quashing the false FIR.

The high court can issue the following writs –

>Mandamus Writ

>Prohibition Writ

Punishment for filing of person who lodges false FIR –

False Information under section 182 of IPC –

According to this section any person who files any FIR knowing it to be false must be punished with imprisonment for a term of 6 months or fine or both.

Harbhajan Singh Bajwa vs Senior Superintendent of Police

Whenever any kind of false or misleading information is provided to an authority just for the sake of harassing or taking revenge from a person then the person giving such information will be held liable under section 182 of Indian Penal Code however if the authority realizes the whole thing was false after 1 year then this section would not be of any value .

Section 211 of IPC –

If any person with the intention of causing injury to someone initiated a false criminal proceeding then such person will be arrested for a term unto 2 years or fine or both however if the criminal proceeding is done for an offence whose punishment is for life or seven years then the person doing it shall be imprisoned for a term which may extend to 7 years .

Section 167 of IPC –

In this section if a public servant forms any document with an intention to cause injury to any person then he will be held liable under section 167 of IPC and will be either imprisoned has to pay fine or both.

Anticipatory Bail –

If false FIR is filed by any person against someone else to malign his image than the person can file for anticipatory bail under section 438 of CrPC.

The person can apply to with High Court or Session Court , and then the court can grant the anticipatory bail however it will see the nature of the offence , whether the person had been accused of any offence previously or if it is really a case of maligning the image of the accused  , If it is rejected than the accused can be easily arrested.

Cases

  1. State of West Bengal & Ors. V. Swapan Kumar Guha & Ors.

In this particular case, the issue which was discussed was regarding the investigating powers of the police with respect to cognizable and even non-cognizable offences, except any arrest without warrant. The Supreme Court held that there is no such aspect regarding unfettering discretion of the powers as stated in the statutes and are thus unlimited in nature with respect to the discretion of the court in the basis that it will be ruthless destroyer of personal freedom. The power of investigation of the police in the cases of cognizable offences must be clearly checked and virilized as per the code of civil procedure.

  • Siddhartha Vashisth: Alias Manu Sharma vs State (NCT of Delhi)

In this landmark case, the court had held that phone calls which were made immediately to the police station constituted a type of a FIR only unless and until they are not vague. Calls made for the reason of getting the police to the crime scene do not purely constitute a FIR. 

Conclusion

It is therefore concluded that FIR has a great significant role in each criminal litigation. FIR, being an information first in point of time, is a valuable piece of evidence in any criminal trial either for corroborating evidence or for contradicting witnesses. Therefore, it is necessary that FIR must be recorded in all circumstances especially where the person has arrived in the police station to lodge an FIR against a particular crime. If a FIR is duly recorded, it may provide a valuable evidence in a criminal case. Such information should be lodged with the police as soon as a person comes to know as to the commission of an offence. Apart from prevention of crimes and maintenance of law and order in the society, FIR may also lead to successful conclusion of a criminal trial.


[1] http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/1578/FIR:-Indian-Evidence-Act,-1872.html#:~:text=Conclusion%3A%2D,evidence%20or%20for%20contradicting%20witnesses..  (last viewed 6th August, 11:19)

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_information_report. (last viewed 6th August, 11:52)

[3] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/FIR. (last viewed 6th August 18

[4] https://thewire.in/rights/chhattisgarh-false-fir-case-nhrc-awards-compensation-nandini-sundar-others. (last viewed 7th August, 17:23)

[5] https://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/awareness/fir/. (last viewed 8th August, 15:04)

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