How to Lodge a First Information Report (F.I.R)

FIR is a first-hand reporting of any offence, which is generally cognizable in nature. The procedure for lodging an FIR is prescribed u/s 154, CrPc. The names, description, facts, date, time and location must be stated to the police and written, after which it must be read out to the concerned individual reporting the incident to avoid inconsistency.

Tue Mar 22 2022 | HLL Knowledge Series | Comments (0)

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As the name suggests, a First Information Report commonly known as an FIR is the first information received by the police with respect to the commission of any cognizable offence. In case of non-cognizable offences mostly non-cognizable report which is also known as NCR is  lodged.  

A Cognizable offence is an offence in which a police officer can arrest without a warrant and without the orders of a magistrate. The Cognizable offences are serious in nature such as Rape, Murder, Dowry death, Kidnapping, Theft, Criminal Breach of Trust, Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the government in India.

Through the registration of an FIR the process of criminal justice is initiated. Once the FIR is registered by the police, it becomes the duty of the police officer to take up investigation of the case.  

According to Sec 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, when information as to the commission of any offence is given against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the officer in charge of a police station need not proceed in person or depute a subordinate officer to make an investigation on the spot if it appears to the officer in charge of a police station that there is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not investigate the case.

However, the officer in charge of the police station shall record reasons reasons for not fully complying with the requirements and shall also forthwith notify to the informant.

Any person can report to the police regarding the commission of any cognizable offence either orally or in writing. Even a complaint made over a phone call can be treated as an FIR after judging its veracity. Where an FIR is made verbally, it is the duty of the police officer to write it down in words and read it back to the individual to assure that the details are recorded in the manner the said individual wanted it to. Hence an F.I.R can be lodged by-

  1. The person against whom an offence has been committed.
  2. The person who has either witnessed the offence being committed or received information about an offence being committed after judging its veracity. 

Procedure


As prescribed in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, any information given by an individual regarding the commission of a cognizable offence must be recorded by the police in writing.  The facts and circumstances, and other details like date, time, location and the name/description of the persons involved must be stated to the police and the same shall be recorded as well. Once the same is written, it must be read out to the concerned individual providing the information to assure that there is no alteration or miscommunication.

Once the information has been recorded, it must be signed by the person giving the information and a copy of the FIR shall be provided free of cost.

What can be done if the police refuse to lodge an FIR?


In case the police are not taking the appropriate steps for lodging the FIR within 15 days from the date of filing of the complaint, the complainant can file the same complaint with the Superintendent of Police concerned. If the concerned Superintendent of Police also refuses to take any action, then a remedy under section 156(3) of the CrPc lies with the complainant wherein an application under the said section may be moved before the magistrate concerned. The magistrate after taking cognizance of the same may direct the police to register the FIR or initiate investigation.

Concept of a Zero FIR.


Justice Verma’s Committee, after the horrific Nirbhaya Rape Case proposed the concept of Zero FIR to be inserted in the Criminal Law Amendment. Usually, a crime must be reported, and the FIR can be lodged in the Police Station of the concerned jurisdiction where the crime occurred. However, in case of a Zero FIR, an FIR can be lodged in any police station irrespective of its territorial jurisdiction. Eventually such FIR is transferred to the police station having the territorial jurisdiction to investigate in such FIR. This concept of Zero FIR was introduced so that no police officer can deny lodging the FIR on the basis of the jurisdiction.

Hence an FIR is one such report that is of prime importance. No facts should be distorted or exaggerated while giving the information to the police and the details should be provided with utmost caution as it can either make or break a case.

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