First Information Report also popularly known as F.I.R. The terminology F.I.R is not explained anywhere under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(hereinafter referred as CrPC) but section 154 of CrPC talks about Information in Cognizable cases. Section 154 of CrPC, facilitates, any citizen or non- citizen of India to give information to the police relating to the commission of any cognizable offence. It is a mechanism on which police officers start their investigation. It made it clear to us, F.I.R launched only on cognizable offence (which means police can arrest the offender without a warrant).
Section154 CrPC – Information in cognizable cases
“(1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.
(2) A copy of the information as recorded under sub- section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in subsection (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.”
In Brief, Section 154 brings out the following points:
- The information is to be given to an officer in charge, who has jurisdiction for investigating the case.
- Information may be given orally or written. If information is given orally to the officer, it shall be reduced to writing by the officer himself or under his direction or if the information given in writing shall be signed by the informant.
- The information reduced in writing shall be read over to the informant.
- The information must be entered in the book to be kept by the police officer, in a prescribed form.
- The Police-in charge must give the copy of F.I.R to the informant, free of cost.
Krishna Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh
In this case, Court held that “in order for a message or communication to be qualified to be an F.I.R, there must be something in nature of complaint, accusation or at least some information of the crime given with the object of setting the police or criminal law in motion. It is true that an F.I.R need not every detail as to how the offence has taken place nor it is required containing the names of offender or witnesses. But it must contain some information about the crime committed as also some information about the manner in which the cognizable offence has been committed.”
Who can file First Information Report (F.I.R)?
First Information Right can be filed by anyone, who has information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is not mandatory for the person who files an F.I.R should be a victim or eye witness. A police officer himself can file an F.I.R if he has knowledge of the commission of a cognizable offence.
In Hallu&Ors.vs. State of M.P, it was held that “Section 154 does not require that the Report must be given by a person who has personal knowledge of the incident reported. The section speaks of information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence given to an officer in charge of a police station.”
What is the process of filing the First Information Report(F.I.R)?
The process of filing an F.I.R is very simple. The informant has to go to the nearest police station and give the information either in writing or orally. If it has been given orally, the policeman reduced it into writing in a register and read it to the informant and gets the signature of him.
Is it Obligatory for police to register F.I.R?
In Lalita kumara v. Government of Uttar Pradesh
Five Judges Bench delivered the judgment in this case and held that it is mandatory under sec 154 of CrPC to register F.I.R and the police–in charge is bound to register the F.I.R on the information disclosed by the informant.
What are the remedies available if the police–in charge refuses to register F.I.R?
- Under section 154(3) of CrPC, The informant has legal right to file F.I.R., if police-in charge refuses to lodge the F.I.R, the informant may approach the Superintendent of Police. If the Superintendent of Police is satisfied that such information is correct or true, he may himself or give order to other subordinates to investigate the matter.
- Under section 156(3) of CrPC, If an informant remains unsatisfied even after pursuing the remedy under section 154(3), he/she can further pursue the remedy mentioned under section 156(3) read with section 190 CrPC (i.e. cognizance by a magistrate).
- Under section 200 CrPC, A complaint can be submitted to the magistrate orally or in writing. After the submission of a complaint, the magistrate will conduct a hearing, deciding upon the issue of cognizance. In this channel, the complainant and the witnesses thereof are examined on oath in front of the magistrate.
What is mean by Zero F.I.R?
If the complainant has filed an F.I.R to the Police station, which has no jurisdiction to lodge the F.I.R. in that case, the police-in-charge of that Police station lodges Zero F.I.R and transfer the same to the police station having the jurisdiction to lodge that F.I.R. It’s just like ordinary F.I.R.
In closing, I can say that F.I.R. is important for criminal justice. Without F.I.R, Police officers can not initiate the investigation. Anyone can file the F.I.R, it is not necessary that he or she is a victim of an eye- witness. F.I.R under section 154 of CrPC is not substantive evidence. It is compulsory for the police officer to lodge the F.I.R.
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
R.V Kelkar, Criminal Procedure, Sixth edition
AIR 2014 SC 187
(2014) 2 SCC