What Is FIR?
When it comes to criminal law, the FIR is quite important. When the police acquire information concerning the commission of a cognizable offense, they generate a written document called a First Information Report (FIR). It’s termed the First Information Report because it’s a report of information that reaches the police first at that moment in time. It is usually a complaint filed with the police by the victim of a criminal offense or someone acting on his or her behalf. Anybody can report the commission of a cognizable offense to the police, either verbally or in writing. Telephonic communication might also be considered a FIR.
Why Is FIR Important?
An FIR is a critical document since it initiates the criminal justice process. The police begin their investigation of the crime only after the FIR is filed at the police station.
Who Can File An FIR?
An FIR can be filed by anyone who has information concerning the commission of a cognizable offense. It is not required for only the crime victim to register an FIR. A police officer who knows of a cognizable offense might file a FIR on his or her own. The person who informs the police about the commission of the offense is called an informant.
What Is The Procedure Of Filing An FIR?
Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 lays out the steps for filing a FIR.
- The police must write down information about the commission of a cognizable offense that is delivered orally.
- As a person providing information or filing a complaint, you have the right to request that the police read you the information they have recorded.
- The person providing the information must sign the information after it has been recorded by the police.
- You should only sign the report after double-checking that the information recorded by the police corresponds to the information you provided.
- People who are unable to read or write must make an impression on the document with their left thumb after ensuring that it is accurate.
- Always request a copy of the FIR if the cops refuse to provide you one. It is your legal right to receive it without cost.
What Should You Mention In The FIR?
- Name and address of yourself; Date, time and place of the incident you are reporting;
- The incident’s true facts as they happened;
- Names and descriptions of the persons that was involved in the incident;
- Witnesses, if any
Can The Police Refuse To File My Complaint?
Yes and no. A police officer may refuse to file your complaint if he considers it is a minor matter or if the officer does not have territorial jurisdiction in such instances. In general, crimes are classified as “cognizable” or “non-cognizable.” Section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 clearly points out that an FIR could be registered only in case of cognizable offenses. Cognizable offenses refer to those offenses where the police are permitted to arrest the accused without a warrant. A complaint is filed with the magistrate for non-cognizable offenses, and the magistrate directs the police to investigate.
Murder, rape, rioting, dacoity, and other major crimes are examples of “cognizable” crimes, which are offences that can be arrested without a warrant. A “non-cognizable” crime covers for example cheating, fraud, forgery, bigamy, selling underweight or adulterated food or creating a public nuisance, that is crimes where arrest cannot be made without warrant & such crimes are not of serious matter. The most basic interpretation is that the call to action has a time limit.
If you are reporting a crime and the police refuse to register your FIR on unreasonable grounds, you can make a complaint to a higher ranking officer. If the police refuse to register your FIR, you can file a formal complaint with the nearest judicial magistrate, who will order the police to do so if necessary.
After your complaint has been registered, make sure you receive a receipt.
Even if you file a FIR, the police may refuse to investigate your complaint if: If the case is not serious; (ii) the police believe there is insufficient evidence to investigate. The police must, however, keep track of the reasons for not conducting an inquiry and, in the latter instance, alert you. -[Section 157, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973]
The denial by the police officer to file an FIR is considered legal typically in two scenarios, firstly, if the complaint is about an awfully trivial(of little value or importance) issue, or secondly, if that particular police station does not have the territorial jurisdiction of that offense.
The “Zero FIR” is a solution to the refusal to register a FIR based on the second grounds. The concept of a Zero FIR is that if a person is unable to file a FIR in the police station with proper territorial jurisdiction for a specific offense for any reason, he or she may file the same in any other police station in his or her reach, and that police station will later transfer the report to the police station with proper territorial jurisdiction for that offense. Therefore, it would be criminal if the police officer refused to file the report for any inexplicable reason or even without giving a justification. The aggrieved would then have to seek legal redress for their grievance.
Things You Should NOT Do:
- Never make a false complaint or provide the police incorrect information; you can be charged for giving the police false information or misleading them-[Section203, Indian Penal Code 1860].
- Never exaggerate or distort facts.
- Never make vague or unclear statements.
What Can You Do If Your FIR Is Not Registered?
- You can meet with the Superintendent of Police or other higher-ranking officers, such as the Deputy Inspector General of Police and the Inspector General of Police, to file a complaint.
- You can file a complaint with the Superintendent of Police in concern in writing or by post. If the Superintendent of Police is pleased with your allegation, he will either conduct his own investigation or order one to be conducted.
- You can file a private complaint with the court that has jurisdiction over your case.
- If the police fail to enforce the law or do so in a biased and corrupt manner, you can file a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission or the National Human Rights Commission.