Author: Aditya Jha, 2nd Year BBA LL.B (H), Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad
F.I.R i.e. First Information Report as the name itself suggests is the recording procedure of information given by the aggrieved party by themselves or by someone else relating to the commission of a cognizable offence (offence in which the police officer can arrest without arrest warrant) which is written by the police officer in-charge or under his direction. After recording of the information it is read to the informant and signed by him/her so as to avoid irresponsible statements about the incident and making the informant liable for claims made by them to the police officer. Whosoever refuses to sign any statement made by him/her which he/she must sign as per orders of the public servant in-charge, shall be held liable and punished with simple imprisonment of max three months or fine of at max five hundred rupees or both. If any person is aggrieved of not getting his/her case recorded then he/she shall write a substance of the case and essential grounds and send it by post to the superintendent of police concerned who if satisfied can lay an investigation or direct his/her subordinate to investigate in the matter in the manner prescribed by the code and shall have all the powers of officer in-charge of the police of the respective jurisdiction. In case if the superintendent also doesn’t register the case or even after registering doesn’t conduct proper investigation then the aggrieved has the right to approach the Magistrate concerned who is empowered to release the order of investigation.
- F.I.R is the very first step towards investigation and justice. Only after a FIR is registered in the police station, police starts investigating the case.
- F.I.R acts as the centre around which the entire investigation is conducted as it is the primary source of information for the offence.
- In court as well F.I.R plays a significant role as it can help either ways, to corroborate or counteract the statements made by the Informant during the trials but can never be directly used as evidence in the court of law. This feature of FIR can help the court to understand the credibility of the witness and statements made by him/her in the court.
- It also gives the judicial magistrate a gist of the case and the crux upon which the entire investigation was conducted.
WHO CAN FILE AN FIR?
Anyone who has the knowledge or witnessed the crime can file an F.I.R. It is not necessary that only the victim has to file an F.I.R. Even a police man who is aware about a cognizable offence can file F.I.R by themselves. In some cases the police officer might not investigate even after lodging of an F.I.R, this happens when the officer doesn’t find the case serious enough for prompt investigation or might not get proper grounds to investigate. In such case police officer should mention as to why he/she is not conducting the investigation in court of law and also inform the informant about the same.
PROCEDURE OF FILING OF AN F.I.R
- Informants should present a written form of case with signature or narrate all the information to the police officer and police officer by himself or direct someone else to write down.
- After the completion of narration by informant, the police officer should read out the report and shall get the sign of informant, which the informant can’t deny to sign.
- Informants have the right to ask for a copy of F.I.R for free of cost.
- If any police officer denies to file an F.I.R then the informant has the right to send the substance of case in writing to the Superintendent of Police concerned, who if satisfied by the grounds provided in the information can himself conduct or direct someone else to conduct an investigation for the same in accordance with the code and shall vest all the right of police officer of the police station which has the jurisdiction for the case. Informant can also approach the State Human Rights Commission or National Human Rights Commission.
PROCEDURE AFTER FILING OF AN F.I.R
- After F.I.R is lodged then the police start investigating the case, record statements of all the witnesses and draft a final report for the case, known as a charge sheet.
- As F.I.R is filed for cognisable offences hence police has the authority to arrest the suspect without warrant as a person like such is not safe to freely roam.
- The police must finish the investigation within 60-90 days just after the FIR is lodged.
- If after analyzing the case it is found that the case doesn’t have strong grounds and evidence, then the officer in-charge can drop the case but the same shall be reported to the informant or aggrieved. And if sufficient evidence is available then the police needs to file a charge sheet before the court and then the trial begins.
First Information Report has a significant role to play in criminal cases. Even though F.I.R can’t e submitted as substantive evidence but can be used to corroborate counteract statements made by witnesses in the trial. F.I.R includes the confession of a witness or aggrieved which is fresh and can help to resolve the case if prompt investigation.
In order to establish justice and harmony in the society this aspect of law should be give utmost diligence as prompt investigation after filing F.I.R can solve many cases in no time. But it becomes a duty of the informant to give correct information as it becomes the base for further proceedings. The police also should strictly follow the rules under the Act while filing an F.I.R and should assure the safety of the informant.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, No. 02, Section 2(c), Acts of Parliament, 1973 (India).
 The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, No. 02, Section 154, Acts of Parliament, 1973 (India).
 The Indian Penal Code 1860, No. 45, Section 180, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).
 The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, No. 13, Acts of Parliament, 2013 (India).
 The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, No. 02, Section 156(3), Acts of Parliament, 1973 (India).
 The Indian Evidence Act 1872, No. 01, Section 157 Acts of Parliament, 1872 (India).
 The Indian Evidence Act 1872, No. 01, Section 145, Acts of Parliament, 1872 (India).
 Damodar Prasad v. State of Maharashtra , A.I.R. 1972 S.C. 622 (India).
 Shanker v. State of Uttar Pradesh, A.I.R 1975 S.C. 757 (India).
 Subho S Chatterjee, “First information report and you”, Commonwealth Human rights initiative.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, No. 02, Section 157, Acts of Parliament, 1973 (India).
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 The Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, No. 02, Section 167, Acts of Parliament, 1973 (India).
 Poongkhulali, All you need to know about the FIR, TH, Oct 22, 2013, 16:00 https://www.thehindu.com/features/the-yin-thing/all-you-must-know-about-the-fir/article5260951.ece
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