Author: Priya Raj, II year of B.A., LL.B. from Lloyd Law College
The main objective of this paper is to provide an overview of F.I.R (First Information Report). The paper explains very vividly why F.I.R is important and also what are the steps that should be followed while filing F.I.R.
Keywords: - First Information Report, Zero F.I.R, Online F.I.R
F.I.R is known as the First Information Report. It is a written document prepared by police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence, i.e. an offence for which police can take action without prior court approval. The procedure for filing an F.I.R is quoted under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone else on his/her behalf. Once F.I.R is registered, the contents cannot be changed. Whereas, additional information can be given to police later on any point.
When to lodge F.I.R
The F.I.R has to be registered at the earliest point of time after the incident. Any delays in reporting have to be adequately justified. The Police officer must give a copy of the F.I.R at any cost. The F.I.Rs can be registered only for cognizable offences such as murder, rape, theft, attack, etc. Police can also lodge F.I.R in case of loss/misplace/theft of any important documents like PAN Card, Voter ID, Passport, etc.
Who can file
F.I.R can be filed by anyone, a victim of a crime, a person who has witnessed a cognizable offence or who has information about the cognizable offence.
Why F.I.R is important
The F.I.R is an important document as it is one of the first steps towards justice for the wronged. F.I.R initiates criminal proceedings to punish the guilty. In any event of theft or damage to property, F.I.R is required to claim insurance or protect yourself from any burden arising from the misuse of the property.
How to file
1: Visit the nearest police station and describe all the details to the police.
2: Information about the commission of a cognizable offence can be given either verbally or in written form.
3: When the information is given orally, police must write it down. If a written complaint is submitted there must be two copies. One will be with a duty officer and others will be returned.
4: Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by the person giving the information.
5: Report should be signed only after the verification of the information recorded by the police.
6: People who cannot read or write must put their left thumb impression document after being satisfied that it is a correct record.
7: A free copy of the F.I.R must be given with F.I.R number, date of F.I.R and name of the police station.
The online complaint can be filed as well. Only certain kinds of complaints can be registered online in some cities. Cases include rape, murder, death related to dowry among others. Police can make necessary detainments and arrest even without an order of the court in such cases. But in cases related to cheating, assault and stalking a mere complaint can be filed online instead of F.I.R.
A Zero F.I.R allows any police station to register an F.I.R, regardless of their jurisdictional area. It is usually used for crimes such as murder, rape and other cognizable offences. Initial action and investigation are conducted before it is transferred to the appropriate jurisdictional station as required. It is helpful for crimes that require an immediate response as it allows for the swiffer action that is not bogged down by the bureaucratic procedure as well as accounts for whether the police station under whose jurisdiction the crime was committed is not easily accessible.
abc ... (Applicant Name)
xyz...(your contact address)
120012..(contact mobile number)
To the police officer in charge
Address (Local Police Station)
Sub:___________________(mention your issue)
I would like to bring the following facts………. (Include details / contents)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
I seek your help and request you to kindly register my F.I.R in the subject matter…………………………………………………..
For your reference I enclose herewith (a) Copy of ___________ (I.D. proof.)
Thanks and Regards
___________ (Complainant Signature)
___________ (Complainant Name)
NOTE: 2 copies must be made of Application. (1 copy for police station record, 1 copy for own record)
Rani lived with her aunt. One evening after returning from work, she found her aunt injured and frightened. Two men had rung the bell claiming to be from courier service, and had barged into the house. They robbed her gold chain and diamond earrings. By the time the neighbours heard her screams and came to help, they escaped in a car parked downstairs. One neighbour managed to click a hazy photo of the car on his cell phone, with which they could identify the model and number. Rani was asked to go to the police station and file a complaint.
Delhi 120023 (mobile number)
Date: 12th January 2020
The Police Officer in charge
Subject: Report regarding Theft in our house
I have to complain about a robbery that took place in our house last night. My aunt was alone in the house at the time of the robbery. Two men claiming to be courier boys rang the doorbell. They barged into the house and robbed gold chain and diamond earrings. After hearing the scream of my aunt many neighbours came out, but the men managed to escape. One neighbour managed to click a car photo in which they drove away.
You are requested to interrogate the local suspects and black-listed fellows to find out a clue to this theft, and take necessary legal action in this regard. I seek your help and request to kindly register my F.I.R in the subject matter.
For your reference, I enclose herewith
(a) Copy of my Aadhar Card as I.D proof.
Thanks and regards,
Yours Sincerely __________( signature)
Rani Singh ( name)
From the facts stated above, it can be concluded that F.I.R is the first step of Criminal Procedure that leads to trial and punishment of the criminal. It is also one of the important supportive evidence based on which the entire structure of the prosecution case is built-up.