Important facts about Police FIR
In order to maintain a legal system in a huge country like India, the constitution had laid down the foundation of system of Law. As against Indian army and other paramilitary forces, our police force is mainly responsible for maintaining internal peace and security of the country. But everyone is reluctant in visiting the police station in our country. The reason behind this behavior is that people are not aware of the working procedure of police generally. Have you ever wondered from where does investigation of any crime and the procedure of criminal start from? Yes, you are correct in your guess, it starts from FIR or First Investigation Report. In this article, we have provided all the information related to FIR and have tried to clear up various suspicions in order to provide guidance to the people.
What is an FIR?
Information related to any criminal offence registered with police for police action is called First Investigation Report (FIR). FIR is a written document prepared by police after receiving information about some cognizable offence. This information is often registered as a complaint by the person who is the victim of such a crime. Any person can inform the police about any crime either in writing or orally. However, many a time’s police does not register FIR on the information provided by the common people. In this situation, people have moved to the court to get an FIR registered. According to section 154 of IPC 1973, the procedure of an FIR is defined. It is that informative document based on which police carry the legal proceedings further.
When is an FIR filed?
FIR is filed only for cognizable offences (those offences in which police does not require any warrant to arrest). According to it, the police have the right to arrest the accused person and investigate into the matter. If an offence is not cognizable, the FIR is not filed and in this case, the action is not possible without the intervention of the court.
How is an FIR filed?
There are 3 ways to file an FIR:
1. The victim can directly approach the police station and can file an FIR through his oral or written statement.
2. FIR can be filed through investigation of the information received via PCR call.
3. After receiving information of an offence, the Duty Officer of the police station sends ASI to the site, ASI writes a chit (a short report) after recording the statements of the witness. Based on this short report, the police file an FIR. This method is followed only for heinous crimes.
Why does it take time to file an FIR?
Source: Amar Ujala
In most of the cases the police do not file an FIR right after getting the complaint. The complaint is investigated in most of the cases in order to know the authenticity of the complaint. Police do not immediately register the FIR in cases of theft of bikes, cars, and some other ordinary things because police wait for the recovery of the stolen things of the victim. In fact, no SHO wants an increment in the number of FIRs in his police station. Apart from this, there is a heavy dearth of stationary in the police stations. Policemen site this as one of the reasons for not registering FIRs. A copy of every FIR is sent from police station to ACP, Additional DCP -1, Additional DCP -2, District DCP and Metropolitan Magistrate. The copy of an FIR for heinous crimes is sent to the Joint Commissioner of that area.
What should be done when Police do not file an FIR?
1. If the Police do not file FIR, then you can also register it online while going to the website of that particular Police. Like in Delhi e-FIR app is also there, you can install that app and from your place you can lodge FIR.
2. If police do not file the FIR for cognizable offence, then the victim should approach to senior officers.
3. If even after this the FIR is not registered, then the victim can file a complaint to a Metropolitan Magistrate according to section 156 (3) of CrPC. Metropolitan Magistrate has the power that he can order police to file an FIR.
4. In some cases when FIR is not registered, the Supreme Court has made the provision according to section 482; people should reach Metropolitan Magistrate rather than High Courts. After this, large number of people got their FIRs registered as per section 156 (3). Although, this FIR too investigated by the same police, who had refused to file this FIR. According to police, many fake FIRs were made to file under this section.
5. The Supreme Court has ordered to take actions against those officers who do not file FIR. The Supreme Court has also provided that within a week of registering an FIR, the first investigation should be completed. The motive of this investigation is to check the offence and know about its seriousness. In this way, police cannot deny to register the complaint saying that they had doubts on the veracity of the complaint.
What is an NCR (Non-Cognizable Report)?
When something is stolen, then, according to Section 379 of IPC, FIR is filed and when something is lost, then NCR (Non-Cognizable Report) is filed. NCR remains in the records of the police station, it is not sent to the court. Police also do not investigate for it.
Few people know the difference between an FIR and NCR. Taking advantage of this, police at times, file NCR for things that are stolen. Most of the people consider the NCR as an FIR. On an FIR, “First Investigation Report” and a section of the IPC is clearly mentioned, whereas on an NCR, “Non-Cognizable Report” is written.
What is a Zero FIR?
In order to simplify the process of further investigation, it is taken into consideration that FIR to the complaint is filed at the police station related to the site of an offence, but at times situations arise, when the victim has to file the case in outside police station, in some adverse conditions. But it is often seen that policemen do not take those cases seriously, which have occurred outside the jurisdiction of police station. Hence the Government has formulated the provisions of Zero FIR in such adverse situations, in order to protect the rights of the people. According to this, the victim can file his complaint in any police station for any offence for a quick action and the case can be transferred to the concerned police station thereafter.
Other provisions related to an FIR (First Investigation Report)
1. While writing an FIR, a police officer cannot write any comment on his own neither can he highlight any part of it.
2. In the case of cognizable offence, after registering the FIR, police officer is required to read the information to the concerned person and take signature on the written information.
3. Copy of FIR should bear the seal of the police station and signature of the police officer. With this, the police is also given in written a copy of the information that has been handed over to you in his register.
4. If a written complaint has been made against a cognizable offence, then it is necessary for the police to attach the copy of a complaint with the FIR.
5. It is not necessary for the person who is filing a complaint that he should personally know about the crime or that he should have seen the occurrence of crime, in order to file an FIR.
6. If due to some reason you could not inform the police immediately about the incident, then in this case, you only have to provide reasons for such delay.
7. Many times, police begin to investigate the matter before filing an FIR, whereas according to the rule, first an FIR should be registered then only can the investigation be initiated.
8. If you could not take the copy of the FIR while registering it at the site of the offence, then in this case police will post the copy to you.
9. If due to some reason the person providing information cannot exactly tell the location of the crime, then police officer can ask questions to obtain information about the place to arrive at an inference. Thereafter, he will register an FIR immediately and will send it to the concerned police station. The information about this will be given to the concerned person and will also be written in the day diary.
10. If the complainant does not have information about the site of the offence and police also cannot decide the place even after questioning, then also the police officer will register FIR and will start the investigation immediately. If during the investigation, the place of the offence is decided, then the case is transferred to the concerned police station.
11. If the person who has registered an FIR dies during the period of investigation, then the FIR can be presented in the court as Dying Declaration.
12. If some non-cognizable offence is deciphered in the complaint, then it has to be written necessarily in the day-diary. The complaint must take its copy as well. Thereafter, Magistrate can be contacted for appropriate order according to Section 155 of CrPC.
Now, we come to know what is FIR, how it is lodged, why it takes time to file an FIR, what are the other provisions related to FIR, What is Zero FIR etc.