First Information Report (FIR)

Context:

  • An First Information Report (FIR) is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion.
  • It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police take up investigation of the case.

About

  • First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence.
  • It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called the First Information Report.
  • It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing.
  • The term FIR is not defined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, or in any other law.
  • However, in police regulations or rules, information recorded under Section154 of CrPC is known as First Information Report (FIR).
 

There are three important elements of an FIR:

  • The information must relate to the commission of a cognizable offence,
  • It should be given inwriting or orally to the head of the police station,
  • It must be written down and signed by the informant, and its key points should be recorded in a daily diary.

Procedure:
  • The police will investigate the case and will collect evidence in the form of statements of witnesses or other scientific materials.
  • They can arrest the alleged persons as per law.
  • If there is sufficient evidence to corroborate the allegations of the complainant, then a charge sheet will be filed.
  • Or else, a Final Report mentioning that no evidence was found will be filed in court.
  • If it is found that no offence has been committed, a cancellation report will be filed.
  • If no trace of the accused persons is found, an ‘untraced’ report will be filed.
  • However, if the court does not agree with the investigation report, it can order further investigation.
  • Under Section 154(3) CrPC, if any person is aggrieved by the refusal on the part of the officer in charge of a police station to register an FIR, he/she can send the complaint to the Superintendent of Police/DCP concerned.
What is a Zero FIR?
  • When a police station receives a complaint regarding an alleged offence that has been committed in the jurisdiction of another police station, it registers an FIR, and then transfers it to the concerned police station for further investigation.
  • This is called a Zero FIR.
Source: THE HINDU.

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