What is F.I.R.?
Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC), 1973 describes the First Investigation Report (FIR). The first information recorded under this section is known as the F.I.R., as it is the first and foremost information for the commission of a cognizable offense. Interestingly the term F.I.R is not mentioned in the code. According to this section, any information relating to the commission of a recognized offense, if given orally, should be reduced to writing and recorded in a book by the police in the manner prescribed by the state government. Recorded information must be read to the informant and signed by the informant.
If any such information is made by women against whom crime has been committed under Section 326,354,376 & 509, such information shall be recorded by the female police officer. If a women against whom the offences were committed or attempted to be committed temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, such information should be recorded by the police in the presence of an interpreter, wherever she is comfortable and e same should be Video-graphed.
A copy of the recorded information should be made freely available to the informant. If the police in charge of a police station refuses to record information, the aggrieved person may in writing send the information to the Superintendent of Police (SP). If the SP is found it to be disclosing the commission of a cognizable offense, he / she may investigate the case himself / herself or order a subordinate to do so.
The filing of the F.I.R. with the Commission of cognizable Crime can be done by any person who is aware of the alleged offense and is not the only person who has survived the crime. Information should be reported to the police station which has jurisdiction to investigate the offense. All material facts must be carefully and accurately stated in the F.I.R., the absence of which would jeopardize its credibility. FIRs may be sent by email, mobile text or official site as provided by the State Governments. In case of any delay, the reasons should be satisfactorily explained.
The statement in the F.I.R. is the first and the first information to persuade the police to initiate an investigation, and the statement recorded after the investigation is not the F.I.R.
The F.I.R is a public document in accordance with section 74 of the Indian Evidence Act and can be accepted as appropriate evidence under Section 32 (1) of the F.I.R Indian Evidence Act made by a dying person. But the F.I.R filed by any other person is not a substantive piece of evidence and can only be used to corroborate or contradict the informants. Making a false complaint, however, is a punishable offense under Indian Penal Code.
Zero F.I.R can be registered at any police station across India irrespective of jurisdictional area if there is confusion regarding it. The F.I.R is then transferred the concerned police station. It is an important instrument in the hands of the common people in India to get their grievances registered with the police, which they cannot refuse in the case of cognizable offences. The procedure is same to that of an ordinary F.I.R. The variation is in the serial number, the information is recorded with the serial number ‘0’ until the F.I.R is transferred to the respective police station.