What is FIR and Who can file. FIR means First Information Report and FIR is the information of commission of the cognizable offence. Any person can give the first information to the police station. But and in addition to the need not be necessarily be the victim or eye witness. Ther primary object of the First Information Report from the informant is to set the criminal law in motion. And from the point of investigation officer is to obtain information about the alleged crime. So, the investigation officer can take suitable steps to trace the guilty.
Where to file FIR
FIR can be registered in the police station of the concerned area where the offence took place. Most importantly that information can give orally to the officer in charge. Then such officer shall reduce in writing such information. And such information shall be read over to the informant.
Duty of police officer
Police officer shall bound to register First Information. The person should sign who gives the information. A person may give information in writing. The officer shall reduce such information in writing. The state government has provided a specific prescribed format for writing of first information. Therefore, the officer in charge shall fill up the information in the prescribed format. The government has provided a specific format to write the first information. A copy of the information has to be provided free of cost to the informant.
First information only registered in Cognizable offences. Cognizable offence means an offence for which police have the power to arrest without warrant. Besides that Cognizable offences are serious nature of offence. In other words police require arrest warrant to make arrest the person. Where an FIR relating to cognizable offence has filed. The Officer in charge of the police station has bound to register the same. He can not refuse to register the same, because there has some inquiry.
The provisions of section 154 is mandatory. And the concerned officer has duty-bound to register the case based on information disclosing cognizable offence. He can not refuse to register merely because the police officer has conducted preliminary enquiry earlier and no substance has found in the complaint.
If police refused to register FIR
Sometimes the officer in charge of the police station has refused to register First information. In that case such a person may send the substance of such information to the Superintendent of police. And that information shall send through post. If the superintendent of police satisfies with the information of commission of cognizable offence he may investigate himself. Or Superintendent may direct his subordinates for the investigation.
When to file
Most importantly First information has to file immediately after the occurrence of offence. There should not any delay in registering for the First information. If there is any delay in registered in the First information, the delay has to explain. Because that delay may damage the case of prosecution if that delay is unexplained.
Evidentiary value of FIR
It has settled law that the First Information Report is not substantive evidence. It can only use the contradict the maker or for corroborating his evidence. Also to show the implication of the accused was not an afterthought. It is only a report as to the commission of an offence. Where the allegations made in the FIR has not proved during the trial by oral evidence. Accused can not be convicted based on mere allegations in FIR.
Failure to mention the name of Accused
Where the FIR has lodged by a person who has not an eye witness, based on information given by eye witness who also did not know the name of the accused. Hence, Omission to mention the name of the accused in the FIR is not fatal.
Delay in lodging FIR (Rajan Vs State of T.N)
It is the paramount importance in a criminal case to set the law in motion soon after the incident. It is a vital and valuable piece of evidence to corroborate the oral evidence of witnesses. The purpose of insisting upon a prompt lodging of the report is to obtain early information not only regarding the assailants but also about the part played by the accused, nature of incident and availability of witnesses. The delay in lodging the first information report, quite often results in colored version after deliberation and consultation. And it will unsafe to base a conviction upon such evidence, when the law was not set in motion after the incident.
Ante-time FIR (Ananta Deb Singha Mahapatra Vs State of Bengal)
When mere Commission to mention the crime of the FIR or the name of the complainant in the FIR would not lead to the inference that the FIR in ante-time.
Delay in sending FIR to court
Where the finding of the court that the FIR has not ante-time and that has supported by evidence on record. No adverse view would be taken on the delay in sending FIR to the court.
There is landmark Judgement of supreme court i.e. Lalita Kumari Vs Govt of UP.
- In this Judgement supreme court has given direction to registration of First information is mandatory. Most importantly if the offence is cognizable, the office in charge of the police station has to register the First information.
- Besides if the information does not disclose commission of the cognizable offence and it indicates the necessity of inquiry. Then in that case preliminary inquiry should conduct to find out cognizable offence disclosed or not.
- First information must register if the information discloses cognizable offence,
- The police officer shall furnish a copy of such a closure report to the First Informant. In cases where preliminary inquiry end in closing of complaint. And not later than one week. It must mention the reason for the closing of the complaint and not proceeding further.
- Police officers can not avoid his duty to register a First information if cognizable offence is disclosed. But who do not register First information, action should take against erring officer, if the information discloses cognizable offence. Therefore it is mandatory to register first information in cognizable offence.
- The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity of offence. It is to find out whether a cognizable offence committed or not.
- Preliminary inquiry will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.
- Matrimonial dispute/ family dispute
- Commercial dispute
- Medical negligence cases
- Corruption cases
- Cheating and forgery cases
- In addition to above all preliminary inquiry has to make time-bound to ensuring and protecting the right of the accused and the complainant. And it should not exceed seven days in any case.
- Station diary is the record of all the information received in the police station and that inquiry must reflect in the station diary.
Also read Bail and Law of Bail