Law & Policy: What is an FIR?

The full form of FIR is First Information Report. Every day the police receive a complaint from the victim. People may face crime in various spheres of life, but they have to report the incident to the police to take action on it. The Police have to document all the complaints they receive from people.

The system of FIR is not defined in the Indian Penal Code. According to the set of rules and regulations specified for the police. They have to complain in writing before taking any action plan on that.

According to section 154 of CrPc, every cognizable offense reported orally has to be produced in writing and duly signed by the informant.

Elements of FIR

  • The information must be connected with the cognizable offense.
  • The informant must report orally or written to the head of the police station.
  • The informant signatures are mandatory, and the police should maintain a record of crucial points.

A cognizable offense is when the police have the authority to arrest without a warrant, whereas in a non-cognizable offense, police cannot arrest without a warrant.

FIR is essential if someone wants the legal proceeding in their case. It is only after the registration of FIR that police come into motion.

What are the objectives of FIR?

As mentioned above, the core purpose of an FIR is to enable the police department to start with the case investigation. But there are several other objectives, which are:

  • The case has to be reported to the District Magistrate and District Superintendent responsible for maintaining law and order in the region.
  • To safeguard the victim from further harassment or the crime.
  • Present the case and facts before the judicial officer who can help solve the issue.

Information is considered an FIR.

The FIR must contain the information related to the commission of the cognizable offense. Though it may not include all the information and the accused’s name, it must have information that forms the basis of the investigation.

When the information is not considered, FIR.

  • If the police get the information after the commencement of the case.
  • Not every telephonic complaint is considered. It is only considered when the person discloses his and the accused identity with all the necessary information.
  • Vague and unauthorized information.
  • Information on the assemblage of person

Who can file the FIR?

It is not necessary that only the accused can file the FIR. The person who may know about the commission of a cognizable offense can file the FIR. In such scenarios, one can file the FIR:

  • If they know someone against whom the crime has occurred.
  • Someone knows about the offense that has happened.
  • If someone is the eyewitness to the offense.

However, the police will not investigate every case. Some of the issues are:

  • If the case is not serious enough.
  • If the policy does not have all the necessary information and facts to proceed further.

Not every report accounts for the FIR. The following statements do not amount to the FIR:

  • Complaint to the Magistrate
  • Information to beat the house
  • Reports that are recorded after interviewing the witness.
  • The information that the police station before filing the FIR.
  • Reports that are recorded after a few days of occurrence.
  • Information that comes after the commencement of the investigation.

Procedure for filing the FIR

Everyone has to follow the procedure for filing the FIR as prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973:

  • The Police must write down the information it receives from the person orally.
  • The person making the complaint holds the responsibility to ask for the written document.
  • The informant should sign the document.
  • The person should read the document carefully and check all the information they have provided.
  • The informant can ask for a copy of the FIR, which the police should give the informant free of cost.

Steps police take after filing the FIR.

  • The police will start with the investigation process. They will collect all the evidence and scientific material. During the process, the police can also arrest a person.
  • The police will file a charge sheet if they get sufficient evidence.Else they can make the final report mentioning no solid evidence found.
  • If, as per law, no offense was made, then the police will file a cancellation report.
  • If the police do not find the accused person’s traces, they will file an untraced report.
  • The court can order a further investigation.

Mandatory things people must mention in FIR

  • Name and address of the informant.
  • Date, time, and location of the incidence.
  • All the facts about the incidence, without any manipulation.
  • Name, if the informant knows or else the description of people involved in an incident.

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