‘FIR’ is an abbreviation of the ‘First Information Report’.
It is a piece of written information recorded by a police officer based on an oral or written complaint.
It is the information that reaches the police first. Hence it is named ‘First Information report’.
Who can file FIR
It is the victim who generally files the First Information Report.
It is not necessary that only the victim of the crime should file an FIR. The complainant or the informant in the First Information Report can be anyone who knows about the commission of the crime.
A Police officer can also be a complainant in an FIR.
Thus, any of the followings can be a complainant in the :
(1) The victim; or
(2) The person (informant) who have seen the crime; or
(3) One (informant) who is in the knowledge of the commission of the crime.
Importance of filing FIR
The First Information Report sets the criminal justice process in motion. It is the base document on which investigation takes place.
Only after the registration of an FIR, police take up the investigation. And summons the accused, or makes an arrest.
Where you can file FIR
You can file an FIR at the Police Station of the area of commission of the offence.
The informant should file an FIR soonest possible. Delay in the lodging the First Information Report without any explanation of delay may be fatal to the complainant’s case.
There is also a provision in law for filing Zero FIR.
You can lodge First Information Report in any Police station irrespective of jurisdiction. Meaning, you can lodge an FIR even in a Police station where the incident did not take place.
Generally, Police is adamant about registering Zero FIR. But, there has been Government and Judicial orders & also the Superior’s orders. Through these orders, there has been instruction to police to register Zero FIR
What should be there in FIR
Followings basic information an FIR should contain:
(1) Name and details of the informant. As already pointed the informant can be a victim or other person, and
(2) Date, time and location of the commission of the offence; and
(3) Facts about the commission of an offence; and
(4) Names (if known) of the person involved in the commission of an offence.
What informant or victim must not do
The victim or the informant should not do the followings while filing an FIR :
(1) Not to file a false complaint
(2) Name of someone who victim or informant knows is not involved in the commission of an offence.
Misleading the police is a crime under the provisions of section 203 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
(2) You must not distort or exaggerate the facts.
(3) Must not give an unclear statement.
Must do while filing an FIR
While filing an FIR the Victim or the informant must do the followings:
(1) You should Read for the correctness of all information given before signing
(2) Must insist to receive a copy of the First Information Report.
Please note that the above is the right of the Victim or informant. The victim or informant must insist on this right.
In which case women police officer must register FIR
In the following cases the women police officer is to record the information (See section 154(3) Crpc):
(1) If the informant is a woman; and
(2) Offence is under the following section of the Indian Penal Code, 1860:
(i) Section 326A,
(ii) Section 326B,
(iii) Section 354,
(iv) Section 354A,
(v) Section 354B,
(vi) Section 354C,
(vii) Section 354D,
(viii) Section 376,
(ix) Section 376A,
(x) Section 376B,
(xi) Section 376C,
(xii) Section 376D,
(xiii) Section 376E,
(xiv) Section 509
Please note this a right of the woman victim to insist that a lady police officer record the information.
Provision of registration of FIR at the resident of victim
There is a provision for recording the information at the resident of the victim (See section 154(4) Crpc):
(1) If the victim is mentally or physically disabled (temporary or permanent); and
(2) Offence under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) :
(i) Section 354,
(ii) section 354A,
(iii) section 354B,
(iv) section 354C,
(v) section 354D,
(vi) section 376,
(vii) section 376A,
(viii) section 376B,
(ix) section 376C,
(x) section 376D,
(xi) section 376E,
(xii) section 509
What if the police do not register FIR
If the police do not register First Information Report, you can do the followings :
(1) You can file a written complaint addressing Station House Officer. You must take receipt of the filing of a complaint on a copy of the complaint. You should also insist on daily diary no. written on the complaint.
(2) You should also send a written complaint to the area Superintendent of Police by post. Do keep the postal receipt in safe custody for further reference.
Non-registration of FIR, an offence
Non-registration of FIR by police is an offence in certain cases.
Failure to register an FIR by police under the following sections is
an offence under the provisions of of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860):
(i) section 326A,
(ii) section 326B,
(iii) section 354,
(iv) section 354B,
(v) section 370,
(vi) section 370A,
(vii) section 376,
(viii) section 376A,
(ix) section 376AB,
(x) section 376B,
(xi) section 376C,
(xii) section 376D,
(xiii) section 376DA,
(xiv) section 376DB,
(xv) section 376E or
(xvi) section 509,
The same is an offence under section 166A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Rigorous imprisonment for a term of six (6) months to two (2) years, and a fine is punishment for a police officer.
Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code is relevant in case of provision on FIR. The main relevant Points of Section 154 is as under:
(1) This relates to information in cognizable cases.
(2) Police officer to record Information in writing.
(3) Informant has the right to read such written Information. One it is recorded.
(4) Informant to sign such written information.
(5) Police office to enter information in a book kept at Police station.
(6) The Informant has the right to receive a copy of the information recorded, free of cost.
(7) If FIR is not registered, the complainant can send a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police. You must send such complaint by post.