In India, the most abused word of threatening to everyone and most discussed is FIR i.e. First information report. The FIR is commonly misunderstood as only making a complaint to the police or calling on the dial 100 or 112 whatever the case may be. it is also furthermore discussed that Police did not register the FIR in time after receiving complaints etc.
The code of criminal procedure, under section 154 clearly states about FIR as –
Information in cognizable offences
(1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read Over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.
(2) A copy of the information as recorded under sub-section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in subsection (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.
thus, FIR is information relating to a cognizable offence (in those offences under which police can arrest without warrant) and it can be given orally or written to the officer-in-charge of the police station if the information is given orally it would be reduced into the writing and read over to the complainant making it.
there is no specific proforma prescribed by the Cr.P.C. and if the officer in charge refuses to register the complaint, then the same information could be forwarded to the superior officers of the police.
“In the case of Lalita Kumari Versus Govt. of UP the Hon’ble Supreme Court held –
- i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether the cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
iii) If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.
- iv) The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if a cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.
- v) The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.
- vi) As to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:
a) Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes
b) Commercial offences
c) Medical negligence cases
d) Corruption cases
e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for the delay.
The aforesaid are only illustrations and not exhaustive of all conditions which may warrant preliminary inquiry.
vii) While ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be made time-bound and in any case, it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the causes of it must be reflected in the General Diary entry.
viii) Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all information received in a police station, we direct that all information relating to cognizable offenses, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and meticulously reflected in the said Diary and the decision to conduct a preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above.
Supreme Court, had clarified and issued guidelines in the case of registration of FIR, it should be well noted that police will refuse the registration of FIR in non-cognizable cases and will take time in the case where the previous sanction is necessary.