An Introduction to F.I.R. under Cr.P.C.
FIR means ‘First Information Report’. The statement of the informant relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, as recorded under Section 154 is usually mentioned in practice as the first information report or popularly known as FIR. The principal object of the FIR from the point of view of the informant is to set the criminal law in motion. FIR is the first document prepared in criminal proceedings. It is a document that places on record the victim’s side of the story. An FIR can only be lodged in case of cognizable offences as mentioned in Section 154 (1) of CrPC. Cognizable offences are those offences in which the police officer has the supreme authority of arresting without a warrant and to be able to start an investigation with or without the permission of the court. Beside this, no FIR can be lodged in case of non-cognizable offences. In case of non-cognizable offences only non-cognizable report which is also known as NCR can be lodged. In the case of T. T. Antony v. State of Kerala & Ors, it was held that “information given under sub-section (1) of Section 154 of CrPC, is commonly known as the First Information Report (FIR), though this term is not used in the Code…And as its nickname suggests, it is the earliest and the first information of a cognizable offence recorded by an officer in charge of a police station”.
Section 154 of CrPC states that; (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”. Provided that, if the information given by the women against whom an offence u/s 326A, 326B, 354, 354A-D, 376. 376A-E and 509 of IPC is alleged then such information shall be recorded by a women police officer.
(2) A copy of the information as recorded under sub-section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
ESSENTIALS OF FIR
- It is an information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence;
- It is given by the informant either orally or in writing;
- If given oral, it should be reduced to writing by the officer in charge of a police, station or under his direction and if given in writing or reduced to writing shall be signed by the person giving it;
- The substance of the information shall be entered in a book in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf. This book is called ‘General Diary’.
- In order for the information to be qualified as an FIR there must be something in the nature of complaint or accusation regarding commission of a cognizable offence.
FIR ON TELEPHONE
Cryptic and ambiguous telephone message which does not clearly specify a cognizable offence cannot be treated as FIR. But where there is proper information about the commission of a cognizable offence and is reduced in writing by a police officer, then it can be treated as FIR.
In Tohal Singh v. State of Rajasthan (1989) case, the Court has opined that: “If the telephonic message has been given to officer in charge of a police station, the person giving the message is an ascertained one or is capable of being ascertained the information has been reduced to writing as required under section 154 and it is faithful record of such information and the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and is not cryptic one, it would constitute FIR.
WHO CAN LODGE AN FIR?
FIR can be filed by the following persons:
1) By an aggrieved person or somebody on his behalf.
2) Any person who is aware of the offence by either: (a) an eye witness or, (b) hearsay account. 3) By the accused himself.
4) By the SHO on his own knowledge or information even when a cognizable offence is committed in view of an officer in charge he can register a case himself however he is not bound to take down in writing any information and even if the information is only by a medical certificate upon arrival of the injured, then the (SHO) should enter it in daily diary and go to hospital for recording detailed statement of injured.