FIRST INFORMATION REPORT (FIR) IS DEFINED UNDER SECTION 154 OF CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, 1973.
WHAT IS FIR?
The abbreviation FIR stands for “First Information Report.” The term “first information report” refers to information presented by an aggrieved party or any other individual to a police officer on duty. Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, provides for the filing of a First Information Report.
WHO CAN FILE FIR?
It is not essential for the victim or any other first-hand witness or eyewitness to file the initial information report in order to file the FIR. Any individual can file a First Information Report. A First Information Report can be filed by anybody, not just those with complete knowledge of the facts; it can also be filed by a hearsay witness.
WHERE FIR CAN BE FILED?
A First Information Report can be filed at the police station in the area where the incident took place. Police Station under whose jurisdiction the alleged criminal activity took place. It is critical to file a first information report under the authority of the police station so that an inquiry may begin without wasting further time. First Information Report is filed under section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
Section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- Every piece of information supplied by the person about a crime must be written down by a police officer. Even though the information is written and supplied by the informant, it should be handled by the police officer, in a way in which it is mandated by the state government. These documents must be signed by the person who provided them. And the person providing them cannot deny signing these documents.
Refusal of the informant to sign the FIR can hold him/her punishable under section 180 of the Indian Penal Code.
- It is the duty of the officer to provide a copy of the First Information Report free of cost to the person who filed the FIR.
- If a police officer denies filing the First Information Report it is the duty of the informant to post the information in writing to the superintendent charge of the police of the cognizable offence. Then that police officer can himself investigate the offence or direct his/her subordinate to investigate the cognizable offence.
IS THERE A TIME DURATION TO FILE THE FIRST INFORMATION REPORT?
There is no set time limit for submitting the First Information Report. However, it is recommended that the First Information Report be filed as soon as possible in order for it to be effective and handled by the appropriate police officer. And it also depends on the discretion of the judge from case to case to decide the time if there is a delay in First Information Report. However, as previously stated, there is no feasible time limit for applying the reasonableness test to the filing of an FIR. It is dependent on the facts and circumstances of each individual instance.
IMPORTANT CASE LAWS
DAMODAR V. STATE OF RAJASTHAN
- In this case, it was held that if the information regarding cognizable offence is conveyed to the police officer on the telephone it will not constitute a First Information Report.
- The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India declared in Dharma Rama Bhagare v. State of Maharashtra that an FIR is never recognized as a substantive piece of evidence; it may only be used to verify or contradict its creator when he appears in court as a witness.
Any individual with knowledge of a cognizable offence can inform the police in their jurisdiction. Such information must be reduced to writing by the police officer. The signature of the informant is required. If a police officer refuses to register an F.I.R, the aggrieved person can send such information to the Superintendent of Police by polite letter. The sanctity of an F.I.R produced shortly after an incident occurs, when the individual delivering it has a fresh memory of the incident, will be heightened. F.I.R must also be avoided during the inquiry.