FIRST INFORMATION REPORT

FIRST INFORMATION REPORT
The word FIR ,meaning the First Information Report though hasn’t been defined anywhere in Criminal Procedure Code but any person can give information to the police relating to the commission of a cognizable offence and section 154 of the code provides for the manner in which such information is to be recorded.
154. Information in cognizable cases.
(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.

The principal object of the FIR from the point of view of the informant is to set the criminal law in motion. The Police cannot refuse to register the complaint , nor can this power be usurped by the magistrate. In case this happens, section 154 (3) provides a remedy .
The question whether it is obligatory for the Police to register FIR on information given by an informant has been answered in the affirmative by the five member bench in
LALITA KUMARI v GOVERNMENT OF UP. In this case, it has been categorically ruled that provisions of section 154(1) CrPC is mandatory and the officer concerned is duty bound to register the case on the basis of information disclosing commission of cognizable offence. In other words it is a mandatory provision. However this is required only in cases of Cognizable offence. The FIR need not be registered immediately in a case other than that of a cognizable offence ; here the Police may conduct a preliminary verification for the limited purpose of ascertaining as to whether a cognizable offence has been committed. One of the learned counsel said that ” It is true that a delicate balance has to be maintained between the interest of the society and protecting the liberty of an individual. As already discussed above, there are already sufficient safeguards provided in the Code which duly protect the liberty of an individual in case of registration of false FIR. At the same time, Section 154 was drafted keeping in mind the interest of the victim and the society. Therefore, we are of the cogent view that mandatory registration of FIRs under Section 154 of the Code will not be in contravention of Article 21 of the Constitution as purported by various counsel ”
The Court has mentioned some such areas as matrimonial family disputes, corruption cases , medical negligence , inordinate delay etc. The motive of compulsory registration of FIR is not only to ensure transparency in the criminal justice delivery system but also ensure judicial oversight.
Moreover, Registration of a FIR is the first step to “access to justice ” for a victim. Also, an information to have the status of FIR under section 154 must be an information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence and it must not be vague but definite enough to enable the police to start with the investigation. An anonymous telephonic message neither disclosing the names of the accused nor disclosing the commission of a cognizable offence could not be held as FIR. The Rajasthan High Court , however observed that,
” if the telephonic message has been given to a 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 into writing as required under section 154 CrPC , and it is a faithful record of such information and the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and is not cryptic one or incomplete in essential details , it would constitute FIR ”

Coming to section 157 of the Code, it requires the investigating officer to send the FIR at once to the Magistrate taking cognizance on police report. Hence, though subsequent interpolations in the FIR are not unknown, nevertheless the aforesaid provisions to a large extent ensure the accuracy of FIR.

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