In layman’s word, First Information Report (FIR) is the knowledge or information of any occurrence especially related to crime or the subjects which are either restricted or prohibited by law. The term FIR is not defined anywhere in our law but Section 154 & 155 of CrPC talks about the cognizance of any information related to cognizable offenses and non-cognizable offenses respectively. The purpose of FIR is to bring the law into the action of cognizance of any offence, and with the cognizance, it is the duty of the state to offer redressal to the victim and protect the society from such offences.
First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. Cognizable Offence is an offence is one in which the police may arrest a person without warrant. They are authorised to start an investigation into a cognizable case on their own and they do not require any orders from the court to do so. A police officer is bound to register the FIR in such cases and can even start an investigation without any FIR. These are heinous crimes generally and non-bailable offences. First Information Report is a report of information that reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called the First Information Report. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an FIR. If the information given by the woman against whom an offence u/s 326A,326 B, 354, 354A-D,376,376A-E and 509 of Indian Penal Code is alleged then such information shall be recorded by a women police officer.
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.
A non-cognizable offence is an offence in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The police cannot investigate such an offence without the court’s permission.
all information relating to cognizable offences, either resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be meticulously reflected in the diary, no matter even if it is a preliminary inquiry. An FIR is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police takes up investigation of the case.
An FIR is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police takes up investigation of the case.
Although, if an FIR is refused on the ground of jurisdiction, it is mandatory for the police officer to record information about the commission of a cognizable offence and forward the same to the police station having proper jurisdiction. Otherwise, it would amount to dereliction of duty.
Under section 154(3) CrPC – When an informant’s right to register an FIR is refused, he/she can approach the Superintendent of Police and submit the substance of such information in writing by post. If the Superintendent of Police is satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence then, he might investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him.
Under section 156(3), read with section 190 CrPC – If an informant remains unsatisfied even after pursuing the remedy under section 154(3), he/she can further pursue the remedy mentioned under section 156(3) read with section 190 CrPC.
Under section 200 CrPC – A complaint can be submitted to the magistrate orally or in writing under section 200 of the CrPC. After the submission of a complaint, the magistrate will conduct a hearing, deciding upon the issue of cognizance. In this channel, the complainant and the witnesses thereof are examined on oath in front of the magistrate.
Mandamus is one of the prerogative writs issued by the superior Courts (High Court or Supreme Court), which is in the form of a command to the State, its instrumentality or its functionaries as the case may be, to compel them to perform their constitutional/statutory/public duty. Hence, a writ of mandamus can be filed under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution of India, directing the police officials to perform their duty and register an FIR.
In, State of Haryana v/s Bhajan Lal it was held that in a condition where there is an information and that information must disclose a cognizable offence. And if any such information before an officer satisfies the requirements of Section 154(1), the said police officer has no other option except to enter the substance thereof in the prescribed form.