Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 provides a procedure for lodging an FIR. There is no fee or charge for FIR (first information report) of a cognisable offence. The officer incharge of the police station shall record the information about a cognisable offence without any fee. The police officer, however, gives a copy of FIR to the informant at the free of cost.
Giving information about cognisable offences is the duty of the citizen. Section 39 of the code of criminal procedure casts a duty upon the person to inform the Magistrate or police officer about commission of cognisable offence. The government plays the role of prosecution in the criminal case. Hence, the government has obliged the person to furnish information of cognisable offence. Demand of money for FIR will frustrate the object of section 39 crpc.
No fee for FIR
Section 154 crpc therefore, does not require any fee or charge for the FIR. FIR sets the criminal law in motion and enables the police officer to start investigation. During the course of investigation, the police officer (investigating officer) proceeds to the place of occurrence, collects evidence and arrests the accused. Thus information i.e. FIR is a significant document.
Also read: What is the procedure for recording of FIR
If the police officer demands any fee or money for the recording of an FIR, the informant should send the substance of the information to the superintendent of police (SP) by a registered post. The SP upon receiving the information, either himself investigate the offence or depute a subordinate officer for investigation. So, the officer in charge of the police station is not the sole person authorised to register FIR.
Any demand of fee or charge for FIR is amount to gratification and is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Thus do not give money to the police officer for the recording of FIR. The police officer is bound to register FIR if information discloses cognisable offence. Thus he cannot demand money for lodging of FIR.