Fir recording of first information report under section 154 crpc
Question asked on: 26/01/2017
Someone has stolen my car. I went to the police station to lodge my FIR, but the officer on duty has refused to register it. He said that your information is vague and you produce some evidence regarding theft. I tried to convince him about the offence, but he was adamant about registering my FIR.
Then I contacted a lawyer and demanded five thousand rupees for filing a complaint to the Magistrate. I am wandering to register my FIR. Please help. I have read that recording of FIR is mandatory. The police officer cannot refuse. Please tell me the essential elements of fir.
The police officer cannot refuse to register the FIR if the information discloses the commission of a cognisable offence. Theft is a cognisable offence. Therefore, you can lodge the FIR and police is bound to record it.
The code of criminal procedure (crpc) does not define FIR, but the information recorded under section 154 crpc is the First Information Report (FIR). A police officer has no discretionary power towards the recording of FIR if the report reveals the commission of a cognisable offence.
If the information seems firm and reliable, the police officer necessarily records it and start an investigation as soon as possible.
The recording of FIR is mandatory because it sets the criminal law sets in motion. FIR gives early opportunity to collect evidence before its embellishment.
When the police officer ignores to record FIR, you can send the same information, by a registered post to the Superintendent of Police of your district.
Section 154(3) CrPC provides such an alternative provision. The Superintendent of Police, upon receiving the informant either himself investigate the crime or direct any sub-ordinate officer to do so.
Which kind of information is necessary to record as FIR? In State of Haryana v Bhajan Lal AIR 1992 SC 604 the Supreme manifested the compulsory requirement for the recording of FIR:
- There should be a piece of information
- That information must disclose the commission of a cognizable offence.
Thus, the information must disclose that a cognisable offence has been committed. In case it reveals the commission of a non-cognisable crime, the police record that information under section 155 crpc as Non-Cognisable Report (NCR).
If the police officer doubts about the nature of the offence, he can conduct a preliminary inquiry but only after recording the FIR.
A police officer is bound to register the FIR
In Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P., (2014) 2 SCC 1 the constitutional bench of Supreme Court held that
“The registration of FIR is mandatory under section 154 crpc if the information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary investigation is permissible in such a situation.”
Mode of recording
The police officer enters the information in the FIR book. You can furnish the information either orally or in writing. Giving information in writing is not mandatory.
Whenever the police receive the information, he reduces it into writing and takes the signature of the informant.
After recording the FIR, he does supply a copy of it at free of cost to the informant. Since FIR is a vital piece of evidence, therefore, the police officer enters material points of FIR in the General Diary.
Precautions before the filing of FIR
The information must furnish the correct facts and does not implicate the innocent person. Giving false information is an offence and punishable under section 182 of the Indian Penal Code.
FIR should be recorded immediately or within a reasonable time after the commission of an offence. In case of delay, you should explain the actual cause of such delay in the FIR.
Usually, inordinate delay in recording of FIR creates doubts about its genuineness and gives the accused a chance to quash the FIR under section 482 crpc.
You can lodge the FIR despite the accused is an unknown person. It is the duty of investigating officer to discover the culprits based on evidence collected during the investigation.
More than one FIR
Don’t record more than one FIR in respect of the same offence. In T. T. Antony v. State of Kerala 2001 SCC, the Supreme Court is held that there cannot be two or more FIR against the same offence.
If you received some additional information regarding the same crime, you could provide them to the investigating officer during the investigation. He shall record them under section 161 of the crpc.
Don’t file a supplementary FIR with the additional information.
Following are some crucial points towards the first information report:
- Any person can lodge FIR which has information about the commencement of a cognizable offence.
- The information recorded by the officer in charge of the police station following the procedure of section 154 crpc is called FIR.
- Secret and anonymous information does not treat as first information report.
- The information must relate to the commission of a cognizable offence.
- Statement recorded by the investigating officer in the course of the investigation may not be a part of the first information report.
- The informant is not bound to give the name of accused; therefore, the absence of the name of accused in FIR is necessarily not fatal.
- The police officer is bound to furnish a copy of the first information report to the informant at free of cost.
- The investigation starts, and criminal law comes in motion immediately after the recording of a first information report.
- The police officer has no power to refuse to record the FIR if the information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.
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Shivendra Pratap Singh
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