Legal Advice

Police officer is bound to register FIR

Question: My uncle went to the police station for registration of FIR. Someone steal his goods from the bus station. He informed the matter to the “Dewan”, but he refused to lodge his FIR. I have heard that the police officer cannot refuse to record the FIR. However, he did so and compelled my uncle to go out of the police station. Does the police officer bound to register FIR?


Section 154 of the code of criminal procedure enumerates provision regarding the registration of first information report, commonly known as FIR. The crpc classifies the offence into cognizable and non-cognizable. FIR is to be registered in respect of the commencement of cognizable offence only.

However, section 154 provides that officer in charge of the police station is bound to record the FIR. The police have adopted a general course of practice that not to register FIR. The national crime record bureau is an agency of central government responsible to collect and analyze the crime data. FIR is the primary source of data for analysing the crime rate in the state. Therefore, the police are trying to avoid registration of FIR.

FIR is the first information about commencing of offence, and it brings the criminal justice in motion. It is the primary duty of the police to investigate the crime and it cannot be possible unless FIR is registered. In-State of Haryana vs Bhajan Lal 1992 (1) SCC 335, Ramesh Kumari vs State (NCT of Delhi) (2006) 2 SCC 677 and Parkash Singh Badal vs State of Punjab (2007) 1 SCC; the supreme court of India expressed its opinion as an opinion as:

“officer in- charge of a police station is not obliged under law, upon receipt of information disclosing commission of a cognizable offence, to register a case rather the discretion lies with him, in appropriate cases, to hold some preliminary inquiry concerning the veracity or otherwise of the accusations made in the report.”

Therefore, a police officer has option, discretion or latitude of conducting some preliminary inquiry before registering the FIR. The police officer has extensively misused this right.

Section 154 does not provide such type of discretion. In Lalita Kumari vs Govt. Of U.P.& Ors AIR 2014 SC; the supreme court has changed its view expressed in judgments above and held that police officer is bound to register FIR if the information discloses the commencement of cognizable offence

The supreme court in unequivocal terms grasp that Section 154 of the Code postulates the mandatory registration of FIRs on receipt of information about all cognizable offence, yet, there may be instances where preliminary inquiry may be required.

Thus, police cannot refuse to register FIR if it infers from the information that a cognizable offence has been committed. Information may be given orally because section 154 does not make it mandatory to provide information in writing. The officer in charge of the police station must reduce it into writing, its information is provided orally.

However, FIR is not a substantive piece of evidence, but it has some evidentiary value. FIR is used at the stage of trial for contradiction or corroboration. Therefore it should be in concise form and to be accurate about the incident. Do not exaggerate the fact to show that severe offence has been committed.

Information should be given as early as possible because a delay in filing FIR may infer that it is concocted or doctored by the informant to incriminate a particular person in the offence. If there is some delay, informant should explain the reason for such delay in the FIR.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow