Police officer refuses to register FIR of my lost mobile phone

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Question asked on: 28/07/2019

My father went on a morning walk, and he didn’t know where he dropped his mobile. After an hour when he found that his phone is misplaced, he called on his number, but after one ring someone denied the call and put it in switch off mode. From then the phone is in switch off mode. Can I put a fir and will it be counted as theft?  I also have insurance for my phone, and the insurance company told me that they would give a sum of money if I place a copy of an FIR. Should I lodge the FIR?

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

According to the fact of your case, it is an offence of theft. The theft is punishable under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code, and it is a cognizable offence. As per section 154 of the code of criminal procedure, you have the right to register the FIR of this offence. According to Section 154 CrPC, when the police officer receives information about the commission of a cognizable offence, he has to register that information as an FIR.

The police officer has no discretionary power to decide whether or not to register the FIR. The supreme court held in Lalita Kumari versus Government of Uttar Pradesh (2014) 2 SCC 1; that police officer is bound to register the FIR if it infers from the information that a cognizable offence has been committed.

Section 154(3) CrPC enumerates that if a police officer refuses to register the FIR, the person can send that information by registered post to the superintendent of police. If the superintendent of police satisfies that a cognizable offence has been committed, then he shall either investigate the case himself or direct another subordinate officer to investigate the incident. When the superintendent of police does not take any action on the information, then you can approach the judicial magistrate under section 156(3) of CrPC to order for investigation.

Online FIR or eFIR

The above procedure is laid down by the code of criminal procedure for registration of FIR and commencement of Investigation towards the cognizable offence. If you are the resident of Uttar Pradesh, then you have an option to file an online FIR. You can visit this website https://cctnsup.gov.in/eFIR/login.aspx  for the registration of eFIR. This facility is available for lost goods case or an offence committed by an unknown person. You can also download Android app UPCOP and register your FIR online.

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