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How to file an FIR

FIR as we all know is ‘First Information Report’. It is the initial step in a criminal case recorded by the police. It consists of the most basic information regarding the crime committed and is covered under Section 154 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. However, the police (officer- in-charge of a police station) can register FIRs only for cognizable offences i.e. the offences where the police has the power to arrest without a warrant. 

Cognizable offences include theft, rape, murder etc. Non cognizable offences are those for which police needs a warrant for arrest - such as defamation or bigamy. For such matters, the complaint is sent to the Judicial Magistrate for further action. 

When should one get an FIR registered?

Whenever a crime takes place, the first step is to approach the Police. An FIR should be registered as soon as possible, from the time after the incident. A delay in doing so may have to be explained in an adequate manner. Suspicion could arise (of it being an afterthought or a concocted version) if there is a great delay in registering an FIR without any viable explanation. 

Who can file an FIR?

One can file an FIR if he/she is:

  1. A victim of that particular crime
  2. A friend or relative or even an acquaintance of the victim of that crime
  3. If he/she has the knowledge about a crime that has taken place or is about to take place

Where should one get an FIR registered?

In an ideal situation, the FIR should be registered at the police station of appropriate jurisdiction, i.e. the station in whose limits the crime is alleged to have taken place. However, if that is not possible and in matters of emergency, an individual can even approach any other police station which would note down the details/register the FIR, and then transfer the investigation to the appropriate/correct police station. Even if the crime has not been committed within the jurisdiction of a particular jurisdiction, it is no ground for refusing to file the FIR. Such an FIR is also referred to as Zero FIR

You can download the ‘Indian Police at your call’ phone application in order to find the nearest police station. In emergencies, an FIR can also be registered on a phone call or through email.

What is the procedure to get an FIR registered?

Once you approach the police station, you will be directed to the duty officer/ officer-in-charge of the police station for your FIR to be registered. You will be required to provide information regarding the alleged offence. You can either verbally tell the officer about what happened or write down the information/details yourself. If you are telling verbally, the police ought to write it down. 

The Police Officer will make an entry in the Daily Diary / General Diary. If you have a complaint in writing with you, you should take 2 copies of it and give them to the officer. He/she will stamp both and return one to you. The stamp would bear a Daily Diary Number or DD No. This number is proof that your complaint has been received. You have a right to acquire a copy of the FIR without any charge. It is advisable to note down the FIR number, the date of FIR and the name of the police station. If you lose a copy, you can use the aforementioned details to access the FIR online. 

The Police would read out the details of the FIR to you and once you confirm that the details are correct, you can sign the FIR. You must ensure that the FIR mentions the date and time of the incident along with the identity of the accused (if possible) in a precise manner. It is not important that you have all the information about the crime so as to register an FIR, but it is crucial that you give all the information that you have to the police. 

The Police will investigate the case after the FIR is registered. This would include recording of statements by witnesses and thereafter make a final report. If there is enough evidence, and the Police finds ground in the complaint, they would frame charges and prepare a charge-sheet for submission before the Court. The trial procedure begins. However, if the Police is of the opinion that the complaint does not have any basis or that it lacks evidence, any further action will be dropped. 

After the FIR is registered, the contents therein cannot be changed. However, any additional information that you may get pertaining to the case should be given to the police later on at any point. 

In some states and cities in India, some kinds of FIRs and complaints can also be filed online. For example in Delhi, an online complaint can be filed for stolen or missing articles (phones, vehicles, etc.), missing persons, unidentified children, persons or dead bodies, etc. 

What to do if the Police refuses to register the FIR?
As already mentioned, it is absolutely mandatory for the Police to record the information provided. When you approach the Police station to get your FIR registered and are refused, you can send a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police. A complaint can also be made to the Judicial Magistrate with the help of a criminal lawyer who should direct the Police to investigate the case.

 Quashing FIR or Bail

  • To File Quashing FIR in Delhi
    Contact Adv.Tapan Choudhury at Ph no: 9650499965 (Available in Whatsapp)

  • To File Quashing FIR in Pune
    Contact NirDita Law Firm at Ph no: 8851978611 (Available in Whatsapp)

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