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A Look Into: How To File An FIR In India?

What is an FIR?

First information report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the Commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report of information that reaches the police of time and that is why it is called the first information report.

It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of cognizable offence or by someone on his or her behalf. Anyone can report the Commission of the cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephone message can be treated as an FIR.

Why is a FIR important?

An FIR is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police take over the investigation of the case.

Who can lodge an FIR?

Anyone who knows about the Commission of cognizable offence can file an FIR. It is not necessary that only the victim of the crime should file an FIR. A police officer who comes to know about the cognizable offence can file an FIR (himself or herself).

You can file an FIR if:

  • You are the person against whom the offence has been committed.
  • You know yourself about the offence which has been committed.
  • You have seen the offence being committed.

What is the procedure of filing an FIR?

The procedure of filing in an FIR is prescribed in (section 154 of criminal procedure code 1973).

When information about the commission of cognizable offence is given orally, the police must write it down. It is your right as a person giving information or making a complaint to demand that the information recorded by the police is read over to you. Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by the person giving the information.
  • Cognizable Offence:
    A cognizable offence is one in which the police may arrest a person without warrant. They are authorized to start investigation into a cognizable case on their own and do not require any orders from the court to do so.
  • Non Cognizable Offence:
    is an offense in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The police can't investigate such an offence without the courts permission. The police may not investigate a complaint even if you file FIR, when:
    1. The case is not serious in nature.
    2. The police feel that there is not enough ground to investigate.

However, the police must record the reason for not conducting an investigation and in the latter case must also inform you (Section 157, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973).

You should sign the report only after verifying that the information recorded by the police is as per the details given by you.

People who can't read or write must put their left thumb impression on the document after being satisfied that it is a correct record. Always ask for a copy of the FIR if the police do not give it to you. It is your right to get it free of cost.

What should you mention in the FIR?
  • Your name and address date,
  • Time and location of the incident you are reporting,
  • The true facts of the incident as they occurred,
  • Names and description of the persons involved in the incident.

  1. You can send your complaint in writing and by post through the Superintendent of Police concern. If the Superintendent of Police is not satisfied with your complaint, then he shall either investigate the case himself or order an investigation to be made.
  2. You can file a private complaint before the court having jurisdiction.
  3. You can also make a complaint to the State Human Rights Commission or the National Human Rights Commission if the police do nothing to enforce the law or do it in a biased and corrupt manner.

Things you should not do:
  • Never file a false complaint or give wrong information to the police. You can be prosecuted under law for giving wrong information or for misleading the police. (Section 203, Indian Penal Code 1860).
  • Never exaggerated or distorted facts.
  • Never make vague or unclear statements.

What can you do if your FIR is not registered?
You can meet the Superintendent of the Police or other higher officers like the Deputy Inspector General office.

If you want a sample of an FIR or How to make an application for lodging a FIR with your local police stations, Kindly Comment?

Written By: Robinsh Kumar Singh, Advocate
Cyber Law Consultant

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