Legal Legal Law

Checklist for Filing an FIR

filing an FIR

The basic definition of filing an FIR is given under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It is the first step towards initiating a criminal proceeding. It can be defined as a written document, which is prepared by police officials or receipt of information relating to the commission of an offense. In other words, it is basically a report having information regarding the commission of an offense, which is lodged in a police station.

What is the purpose of Filing an FIR?

FIRs are filed to inform the police about the commitment of an offense. The basic purpose of an FIR is to initiate criminal proceedings. Investigation proceedings cannot be commenced against any person unless and until an FIR is filed.

Where can an FIR be filed?

An FIR is lodged in the police station under whose jurisdiction the crime occurs. However, in case of urgent cases such as murder, rape etc. The option of filing zero FIR is granted to the complainant. Zero FIR can be filed in a police station outside the jurisdiction to initiate quick action. The FIR later gets transferred to the concerned police station.

Who can lodge an FIR?

Any of the following persons can lodge an FIR:

  • The person against whom the offense has been committed
  • Any person who has witnessed the commission of the offense
  • Any person who has knowledge about the commission of the offense

What offenses qualify for filing an FIR?

An FIR can be filed only against cognizable offenses, which do not require an arrest warrant like murder, rape, theft etc. These offenses are serious in nature and that is why the option of arresting with any warrant has been provided to the police officials. Thus it saves a lot of time, which is otherwise required for obtaining a warrant and ensures quick detention of the accused.

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Is there any timeline for filing an FIR?

It is advised to file an FIR at the earliest possible after the commission of the offense. A delay in filing an FIR has to be adequately supported with reasonable explanations. The detailed procedure for filing an FIR is given in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

Mode of filing FIR:

Filing an FIR requires the complainant to visit the police station in whose jurisdiction the crime occurred. Sometimes, visiting the police station might be inconvenient for the complainant due to a number of reasons. Hence, the option of filing an e-FIR is provided by a majority of the states to facilitate the easy filing of FIR against any offense.

A complete checklist for filing an FIR:

Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays down the procedure for filing an FIR in India. Given below is a complete checklist for filing an FIR:

1. Place of filing FIR: The FIR should be filed in the police station under whose jurisdiction the offense is committed. (Except in case of urgent crimes). If the option of filing an e-FIR is available then the same can be exercised.

2. The FIR should be in writing. If given orally, the same should be reduced in writing under the direction of the complainant.

3. Details regarding informant and perpetrators: The name and contact details of the informant, as well as the perpetrator(s) of the crime, is to be mentioned in the FIR. The relation between the perpetrator and the informant should also be provided.

4. Details and narration regarding the offense: The following details have to be provided while narrating the offense:

  • The actions of the accused, which constitute the subject matter of the FIR.
  • Number of people involved in the offense and roles played by them individually
  • If any witness was present then name and contact details of the same to be provided.
  • Was there any attempt on the part of the accused to intimidate any woman?
  • Did the offense involve any violence? If so, then a full description of the same has to be provided.
  • Was there any use of weapons? If yes, a description of the same has to be provided.
  • Nature and description of any injuries caused to anyone (if applicable).
  • The ifany property has been taken or stolen, description of the nature and value of the property. Also, if there is any evidence that proves the owner of the property, the same should be mentioned.
  • Details regarding broken or damaged articles, if any.
  • A proper description of the location of the incident.
  • Date and time of the happening of the incident
  • If any motive or intention of the perpetrator can be identified, then the same shall be mentioned.
  • Details of threats of adverse treatment, if any
  • Details regarding promises of special treatment in return for sexual favors, if any
  • Reasons for delay: One should always file an FIR at the earliest possible. However, if there is any delay in lodging an FIR, the reasons should form a part of the FIR.
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5. Signing of FIR: The FIR should be duly signed by the informant.

6. Copy of the FIR to be given to the accused: The accused is liable to get a copy of the FIR only on the order of the court and after paying the requisite fee.

A few important points to be kept in mind:

  • The statements included in an FIR do not enjoy immunity under any law. If the statements contained in the FIR are found to be defamatory in nature, the maker of the FIR is liable to be prosecuted. However, if the informant can prove that the statements are provided in good faith, the immunity can be granted.
  • An FIR cannot be considered as substantive evidence. But, it can be used to support the informant’s claim or to contradict him if he is admitted as a witness at the time of trial.

Can a police officer refuse to lodge an FIR?

Sometimes, the police may refuse to lodge an FIR. The action of refusing to lodge an FIR can be both legal and illegal depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. If the refusal is because of a non-cognizable offense or lack of jurisdiction, then the action of the police will be considered as valid.

However, if there are no sufficient causes for refusal, then the action of the police will be considered invalid.

Are there any remedies available to the informant when the police refuse to lodge an FIR?

The following remedies are available to the informant:

  • The informant can approach the Superintendent of Police or the Commissioner of the police with a written complaint. If the S.P. of the Commissioner is satisfied that it discloses a cognizable offense, he can investigate the case himself or direct his subordinate to register the FIR.
  • Otherwise, the informant is legally entitled to file a complaint to the Judicial Magistrate/ Metropolitan Magistrate for filing the FIR
  • The informant can also file a Writ Petition in the respective High Court against the defaulting Police officers to direct him to Register the FIR and show cause for his actions.
  • If the case related to a civil matter, the informant can file a contempt petition before the High Court against the officer who refused to lodge an FIR.
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An FIR is lodged to enable the police to initiate the investigation regarding an offense. It should not contain the whole story and plot of the offense. It is the duty of the police to identify the story or plot through their investigation an decide the further treatment of the case.

For more information, you can directly reach our team at Enterslice.

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