This Article is written by Simran from Mody University of Science & Technology, Lakshmangarh and curated by Dheepika R from ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad.
The information which is given to police officers and reduced to writing is known as FIR which is also known as the First Information Report. It is a document and maybe put in evidence to support or contradict the evidence of the person who gave the information.
The principal object of the first information report from the informant is to keep in motion the criminal law and for investigating authorities is to obtain the information about alleged criminal activity to take serious steps to trace and bring to book the guilty. The FIR in a criminal case is an extremely essential and valuable piece of evidence for oral evidence at the trail.
In one of the case Hasib v. State of Bihar AIR 1997 SC 288, it is decided by the court that FIR’s main object to complain of any offense to a police officer so that criminal law could be applied and it does not constitute substantive evidence, it can, however, be used as a previous statement for the contradiction of its maker under section 157 or section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Police duty to record Information:
When the petitioner approaches the police and prays for registration of FIR, the police have no option but to register it and thereafter start an investigation but refused to record a FIR on the ground that the place does not fall within the territorial jurisdiction of the police station amounts to a failure of duty. So, it must be recorded and forwarded to the police station having jurisdiction.
What is Zero FIR?
It means that FIR can be filed in any police station irrespective of jurisdiction and happening of the incident. The police station under the complaint is filed to mark it as a zero FIR by giving its serial number as 0. In the case, State of Andra Pradesh v. P. Ramulu AIR 1993 SC 2644, It was said that to the extent any FIR cannot be refused to be recorded on the ground that the offense was committed not within the jurisdiction.
In the case Navratan Mahan v. State of Bihar AIR 1980 N.O.C. 1. SC, it is held that generally it is expected that a detailed explanation of the happening should be given in FIR. But prosecution cannot be dismissed merely on the ground that a complete explanation of the following has not been mentioned in the FIR.
Delay in lodging of FIR:
Sometimes delay in giving information can be forgiven if there is a satisfactory explanation. In the case, State of Haryana v. Chaudhary Bhajan Lal AIR 1992 SC 604, it is held whenever the office-in-charge of a police station receives information of commission of a cognizable offense it is recorded in the concerned register. The police officer must record such reports without delay.
If any information is given orally then it shall be read after recording and signature shall be taken from the person given information. FIR could be in any written or oral. It can also be given on the telephone and email. The FIR is the first version of the incident as received by the police. The statements in the FIR must naturally get their due weight. FIR is not expected to contain all the details of the prosecution case; it may be sufficient if the broad facts of the prosecution case alone appear. Omission in the first statement of the informant is not fatal to the case. The impact of the omission has to be adjudged in the totality of the circumstances and the veracity of the evidence.
Although an information report plays an important role in setting the administration of criminal justice in motion, it cannot be considered concluding evidence. By Information report, police start the investigation. Accused cannot be convicted merely based on FIR, it is necessary to prove the facts mentioned in the report. It is mainly mentioned under Section 154 of CrPC that based on the report the investigation of cognizable offense commences.
If a FIR is duly recorded then it may provide valuable evidence and the investigation can be run smoothly and with no obstruction in a criminal case. Such information should be lodged with the police as soon as the police come to know the happening of the incident or commission of the offense. If the police officer refuses to register a FIR, a written complaint can be sent to the superintendent of police.