Steps to File an FIR
FIR stands for ‘First Information Report.’ A First Information Report as the name suggests is the first step towards any criminal proceeding that leads to the trial and subsequent punishment of a criminal.
Let us look at the provisions of law which empower this document
Section 154 of the CrPC, 1973 deals with the information in cognizable offence. According to this section every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction and be read over the informant and every such information, either given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid shall be signed by the person given it and the substantive there of shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the state Government may prescribe in this behalf. A copy of the information as recorded shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant of the FIR.
Section 154 of the CrPC, 1973, makes it clear that an FIR can be registered only in the case of a cognizable offence. Cognizable offences are those in which a police officer can arrest an accused without a warrant. Due to the nature of gravity involved in the offences, police authorities can arrest without a warrant under CrPC. The classification of cognizable and non-cognizable offences is furnished under the first schedule of CrPC.
Any person who has been refused the right to an FIR by the police officer in charge can send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offense, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offense.
FIR: Who can lodge it?
An FIR can be lodged by any individual who has information about a cognizable offence taking place. The police officer in charge has to file an FIR irrespective of the gravity of the crime as long as it is a cognizable offence. Any police officer can lodge an FIR on his/her own if they come to know about the Commission of any cognizable offence.
How to lodge an FIR?
The process of filing an FIR is very simple. It is as simple as narrating a story to the police. The informant has to visit the nearest police station to the place at which the crime took place and furnish all the information he/she has pertaining to the happening of that offence.
Section 154 of the CrPC gives a choice to the informant to furnish information orally or in writing. If the information is in oral form then the report must be written down by the police officer himself. Once completed, the report must be read out to the informant. The informant then has to sign the report. The informant also has to be given a copy of the FIR as proof.
What must an FIR contain?
The contents of an FIR are as follows:-
Whether the informant is eye witness or hearsay evidence.
The nature of the cognizable offence.
The name and detailed description of the accused person (entire physical description)
The name and identity of the victim of the crime(if aware)
The date and time of the occurrence.
The place where the crime was committed.
The motive for committing of the crime(if aware)
How the crime was committed (description of the actual occurrence of the crime)
The name and the address of the witness of the crime.
What can you do if the Police refuses to lodge an FIR?
If a police officer refuses to lodge an FIR because the case does not fall within their jurisdiction, deals with an offense which is non-cognizable in nature or it is outside their legal capacity to take cognizance of such an offense, in such circumstances the refusal to lodge an FIR is legitimate and justified. However in cases where an unjustified reason is given to not lodge an FIR, one can:
Under section 154(3) of CrPC he/she can approach the Superintendent of Police and submit the substance of such information in writing by post. If the Superintendent of Police is satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offense then, he might investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him.
A complaint can be submitted to the magistrate orally or in writing under section 200 of the CrPC. After the submission of a complaint, the magistrate will conduct a hearing, deciding upon the issue of cognizance. In this channel, the informant and the witnesses thereof are examined on oath in front of the magistrate.
Mandamus is one of the writs issued by the High Courts or Supreme Court, which is in the form of a command to the State to compel them to perform their public duty. A writ of mandamus can be filed under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution of India, directing the police officials to perform their duty and register an FIR.