This Article is written by Jahnvi Sharma (4th-year law student at Jims engineering management Technical campus Greater Noida)
Meaning of FIR.
FIR or first information report is a document in written prepared by the police when they get the information of commission of a cognizable offense.
It is a report which contains the information that the police get first in point of time and that is why it is called a first information report.
In a layman’s language, fir is a report that the police prepare with the first information they get about the crime committed. It is generally a complaint lodged by the victim or anyone on his/her behalf.
The legal term is not defined under any law but Section 154 §ion155 of CrPC discuss the cognizance of any information related to cognizable offences and non-cognizable offences respectively.
Anyone can report the commencement of the crime either orally in verbal form or witness if any.
- Cognizable offense:
The cognizable offence is the one in which the police can start the investigation of the case on their own without the orders from the court to do so. They can also arrest the person without a warrant.
In the case, the state of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal:
In this case, it was held that if there is a condition where there is information and it discloses a cognizable offence. if any such circumstances are created before an officer satisfies the requirements of Section 154(1), the said police officer has no other option except to enter the substance thereof in the prescribed form.
Why is FIR important?
FIR is an important part of the whole procedure as it sets the criminal justice in lead. After the lodging of the FIR, the police will take up the investigation of the case.
What can you do if your FIR is not registered?
If in any case the FIR is not registered then the person can meet the S.P of police or other higher officers or in writing to the police. A telephonic message can also be treated as an FIR.
- What should you mention in FIR?
- Facts of the incident as occurred.
- Date, time, and location of the incident.
- Name and description of the person involved in the crime.
- Who can lodge an FIR?
It is not necessary that the victim only will lodge the fir. Anyone who was present at that time or who knows about the commission of the cognizable crime can also file the report.
You can file FIR if:
- If you are the victim.
- You know yourself about the offense committed.
- You have seen the offense being committed.
- One can file a private complaint before the court has jurisdiction.
- You can also file a complaint to the national human rights commission if the police if behaving in a corrupt or biased manner.
The police may not investigate the matter even after filling the FIR if:
- The case isn’t that serious.
- If the officer thinks that there aren’t enough grounds for the investigation.
However, the police must record the reasons for not investigating the case.
- Procedure for filing an FIR.
The procedure for filing the FIR is described under section 154 of the criminal procedure code, 1973.
- The police must write down the information about the cognizable offense if given verbally.
- As a person, it is your right to give information or make a complaint to demand that the information recorded by the police be read over to you.
- Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by the person giving the information.
- 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 cannot read or writemust put their left thumbimpression 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.
EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF FIR
The evidentiary value of FIR is much important than any statement in the whole process. Without the FIR a case never really starts as it is a document in written prepared by the police when they get the information of commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report which contains the information that the police get first in point of time and that is why it is called a first information report.
The evidentiary value of FIR is very important during the process of cognizance of any offence or at the initial time of the beginning of the investigation about information recorded as per Section 154 or 155 of CrPC.
At the same hour, the well-established basis of the law is that FIR cannot be considered as a substantive piece of evidence and can only be assumed as an important piece of evidence. The reason for which the FIR is regarded as an important piece of evidence is- because of the nature of FIR, that it is the first information of the cognizance of any offence, and it can be very crucial as it will help at the beginning of investigation about the offences.
In, Pandurang Chandrakant Mhatre v. the State of Maharashtra, it was held that ‘it is very much fairly well settled that FIR is not a substantive piece of evidence and it can be used only to accuse the creditworthiness of the affidavit recorded by the maker and it cannot be used to contradict or discredit the testimony of other witnesses.
After confirming the provision, it can be made to believe that the FIR is a crucial report and if duly recorded adds valuable evidence. Now it can easily be taken as an important and essential piece of evidence in any trial either for the aspiration of confirming evidence or for contradicting witnesses. Therefore, it becomes essential that such a report be recorded in all circumstances and the police officer must begin the investigation as soon as the detail is received.
In the analysis of the evidentiary value of the FIR, it is also concluded that the statements recorded by the police officers are not admissible in the court of justice and hence the detection of the facts by the police officer’s also comes under the sight of an important piece of evidence but not a substantive piece of evidence.
FIR can sometimes also be considered as Substantial Evidence but in most cases, it ends up having a just value of an important piece of evidence. Hence we can assume that FIR is a crucial and circumstantial piece of evidence.