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First Information Report [F.I.R] is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence (cognizable offence is an offence in which the police may arrest a person without warrant). It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point 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 a cognizable offence or by someone on his or her behalf.

Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an F.I.R.

First Information Report (F.I.R.) - Object

The primary object is to set the criminal law into motion and it may not be possible to give every minute detail with unmistakable precision in the FIR. FIR itself is not the proof of a case, but it is a piece of evidence which could be used for corroborating the case of the prosecution.

FIR need not be an encyclopedia of all the facts and circumstances on which the prosecution relies. It only has to state the basic case; Jitender Kumar v. State of Haryana, AIR 2012 SC 2488: (2012) 6 SCC 204: 2012 (5) JT 397: 2012 (5) SCALE 606: 2012 Cr L J 3085.

Section 154 of the code of criminal procedure, 1973

Information in Cognizable Cases:

  1. 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 to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf:

    Provided that if the information is given by the woman against whom an offence under section 326A, section 326B, section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354C, section 354D, section 376, section 376A, section 376AB, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA, section 376DB, section 376E or section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) is alleged to have been committed or attempted, then such information shall be recorded, by a woman police officer or any woman officer:

    Provided further that-
    1. In the event that the person against whom an offence under section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354C, section 354D, section 376, section 376A, section 376AB, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA, section 376DB, section 376E or section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) is alleged to have been committed or attempted, is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, then such information shall be recorded by a police officer, at the residence of the person seeking to report such offence or at a convenient place of such person�s choice, in the presence of an interpreter or a special educator, as the case may be;
    2. The recording of such information shall be videographed;
    3. The police officer shall get the statement of the person recorded by a Judicial Magistrate under clause (a) of sub-section (5A) of section 164 as soon as possible.
  2. A copy of the information as recorded under sub-section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
  3. Any person, aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in sub-section (1) may 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 offence, 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 offence.

    1. FIR prima facie disclosing commission of alleged offences against accused persons cannot be quashed in part by High Court going into minutest details of case; Dineshbhai Chandubhai Patel v. State of Gujarat, AIR 2018 SC 314.
    2. Filing of second FIR against same accused and in respect of same incident as mentioned in first FIR is permissible, when second FIR is filed as counter-complaint by different person based on different allegations; P. Sreekumar v. State of Kerala, AIR 2018 SC 1482.
    3. Absence of names of accused persons in FIR cannot be a ground to raise doubts about prosecution case; Mukesh v. State of NCT of Delhi, AIR 2017 SC 2161
    4. The word shall used in section 154 leaves no discretion in police officer to hold preliminary inquiry before recording FIR. Use of expression information without any qualification also denotes that police has to record information despite it being unsatisfied by its reasonableness or credibility; Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 2014 SC 187.
    5. F.I.R. under section 154 of the Code is not a substantive piece of evidence. Its only use is to contradict or corroborate the matter thereof; Shambhu Dass v. State of Assam, AIR 2010 SC 3300: (2010) 10 SCC 374: JT 2010 (9) SC 470: (2010) 9 SCALE 558.
    6. In order for a message or communication to be qualified to be a F.I.R., there must be something in the nature of a complaint or accusation or at least some information of the crime given with the object of setting the police or criminal law in motion. It is true that a First Information Report need not contain the minutest details as to how the offence had taken place nor it is required to contain the names of the offenders or witnesses.

      But it must at least contain some information about the crime committed as also some information about the manner in which the cognizable offence has been committed. A cryptic message recording an occurrence cannot be termed as F.I.R.; Patai alias Krishna Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 2010 SC 2254.
    7. A mere information received on phone by a Police Officer without any details as regards the identity of the accused or the nature of injuries caused by the victims as well as the name of the culprits may not be treated as FIR; Ravishwar Manjhi v. State of Jharkhand, AIR 2009 SC 1262.
    8. Mere delay in lodging the FIR is not necessarily fatal to the case of the prosecution. However, the fact that the report was lodged belatedly is a relevant factor of which the court must take notice; Ramdas v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2007 SC 155.
    9. The answer to the question whether the F.I.R. in a given case has been lodged belatedly or not is always a question of fact and has to be answered bearing in mind the facts of the case in question and also the explanation furnished by the prosecution in case there is some delay in its being lodged. There can be no mathematical computation of the time taken in the lodging of the F.I.R. what the court has to examine is whether the delay is inordinate and whether any cogent explanation is forthcoming in case it is so, some delay in the lodging of the F.I.R. is only natural and would not detract from the value to be attached to it. A little delay is sometimes bound to be there; State of Maharashtra v. Joseph Mingal Koli, (1997) 2 Crime 228 (Bom).
    10. It is well settled that delay simpliciter in the lodging of a F.I.R. in a case of rape is not material; State of Maharashtra v. Suresh Nivrutti Bhusare, (1997) 2 Crimes 257 (Bom).

F.I.R. Is a very important document which is irreplaceable in criminal law procedure. It will set the criminal law into motion. If any person does not get their F.I.R. Registered under section 154 or section 154 (3) CrPC then that person can move to the magistrate to register F.I.R. Under section 156 (3) CrPC. They can also move to the High Court to register their F.I.R by filing a writ petition under article 226 of the constitution of India, 1950.

Some people falsely implicate others into cases to disturb their peaceful life by filing false FIR. In that situation they can move to the high court by a petition that is to say quashing of fir under section 482 of criminal procedure code, 1973. It is necessary for the every person to know about the basic details and rights about the F.I.R as it plays very prominent role in criminal law procedure.

The law is hard, but it is the law.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Greeshma Reddy - Law Student.

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