Rapid lodging of information of commission of cognizable offence at the foremost
available opportunity is believed to be true version without any addition,
exaggeration and concoction. The probabilities of missing links outside
influence after thought and additions are eliminated, where the memory is
garden-fresh and information is given without any loss of time. "In past there
was many difficulties in registering a case, as distance of Police Station and
Place of occurrence, transport and transmission mediums, but some of these
factors have been ended by the lapse of time."
An unnecessary delay in lodging a First Information Report is always looked with
a certain amount of suspicion and should as far as possible be avoided.
Delay in lodging FIR can be of three types:
- Delay in lodging First Information Report by informant;
- Delay in recording First Information Report by the officer-in-charge of
the police station;
- Delay in dispatching the First Information Report to the Magistrate.
"First Information Report in a criminal case is an tremendously vital and
important piece of evidence for the reason of corroborating the oral evidence
adduced at the trial. The significance of the report can hardly be
overestimated from the stand point of accused." The current article will aim to
discuss the topic of delay of filing of FIR and its effects, this will be done
majorly through existing literature on the issue, along with landmark Apex Court
Statement of Problem:
"FIR has its own probative value and when an FIR is refused to be recorded by
the police in charge or if registration is deferred it can lead to miscarriage
of justice where the accused has opportunity to tamper evidence or escape. The
connection of political or high net worth individuals to delay or stop
registering an FIR is an impairment in effective administration of law and
To review and analyze the law with respect to lodging of First Information
Reports, the evidentiary value of FIR, the judicial decisions on delay and
refusal to lodge FIR and to suggest measures to improve the application of
Section 154 of CrPC and any changes required in law and its administration to
resolve the problem at its root.
The issue whether delay in lodging of FIR "(First Information Report)/ Complaint
leads to acquittal of the accused or not has been time and again been confronted
by the Judiciary with the settled position of law being that inordinate and
unexplained delay in lodging FIR or complaint may throttle the case of
- What is the remedy in law to check on failure to register FIR or delaying
of recording the FIR?
- What is the remedy available to the victim to get FIR registered when
Police derelicts in its duty?
- What is the impact of the delay on the case at hand?
The work basically fulfils doctrinal research criteria as the possibility to
have an empirical study over the topic is very feeble. But the approach is
analytical in nature.
Review of Literature
First Information Report, its delay and effects
Objective of Recording FIR
- Sohoni's Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (12th ed.) Vol. II
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (1st ed. 2010) Vol. I by S.P.
- Durga Das Basu's Criminal Procedure Code,1973 (5th ed. 2014) Vol. I
"The FIR logged sets the criminal law in motion and from the point of view of
investigating bodies is to obtain info about the alleged criminal activity so as
to be able to take appropriate steps for finding and bringing to book the guilty
party. The purpose of insisting upon quick lodging of the report to the
police in respect of commission of an offence is to gain early information
regarding the situations in which the crime was committed. Delay results in
aggrandizement and the report gets bereft of the benefit of spontaneity. There
is also risk of introduction of a tinted version, exaggerated account or
fictitious story as a result of deliberation and consultation."
Delay in FIR
The delay in registering FIR can be of three types. First is delay caused by
the informant in getting the FIR registered with the Police and secondly the
delay on part of the police in getting the FIR registered and thirdly delay in
dispatching the FIR to the magistrate.
Delay in Lodging FIR by Informant
There is no length of time which is set either by the legislature or the
judiciary for giving information of a crime to the police. However, it has been
observed that FIR has to be filed within reasonable period. The issue of
reasonable time being a matter is for determination of judge in each case. Mere
delay in filing the FIR with the police is therefore, not essentially, as a
matter of law, lethal to prosecution.
The result of delay in doing so in the
light of the believability of the justification forthcoming for such delay,
accordingly must fall for consideration on all the facts and conditions of a
given case. Even a lengthy delay in lodging FIR in murder can be excused if
witnesses have no object of implicating the accused and have given acceptable
justification for delay. In the case of State of Rajasthan v. Om Prakash
Supreme Court noted that there was delay of nearly twenty six hours in lodging
the FIR. But this did not distress the prosecution's case as the case related to
rape of a minor and in such case the name and status of the family and career
and life of the victim was involved.
Although FIR is not fundamental an evidence, it cannot be refuted that it has
probative worth. If there is unexplained interval in lodging FIR, it can be
deadly to the prosecution case. Although gap in filing FIR does not result in
quashing the FIR but nonetheless it gives rise to suspicion which puts the court
on guard to look for the likely motive. Delay in giving first information can be
overlooked if there is reasonable explanation.
Delay by Police in Recording FIR by Police in Charge
At the stage of recording of a crime or the case, on the basis of information
revealing a cognizable offence in compliance of the command of Section 154 of
CrPc the involved police officer cannot embark upon an inquiry as to whether
information laid by the informer is reliable or real and to refuse listing of a
case on that ground. It is thus noticeably clear that if the information
disclosing cognizable offence is laid before a police officer in charge of a
police station fulfilling the requirements of Section 154(1) of CrPC the said
policeman has no other option except to enter the material thereof in prescribed
form that is to record a case on basis of such material.
In the litigation of State of AP v. Punati Ramulu
, the Supreme Court noted
that "investigating officer has purposely failed to record the FIR on receipt of
information of a cognizable offence of the nature, as in this case, and had
prepared the FIR after reaching the spot after due deliberations, consultations
and discussions, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the investigation is
tainted and it would therefore, be unsafe to rely upon such a tainted
investigation, as one would not know where the police officer would have stooped
to fabricate evidence and create false clues."
The advocate for state contended that there has been an enquiry. The Apex court
questioned that how can there be an enquiry without recording a criminal case.
The Apex court directed that a case has to be listed on the basis of the report
of the complainant and then the matter has to be accordingly investigated
The inaction of the police in non-registering an FIR was condemned by the
Supreme Court in the case of Lalitha Kumari v. State of UP. "It showed
frustration by observing that in spite of law laid down by the court the police
authorities concerned do not register FIRs unless some direction is given by the
Chief Judicial Magistrate of High Court of Supreme Court. In a large number of
cases, investigation do not commence even after registration of FIRs. The Court
retreated that directions should be issued to the police to register FIR
promptly and to give a copy of the complainants. If the police do not comply
with these instructions or initiate investigation, magistrate could initiate
We have seen in the latest Unnao rape case how the victim's family went pillar
to post for four months to get the FIR registered against the accused.
"The victim was raped in June 2017 and she filed a complaint the very following
day but an FIR was not recorded. She then sent a complaint to SP in Rai Bareli
and then to Allahabad HC which instructed the police to register a complaint and
it was lastly registered in April 2018. Instead of protection to a physical
and emotional victim there was only nuisance all the way. The court in this case
transmitted the case to CBI and this shows the incompetence and negligence of
police as well as the political impact on system of police administration."
In many cases where police officer decline to register an FIR the issue does not
reach the court and criminal goes scot free. Refusal to register an FIR is a
failure of duty of the officer.
Delay by Police in Forwarding FIR To Magistrate
After lodging of FIR, the involved Police Officer is required under the Law to
direct a copy of the FIR to the Area Magistrate. Delay in forwarding the
print of the FIR to the Illaqa Magistrate, that condition alone would not defeat
the other credible evidence on record. It would only show how in such a grave
offence, the Investigating Agency was not cautious and rapid as it ought to
While it is true that Section 157 of CrPC makes it obligatory on the officer in
charge of the police station to send a report of the information received to a
Magistrate forthwith, but that does not mean and imply to denounce and
discard an otherwise positive and trustworthy evidence on record. Technicality
ought not to outweigh the course of justice � if the court is otherwise
convinced and has come to a conclusion as regards the truthfulness of the
prosecution case, mere delay, which can otherwise be ascribed to be reasonable,
would not by itself demolish the prosecution case.
Punishment for Non Registration of FIR
"Section 221 of IPC provides for penalty for a public servant purposely
neglecting to apprehend or keep in detention any person charged with or liable
to be detained for an offence or aids such person to escape. But this section
does not explicitly mention that the public servant is bookable in case of
denial to register FIR. Thus it is suggested that there is explicit mention
about penalty for non-registration of FIR in a prima facie case of cognizable
E-FIR has been initiated in some states in India like TN, Himachal Pradesh,
Jharkhand, Maharashtra, New Delhi, MP, Haryana, Odisha, Bengaluru, Patna and
Kolkata. The service for online FIR should be made necessary in all the
States across the country and for this a separate provision has to be inserted
in CrPC. The basic and standard information that is needed in FIR if recorded at
the first instance will help investigation and procedure in court. Online FIR
will also keep a tab on the administrator of law and necessitate them to do
their duty meticulously.
Effect of delayed FIR on the trial
The effects of delayed FIR may be evaluated from a separate angle which is
largely concerned with the types and nature of the crime. In rape cases delay is
not deemed fatal because due to societal condition prevalent in the Nation,
there may be delay in lodging FIR of such an offence to the police.
crimes except rape may be clustered into 2 groups to decide largely whether
delay in lodging FIR in a specific case is serious or not. 1st category is of
those wrongdoings where the commission of the offence is not essentially in
dispute or even if it is doubtful the commission of offence could be established
categorically with the help of evidences. For eg. Homicidal death is barely
disputed and if it is pleaded that death is not homicidal but suicidal then the
type of death could be founded with the help of medical evidences. In this type
crimes, issue of manipulation regarding the commission of the offence arises
Therefore, delay in lodging FIR in such type cases is not believed to be
much critical. 2nd category consists of crimes such as theft, attempt to murder
etc. where the fact of commission needs adequate corroboration. The crimes which
falls under second category requires speedy FIR and unreasonable delay would
signify against the prosecution case since in such type of offences there are
probabilities of manipulation regarding the commission and the people involved
in the crime." Delay in lodging FIR in such kind of crimes is considered to
Reasonable explanations of delay in FIR
Analysis of Judicial Pronouncements
- Fear of accused persons. - Psychological cause of delay.[21
- Fear of damage of family honor in rape cases. - Psychological cause of
- Delay due to shock of murder. - Psychological cause of delay. 
- Delay in FIR due to infliction of grievous injuries, to the injured
person. - Physical cause of delay.
- Options of motive to falsely implicate the accused.
- When Husband himself burns his wife.
- When facts mentioned in the FIR cannot be changed by mere delay. -
Circumstantial cause of delay.
- Long distance of police from the place of occurrence. - Geographical
cause of delay.
- Because of night and the Police station is situated at very far
distance. -Seasonal cause of delay.
- Rough Road. - Geographical cause of delay.
- Bad weather. - Seasonal cause of delay.
- Non-availability of transport. -Geographical cause of delay.
- When facts of occurrence are admitted by both the parties.-
Circumstantial cause of delay.
- When the informants did not know the FIR was necessary to lodge.
- Rainy Season.-Seasonal cause of delay."
CASE I- Ramdas and Others V. State of Maharashtra
Facts of the case:
Issues at hand:
- The victim, is a member of the scheduled caste committee. She had come
to her father's house to work in his fields.
- On the date of the occurrence, after working in the fields, she had
returned to her home and taken her dinner. She was taken to a field and
raped by three men.
- After the occurrence she returned home at about midnight and then went
to sleep. Her uncle living in the adjacent house did not come to her rescue
as he had been threatened by appellant Ramdas before she was dragged outside
the house. Since it was midnight, she did not report the matter to anyone.
Her uncle and aunt already knew about the incident
- The next day, the victim along with her sister went to the police
station to file a complaint, the information given by her was neither
recorded nor any action taken.
- After some days, she complained about this to her father, thereafter she
went to police station Beed in the night at about 10.00 p.m. along with her
parents and lodged the report about the incident.
- All the three accused were booked Section 376 read with Section 34 IPC
and Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989.
- Are the accused liable to be booked under Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled
Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989?
- Was the case against the appellants is a false case and they were
implicated only to take revenge?
- Is delay in lodging the first information report is necessarily fatal to
the case of the prosecution?
- The accused had been falsely implicated on account of enmity and bad
blood between the father of the prosecutrix and the appellants.
- In her cross-examination the prosecutrix admitted that adjoining the
field of her father is the field of appellants Ramdas and Ashok but it was not
correct to suggest that there used to be frequent quarrels between his father
and the aforesaid appellants.
- Uncle of the prosecutrix living in the adjacent house in the village had
a somewhat different version to narrate regarding the fact that preceded the
- Medical Officer who examined the prosecutrix on the 18th January, 1996
gave her opinion on the basis of clinical findings that there was no evidence of
- The mere fact that the victim happened to be a girl belonging to a
scheduled caste does not attract the provisions of the Act.
- The conduct of the witnesses in keeping quiet and not reporting the
matter immediately, atleast to the villagers, is most unnatural.
- There was considerable delay in lodging the first information report for
which no explanation has been furnished by the prosecution.
- Though a report was lodged at the police station regarding a
non-cognizable offence, that report was not produced before the court
Decision of the court:
- The prosecutrix had gone to the police station on the very next day
but no case was recorded on the basis of the information given to the police.
- Victim had approached the Superintendent of Police within 2-3 days of
the incident, which was factually incorrect since the report was lodged on
January 18, 1996, that was only a slight discrepancy which did not in any
way detract from her statement that she had immediately gone to the
concerned police station but the police refused to take down her report.
- PSI Laxman Borade admitted in his cross-examination that the victim
had come to the police station to lodge a report and that a non-cognizable
offence had been registered on the basis of her statement.
- There is a delay in lodging the first information report but that is of
no consequence in cases of this nature and, therefore, that fact should be
kept out of consideration.
- Mere delay in lodging the first information report is not necessarily
fatal to the case of the prosecution.
In the instant case there were two eye witnesses who have been examined to prove
the case of the prosecution.
The court has rejected outright the evidence of
Uncle of the victim. The prosecutrix does not appear to us to be a witness of
sterling quality on whose sole testimony a conviction can be sustained. She has
tried to conceal facts from the court which were relevant by not deposing about
the earlier first information report lodged by her, which is proved to have been
recorded at the police station.
She has deviated from the case narrated in the first information report solely
with a view to avoid the burden of explaining for the earlier report made by her
relating to a non-cognizable offence. Her evidence on the question of delay in
lodging the report is unsatisfactory and if her deposition is taken as it is,
the inordinate delay in lodging the report remains unexplained.
Considered in the light of an earlier report made by her in relation to a
non-cognizable offence, the second report lodged by her after a few days' raises
suspicion as to its truthfulness. Having carefully scrutinized the evidence on
record, the court not satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case beyond
reasonable doubt. There was strong suspicion that the case put forward by the
prosecution may not be true. In any event the appellants are entitled to the
benefit of doubt.
Accordingly, the appeals were allowed and set aside the conviction and sentence
Ratio of the case:
Analysis of the judgement:
- Mere delay in lodging the first information report is not necessarily
fatal to the case of the prosecution but the fact that the report was lodged
belatedly is a relevant fact of which the court must take notice.
- delay has to be considered in the background of the facts and
circumstances in each case and is a matter of appreciation of evidence by
the court of fact.
The Hon'ble Court in this case had certain important observations to be made.
"It held that the delay in lodging the report has been sufficiently explained.
There may be direct and indirect evidences to explain the delay. The researcher
is agreeable with the court on these points. The court has laid certain
situations in which the delay can be seemed to be justified and these are
borrowed from different landmark judgements and compiled by the Hon'ble court in
- Cases where much time is consumed in taking the injured to the hospital
for medical aid.
- Cases where on account of fear and threats, witnesses may avoid going to
the police station immediately.
- The time of occurrence, the distance to the police station, mode of
conveyance available, are all factors which have a bearing on the question
of delay in lodging of the report.
- Cases where the victim and the members of his or her family belong to
such a strata of society that they may not even be aware of their right to
report the matter to the police and seek legal action, nor was any such
advice available to them.
- Case of sexual offences there is another consideration which may weigh
in the mind of the court i.e. the initial hesitation of the victim to report
the matter to the police which may affect her family life and family's
Thus the court held that the background of each case needs to be scrutinized and
No strait jacket formula can be evolved in such matters.
CASE II- Thulia V. State of Tamil Nadu
- Thulia Kali was convicted by sessions judge salem U/S. 302 IPC for
causing death of Madhandi and U/S 379 I.P.C for committing theft of ornaments of
- The accused was sentenced to death for committing offence U/S. 302 and
no separate sentence was awarded for offence U/S. 379 I.P.C.
- The High Court of madras affirmed the conviction and sentence of the
- The accused preferred an appeal against H.C.'s conviction to the S.C.
by special leave.
- What is the significance of FIR in a criminal trial?
- What is the evidentiary worth of an FIR?
- Is it critical to explain regarding the delay in filing FIR?
- The deceased purchased land from elder brother of accused. The land of
the accused adjoined the land of the deceased. The accused wanted the
deceased to sell the land to him which the deceased declined. Instead the
deceased constructed a fence around her land, which obstructed the passage
to accused's land.
- On the day of incident, the deceased left her house along with her
daughter- in- law Kopia (PW), for grazing cattle shortly thereafter her step-
son Velanjiaraju (PW1) also reached there and started cutting plants near the
place of grazing cattle. It was reported that the accused came to that place
and asked the deceased whether she would give him right of passage or not.
Upon negative reply of the deceased the accused took out Knife and gave a
number of blows to the deceased in spite of her entreaties to accused not to
stab her and that she would give him what he wanted.
- Kopia raised alarm, met Velanjiaraju, who want towards the accused who
threatened them with Knife. They, there upon went to the village and informed
deceased's husband and other villagers who went to the place of occurrence and
found dead body of the deceased with injuries on different parts of the body.
- Both of her ears were found to have been chopped off and jewels removed.
Decision of the court:
- Velanjiaraju went to house of village munsif to inform about the
occurrence, but he was away from her house to another village and returned at
10:30 p.m and was told by velam. about the occurrence
- The village munsif did not record the statement of Mr. Velan. At that
time and told him to go to the spot where dead body was lying on the following
- Accordingly, the village munsif went to the spot next day morning at
8:30 a.m and had a look at the deceased's body and recorded the statement was
then sent by him to police station situated at distance of two miles.
- Finally, the FIR basis of the recorded statement of Mr. Velan was
prepared at the police station at 11.45 a.m.
In light of the circumstances of commission of offence considerable doubt is
raised with respect to veracity of evidence of Mr. Velan and Kopia which points
out an infirmity in that evidence rendering it unsafe to base the conviction of
the accused- appellant upon it.
"In relation to alleged recovery of knife and ornaments, the court analyzed the
statement of witness that the accused handed over the ornaments to the witness
while he came to his house on evening of March 12, 1970 and passed the night at
that house. The witness also stated that the accused left the knife in the bed
while he left on the following day.
In light of the above statement the court noted he person with whom the
ornaments were entrusted by the accused was not examined by the prosecution
which was essential for it. The court ruled that failure to examine the said
witness would lead court to draw an inference against prosecution."
"Relating to veracity of statements of the witnesses about leaving the knife in
the bed and washing it before so leaving the court noted thathe same is brushed
aside the report of the chemical examiner to the effect of Knife's being not
stained with blood as well as presence of ample opportunity to throw away the
knife in some lonely place before coming to the house of the witness."
Looking to all the circumstances the court held that it was not possible to
sustain the conviction of the accused on the evidence adduced.
Thus, Appeal accepted, Conviction of accused- appellant set aside and accused-
Ratio of the case:
Analysis of the judgement:
- It is an extremely vital piece of evidence for corroborating oral
evidence adduced at trial.
- The importance of FIR can hardly be overestimated from standpoint of
- The object upon insisting upon print lodging of FIR is to obtain early
information regarding circumstances of commission of offence names of actual
culprits & the parts played by them as well as names of eye witnesses
present at the scene.
- Delay in lodging FIR quite often results in embellishment which is a
creature of afterthought.
- On account of delay, the report loses advantage of spontaneity and
danger creeps in of the introduction of colored version, exaggerated account
or concocted story as a result of deliberation and consultation.
- It is therefore, essential that the delay in lodging the FIR should be
"Here, the court held that the delay in lodging the first information report
quite often results in embellishment as a result of afterthought. On account of
delay, the report not only gets bereft of the advantage of spontaneity, but also
danger creeps in of the introduction of colored version, exaggerated account or
concocted story as a result of deliberation and consultation.
In Ram Jag and
Others v. The State of U.P
.16 the position was explained that whether the delay
is so long as to throw a cloud of suspicion on the seeds of the prosecution case
must depend upon a variety of factors which would vary from case to case. Even a
long delay can be condoned if the witnesses have no motive for implicating the
accused and /or when plausible explanation is offered for the same.
On the other hand, prompt filling of the report is not an unmistakable guarantee
of the truthfulness or authenticity of the version of the prosecution. The
researcher agrees with the Hon'ble Court on this part of the judgement. In
various earlier cases, many courts have given synonymous judgments on this
issue. The main line of thought being that all the cases are different in their
sense and thus it would be difficult to state in black and white on what is an
unreasonable delay. In some cases, a 2-hour delay might be seen as unreasonable
while in some a 2-day delay may be considered as legitimate."
CASE III- Murari Thakur and Another V. State of Bihar
Facts of the case:
Issues at hand:
- The accused and the deceased are residents of the same village.
- On the night of the incident, the deceased had a quarrel with three
accused and deceased had called out one of the accused.
- After this, the deceased's mother intervened and brought her son back to
- Later in the night, mother of the deceased heard cries of his child.
- There she saw all the three accused hitting the deceased with 'phali' on
the temporal region of the body.
- On seeing the witnesses, the accused ran away from the spot.
- On completion of the investigation, challan against the accused was
presented in the Court. On finding a prima facie case against the accused, they
were charge sheeted.
- Three accused persons faced trial for alleged commission of offence
punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 (in short the 'IPC') for causing homicidal death of Jagbir (hereinafter referred
to as the 'deceased'). They were convicted by Additional Sessions Judge (First),
Bhiwani, Haryana and each was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and to
pay a fine of Rs. 2,000/- with default stipulation.
- Whether the Binder (accused) be treated as a juvenile and therefore
entitled to the protection given under the Juvenile Justice Care and
Protection of Children Act, 2000?
- What is the effect of unjustified delay in filing FIR coupled with
- The evidence of PWs 10, 11 and 14 cannot be accepted
- PW 10 had failed to identify all the accused persons and had failed to
identify one co-accused, Raja.
- There was unexplained delay in lodging the FIR and in dispatch of the
copy of the report to the Illaqua Magistrate.
Decision of the court:
- Disclosure statement made by accused Bijender alias Binder, he got
recovered phalli, the weapon of offence and the clothes from the different
- Though there was some confusion in identification by PW 10, the High
Court rightly noticed during examination-in-chief she has correctly identified
the accused persons. But at the time of cross-examination, she only identified
- The evidence of PW 11 as noted above, is cogent and consistent and the
version given by this witness fits with medical evidence.
- If Binder is allowed to be mixed with juveniles the apprehension that he
was likely to spoil the juveniles more in comparison with his own
- It has been stated that the late delivery was due to flood in the area
and this has been specifically noted by the Judicial Magistrate.
"The Court held that at the time of the commission of offence, accused Bijender
was 16 years of age, and at the time of High Court's judgment was 29 years of
age. It was held that if he is allowed to be mixed with juveniles the
apprehension that he was likely to spoil the juveniles more in comparison with
his own reformation. Therefore, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for ten
The Hon'ble Court rightly accepted the stand of the prosecution that the delay
was attributable to the flood and there was no dispute raised at any stage that
there was in fact no flood in the areas in question. Thus, the court dismissed
the appeal on the ground of lack of merit.
Ratio of the case:
"There is no hard and fast rule that delay in filing FIR in each and every case
is fatal and on account of such delay in prosecution version should be
discarded. The factum of delay requires the court to scrutinize the evidence
adduced with greater degree of care and caution."
Analysis of the judgement:
"The material issue dealt by the court in this particular case is regarding the
delay in lodging of FIR. The Court stated that delay in lodging FIR by itself
would not be sufficient to discard the prosecution version unless it is
unexplained and such delay coupled with the likelihood of concoction of
evidence. There is no hard and fast rule that delay in filing FIR in each and
every case is fatal and on account of such delay in prosecution version should
be discarded. The factum of delay requires the court to scrutinize the evidence
adduced with greater degree of care and caution. To reach this, the learned
judge has placed reliance of a plethora of landmark SC judgements."
In this particular case, "the delay of filing FIR was attributed to a flood that
was there in the area near the police station. There was a 20 km difference
between the police station and the place of incident and an 18 km difference
between the court and the police station. Also, as mentioned before, there was a
flood happening in nearby areas, thus the police personnel took time in
transferring the FIR to the magistrate". Here, both the essentials, i.e.
explained reasonable delay and un fabricated evidence. Thus, the court has given
the decision in the favor of the respondents.
CASE IV- Munna (Pooran Yadav) V. State of Madhya Pradesh
Facts of the case:
Issues at hand:
- On 01.02.1997 to the effect that in the morning, three accused persons
came to his house when his son Chhota was sleeping.
- The appellant then entered the house and took away Chhota to a nearby
- The two acquitted accused caught hold of Chhota by his hands, the
appellant Munna fired at Chhota due to which he fell down and died on the spot.
- On that basis the investigation started and after the completion of the
investigation, all the accused were tried and convicted, all the accused
filed appeals before the High Court which resulted in the conviction of the
appellant being confirmed.
- Thus this appeal was filed.
- What is the value of sole witness in a criminal trial?
- What was the reason of death of the deceased, physical assault or shock?
- What is the timing of the injury?
- The High Court was not justified in relying upon the evidence of sole
eye witness Gariba (P.W. 4) on account of his interest.
- Chhota himself was a dreaded criminal and, therefore, a number of
persons in and around the village were his enemies. It was argued that it
may be that Chhota was found dead outside his house and not knowing as to who had
killed Chhota, his father had falsely implicated the three accused persons who
had no reason, at least visible reason to commit murder of Chhota.
- First Information Report in this case was obviously incorrect as the
timings of the First Information Report could not match with the oral
testimony of Gariba.
- The incident taken place at about 7 O'clock in the morning and the
police station at Jujharnagar being six kilometers away, the First Information
Report could not have been lodged at 8.05 O'clock as in fact much time was spent
in contacting the other person who, admittedly, attended the Police station
along with P.W. 4- Gariba.
- the doctor had opined that the death had been caused by shock, and since
the said shock had not been caused by the appellant, the offence could not
be the one under Section 302 IPC but would be a minor offence.
- Thus, he whole prosecution story itself becomes suspect.
Decision of the court:
- There was no reason for Gariba (P.W. 4) to falsely implicate the
- It was quite possible for Gariba to reach the police station at about
8 O'clock in the morning and to lodge the First Information Report.
- The medical evidence as well as the post mortem report itself showed
that the death had taken place at the time as indicated in post mortem
report and thus supports the evidence of the doctor.
In the case, the evidence of Gariba, the sole witness was accepted as it was
corroborated by other witness also. Thus, the argument of the appellant
regarding the the value of a sole witness is rejected.
Giving overall consideration to this aspect, The Court was of the opinion that
the First Information Report was a genuine document and was correctly recorded
at the time when it was given and there is nothing unusual in the timings of
First Information Report. Hence, the argument was rejected.
"Lastly, almost by way of a desperate argument was on the nature of the offence.
It was the contention of the appellant that the doctor had opined that the death
had been caused by shock, and since the said shock had not been caused by the
appellant, the offence could not be the one under Section 302 IPC but would be a
minor offence. The argument was rejected as the doctor has very clearly opined
that the shock was the result of the firing by the appellant. In that view, the
argument is rejected."
Ratio of the case:
The Court can and may convict relying on the testimony of a single witness
provided he is wholly reliable and that there was no legal impediment in
convicting a person on the sole testimony of a single witness.
Analysis of the judgement:
"The essential and most disputed question in this case was about the timing of
the injury and filing of the FIR. Much was tried to be suggested about the time
of F.I.R. The witness has specifically stated that the time was the day-break
time, sun was about to rise. Considering that the witness was not a literate
witness and did not know how to read the watch, the mention of 7 O'clock as the
time of incident in the First Information Report appears to be the handiwork of
the person who recorded the First Information Report.
Much importance cannot be
given to such insignificant factors. Much was tried to be suggested from the
evidence of Gariba (P.W. 4) that immediately after the incident, he went to the
neighbors, like Ambika Prasad (P.W.1) and Sunderlal Vishwakarma (P.W.3) and
substantial time was spent and, therefore, he could not have reached along with
all those people to Jujharnagar police station at about 8 O'clock which was six
kilometers away. In the Courts our considered opinion, such criticism had no
merits. Nothing has come in the evidence as to how these persons reached the
police station. There is no cross examination to any of these witnesses
regarding the time taken from the village to the police station."
Thus the First Information Report could not be rejected on that flimsy ground
alone. "Again the distance between the village and the police station which
is given in First Information Report is 5 six kilometers approximately. Thus,
such a distance which would not be covered within an hour or so. Therefore, the
argument was rejected on that ground. There is a bit of the problem lying here,
the reason being that the witness in the case was not aware about the timings
and thus the police officer on his own judgement had put the timing of the
incident at 7:00 am." Hence, the researcher personally thinks that due to the
mistake of the police, the accused should not suffer and hence the benefit of
doubt should be given to the accused.
Conclusion and Suggestions
Even though law is made for registering of an FIR, a common man (aam aadmi) is
unacquainted of the nitty grit ties of recording an FIR when he is a sufferer or
a observer to a cognizable crime. The legal education should be provided to the
common people via medium of television, internet and newspaper.
Every informant should be given protection for the purpose that he can help the
Criminal Justice delivery system fearlessly. Persons who are related directly or
indirectly to the information feel comfortable that when required they will
receive adequate help from the Police related to their protection and relevant
help if required.
The perpetrators from the police force accountable for indulging in unlawful
acts/ delay/ non registration of a case should be given appropriate punishment.
There is no doubt, that such valuable judicial intervention would appropriately
deter the erring policeman.
The police should have proper training in dealing with the victim and the
families, special moral education lessons should be imparted to the police
people on regular intervals. A rational assurance must be given by the
department relating to law and order that a proper investigation will be
conducted by them.
The legal maxim "Justice delayed is Justice denied" is appropriate suitable in
case of delay in recording FIR. The FIR being the initial step to set the law in
motion, there should not be any unnecessary delay in the process which will deny
the justice to the sufferer. Every step in the process of law is critical as in
criminal cases it may either save life or upset life. The administrator of
justice should use their authority in the interest of public and not lose their
Lodging of FIR is imperative to set the criminal law in motion however that is
not the case always, the investigation is not dependent upon the FIR. If the
condition requires even the officer-in-charge of police can himself record the
FIR and commence the investigation. It is not uncertain that a prompt FIR is
essential to strengthen the prosecution case and to record the facts at the time
when they were fresh.
Nevertheless, situations of each case are dissimilar and
there are variety of reasons which causes delay in lodging FIR to the police.
Those facts should also be considered by the court while deciding the fatality
of the delay. When there is delay in lodging FIR there is possibility of
aggrandizement and concoction of evidences, it is the duty of the prosecution to
propound an justification of delay.
Yet it is not required that firm proof of
the fact stated as clarification is not to be given if there is likelihood of
the truthfulness of the fact. Further, delay in lodging FIR is irrelevant when
the prosecution has proved the guilt of the suspect beyond reasonable doubt. But
if the prosecution is unable to prove the culpability of the accused then a
delayed FIR will add to the decision against the prosecution case. In nutshell
it can be understood that keeping in mind the importance of FIR as a document it
is not desirable to give ample weightage to the fact that it was delayed.
- Durga Das Basu, Criminal Procedure Code
- R P Kathuria, Supreme Court on Criminal
- S.P. Sen Gupta, Criminal Procedure Code........... 4
- Amrik Singh v. State of
- Apren Joseph v. State of Kerala...........
- Fekan Bind v. State of
- Haji Lal Deen v.
- Hasib v State of
- Kunju v. State of T.N...........
- Lalai v. State of U.P...........
- Manager Yadav v. State, 1984...........
- Munshi Prasad & Ors. v. State of
- Neelam Kumar Sood v.
- Patai v. State of
- Shiv Ram & Anr. v. State of U.P...........
- State of Haryana v Bhajan Lal...........
- State of Punjab v. Jagbir
- State of Rajasthan v. Gur Bachan
- Thulia Kali v.State of Tamil Nadu...........
- U.P. v. Sughar
- S.P. Sen Gupta, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (1st ed. 2010) Vol. I
- Amrik Singh v. State of Punjab, 1983 Cri. L.J. 1405.
- Patai v. State of UP (2010) 4 SCC 429: (2010) 2 SCC (Cri) 854.
- Hasib v State of Bihar, AIR 1972 SC 283
- Thulia Kali v.State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1975 SC 501
- Durga Das Basu, Criminal Procedure Code 1973, (5th ed. 2014) Vol. I
- 2002 LawSuit(SC) 575
- R P Kathuria, Supreme Court on Criminal Law (1950-2013), (8th ed. 2014)
- State of Haryana v Bhajan Lal 1990 LawSuit (SC) 701
- 1993 Lawsuit (SC) 156
- AIR 2012 SC 1515
- In re an unfortunate incident in Unnao of Rape and Murder Published in
Various newspaper vs State of UP, 2018 LawSuit (All) 3126
- Section 157 of CrPC
- Shiv Ram & Anr. v. State of U.P., AIR 1998 SC 49
- Satpal v. State, (1995) SCC (Cri) 1039
- Munshi Prasad & Ors. v. State of Bihar, AIR 2001 SC 3031
- Sudhansu Sekhar v. State, (2002) 10 SCC 743
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (1st ed. 2010) Vol. I by S.P.
- Haji Lal Deen v. State, 1977 Cri. L.J. 538; Karam Singh v. Charan Singh.
1984 Cri. L.T. 37.
- Harpal Singh v. State of H.P., 1981 Cri. L.J. 1: A.I.R. 1981 S.C. 361:
1981 S.C.C.(Cri.) 208; Anwar Hussain v. State of Rajasthan , 1987(1) Crimes
103(para-6); State of Rajasthan v. Dhania, 1986 Cri. L.J. 956.
- State of Punjab v. Jagbir Singh, 1973 S.C.C. (Cri.) 886; Sone Lal v.
State of U.P., 1978 Cri. L.J. 1122 : A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1142.
- Bankey Lal v. State of U.P., 1971 Cri. L.J. 1540 (para 13): 1971 S.C.C.
(Cri.) 253: A.I.R. 1971 S.C. 2233.
- Ram Jag v. State of U.P., A.I.R. 1974 S.C. 606: 1974 S.C.C. (Cri.) 370;
Saktu v. State of M.P., A.I.R. 1973 S.C. 760 : 1973 S.C.C. (Cri.) 307
- Bharat v. State, 1983 All. Dand Nirnaya, 323(324).
- Neelam Kumar Sood v. State, 1983(2). Crimes 493; Ratna Ram v. State of
Haryana, 1982 Cri. LJ. N.O.C. 8; Jai Prakash v. State, 1982 Cri. LT.
190:1981 Cri. L.J. 1340
- Nabbi v. State of Rajasthan, 1982 Cri. L.R. (Raj.) 135.
- Lalai v. State of U.P., A.I.R. 1974 S.C. 2118: 1978 Cri. L.J. 1393: Duli
Chand v. State of Rajasthan, 1986 Cri. LR. (Raj.) 615.
- Lalai v. State of U.P., (Supra); State of U.P. v. Sughar Singh.
A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 191 : 1978 Cri. LJ. 141: 1978 S.C.C. (Cri.) 83.
- Babu Krishna Kamble v. State of M.P., A.I.R. 1980 S.C. 1269 : 1980 Cri.
LJ. 928 (S.C.); State of U.P. v. Sughar Singh, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 191 : 1978
Cri. L.J. 141 : 1978 S.C.C. (Cri.) 83
- State of Rajasthan v. Gur Bachan Singh, 1982 Raj. Cri. C. 338 (D.B.).
- Manager Yadav v. State, 1984 (2) Crimes 747; 1984 All. L.J. 1146
- Fekan Bind v. State of Bihar, 1988(1) Crimes 740
- AIR 2007 Supreme Court 155 para 23.
- Pandurang and others vs. State of Hyderabad) AIR 1956 SC 216
- Narender Kumar vs. State (NCT of Delhi), (2012) 7 Supreme Court Cases
- Krishan Kumar Malik vs. State of Haryana (2011) 7 Supreme Court Cases
- (AIR) 1973 SC 501.
- AIR 2007 Supreme Court 1129
- AIR 2009 Supreme Court 1344
- Apren Joseph v. State of Kerala, (1973) 3 SCC 114.
- Kunju v. State of T.N., (2008) 2 SCC 151 : (2008) 1 SCC (Cri) 331 at