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First Information Report

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In Criminal Law, the First Information Report (FIR) is a report that provides information first in point of time about a crime.

The necessary ingredients of a FIR are:

  • It is the information that is given to a police officer
  • It provides information first in point of time
  • Information must be related to a Cognizable offense
  • It is the basis on which investigation into the offense commences.

Since the FIR is the earliest information regarding a cognizable offence that reaches a police station, it is important in the course of the trial.

Recent Case / Related Case / Case Law

  • Lalita Kumari v Government of Uttar Pradesh and Others, Criminal Original Jurisdiction, Writ Petition (Criminal) No 68 OF 2008, Supreme Court of India judgement dated November 12, 2013: The Supreme Court held that:
    • i)Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
    • ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
    • iii) If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.
    • iv) The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.
    • v) The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.
    • vi) As to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.
    • The category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:
      • a) Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes
      • b) Commercial offences
      • c) Medical negligence cases
      • d) Corruption cases
      • e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for delay.
  • Beenu Rawat and Others v Union of India and Others, Civil Original Jurisdiction, Writ Petition (Civil) No 446 OF 2013, Supreme Court of India judgement dated November 19, 2013
  • Manubhai Ratilal Patel through Ushaben Vs State of Gujarat and Others, Criminal Appeal No. 1572 of 2012, Supreme Court of India judgement delivered on September 28, 2012
  • Laxman Vs State of Maharashtra, Criminal Appeal No. 246 OF 2008 with Criminal Appeal No. 247 OF 2008, Supreme Court of India judgement delivered on September 27, 2012
  • Ashrafkhan @ Babu Munnekhan Pathan vs State of Gujarat, Criminal Appeal No. 482 of 2002 with Yusufkhan @ Laplap Khuddadkhan Pathan and Others vs State of Gujarat, Criminal Appeal Nos. 486-487 of 2002, State of Gujarat vs Yusufkhan @ Laplap Khudadattkhan Pathan and Others, Criminal Appeal Nos. 762-765 of 2002, State of Gujarat vs Abdul Khurdush Abdul Gani Shaikh and Others, Criminal Appeal Nos. 766-768 of 2002, Supreme Court of India Judgement delivered on September 26, 2012
  • Darbara Singh Vs State of Punjab, Criminal Appeal No: 404 of 2010; Supreme Court Judgement delivered on September 12, 2012
  • State of Bombay vs Rusy Mistry, AIR 1960 SC 391: The definition of 'FIR' might not have been defined under CrPC but a report recorded under the Section 154 is an FIR.
  • Apren Joseph vs State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1: It is on the basis of FIR that investigation should begin.
  • State of Haryana vs Ch Bhajan Lal 1992 LNIn 527 (SC): When an office-in-charge of a police station is provided information about a cognizable offense, he has no option but to register a case on the basis of it.
  • Balgopal Panda vs State of Orissa, 1990 LNIn 1848 (Orissa): Mere fact that it is first in the point of time does not clothe FIR from its character.
  • Gurpreet Singh vs State of Punjab: Sec 154 of CrPC says that mere substance of information received is to be mentioned in the daily dairy and that it cannot be the repository of every factum.
  • State of AP vs V V Panduanga Rao (2009) 3 LNIn 2972 (SC): When information was given to the police over telephone on the basis of which they went to the place and registered a report, the statement recorded is to be treated as an FIR and a mere cryptic telephonic call / message would not constitute FIR. i.e mere fact that the telephonic call was the first in point of time does not clothe FIR from its characteristic.
  • State of AP vs Punati Ramube: A police constable cannot refuse to accept and register an FIR merely because the station does not have territorial jurisdiction. The Police Constable is bound to register an FIR and forward the same to the police station having the jurisdiction. Refusing to register is a dereliction of duty on the part of the constable.
  • Thulia Kali vs State of Tamil Nadu AIR 1975 SC 501: Delay in lodging of report to police would lead to the danger of introduction of a colored version, exaggerated account or concocted story as a result of deliberation and consultation.
  • Tarachand vs State of Haryana, AIR 1971 SC 1821: Thought the importance of FIR made promptly cannot be minimised the mere fact that it was immediately made after the incident cannot be ruled out any embellishment in the version about the incident given by the prosecution.
  • State of Telangana v Habib Abdullah Jeelani and Others, Criminal Appeal Jurisdiction, Criminal Appeal No. 1144 OF 2016, Supreme Court of India judgment dated January 6, 2017

See Also