First Information Report (FIR)

 First Information Report (FIR)

A First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by police organizations in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offense or by someone on his or her behalf, but anyone can make such a report either orally or in writing to the police.
FIR is an important document because it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police take up investigation of the case. Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence, including police officers, can file an FIR.

As described in law
When information about the commission of a cognizable offence is given orally, the police must write it down.
The person giving information or making a complaint has a right to demand that the information recorded by the police be read to him or her.
Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by the person giving the information.
In India, after an FIR has been filed the contents of the FIR cannot be changed except by a ruling from the High Court or the Supreme Court of India.

An information given under sub-section (1) of section 154 CrPC is commonly known as first information report (FIR) though this term is not used in the Criminal Procedure Code (in short CrPC).

It is the earliest and the first information of a cognizable offence recorded by an officer-in-charge of a police station. It sets the criminal law in motion and marks the commencement of the investigation which ends up with the formation of opinion under section 169 or 170 CrPC, as the case may be, and forwarding of a police report under section 173 CrPC. It is quite possible and it happens not infrequently that more information than one are given to a police officer-in-charge of a police station in respect of the same incident involving one or more than one cognizable offences. In such a case he need not enter every one of them in the station house diary and this is implied in section 154 CrPC. Apart from a vague information by a phone call, the information first entered in the station house diary, kept for this purpose, by a police officer-in-charge of a police station is the first information report- FIR postulated by section 154 CrPC. All other information made orally or in writing after the commencement of the investigation into the cognizable offence disclosed from the facts mentioned in the first information report and entered in the station house diary by the police officer or such other cognizable offences as may come to his notice during the investigation, will be statements falling under section 162 CrPC. No such information/statement can properly be treated as an FIR and entered in the station house diary again, as it would in effect be a second FIR and the same cannot be in conformity with the scheme of CrPC

Purpose and Object of FIR

The purpose of registration of FIR is manifold that is to say
(1) To reduce the substance of information disclosing commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally, into writing.
(2) If given in writing to have it signed by the complainant.
(3) To maintain record of receipt of information as regards commission of cognizable offences.
(4) To initiate investigation on receipt of information as regards commission of cognizable offence.
(5) To inform Magistrate forthwith of the factum of the information received.

Evidentiary Value of FIR.

FIR is not a piece of substantive evidence. It can be used only for limited purposes, like corroborating under section 157 of the Evidence Act or contradicting (cross-examination under section 145 of Evidence Act) the maker thereof, or to show that the implication of the accused was not an after-thought. It can also be used under section 8 and section 11 of the Evidence Act. Obviously, the FIR cannot be used for the purposes of corroborating or contradicting or discrediting any witness other than the one lodging the FIR. It cannot be used for corroborating the statement of a third party. If the FIR is of a confessional nature it cannot be proved against the accused-informant, because according to section 25 of the Evidence Act, no confession made to a police officer can be proved as against a person accused of any offence. But it might become relevant under section 8 of the Evidence Act.

What you will do when police officer refuse to register FIR

When a police officer-in-charge of a police station or any other police officer, acting under the directions of the officer-in-charge of police station refuses to register information, any person aggrieved by such refusal may send in writing and by post, the substance of such information disclosing a cognizable offence, to the Superintendent of Police under section 154(3) or to the Magistrate concerned under section 156(3) of the CrPC.

Punishment for giving false information.

Punishment for giving false information to the police is dealt with by sections 182, 203 & 211 of IPC. Even if such information is not reduced to writing under Section 154(1) of CrPC, the person giving the false information may nevertheless be punished for preferring a false charge under section 211 of IPC. A police officer refusing to enter in the diary a report made to him about the commission of an offence, and instead making an entry totally different from the information given, would be guilty under Sections 166A and 177 of IPC.

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