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FIRST INFORMATION REPORT AND ITS

SCOPE

INTRODUCTION
FIR is the abbreviated form of the First Information Report.
The word First Information Report has not been defined in the
Code of Criminal Procedure. It is the information which is given
to the police relating to the commission of a cognizable offence
and Section 154 of the Code provides for the manner in which
such information is to be recorded. The principal object of the
FIR is to set the criminal law in motion. Cognizable offence
means the offence in which the Police may arrest a person
without a warrant. They are authorized to start investigation
suo motto into cognizable cases and do not require any
investigations from the Court as required in non- cognizable
offences.1F.I.R is a very valuable document. It is of utmost legal
importance, both from the point of view of the prosecution and
the defence. It constitutes the foundation of the case in the
first instance and whole of the case is built on it. If the
foundation is weak, the prosecution case will tumble down.

Multiple FIR- multiple FIR is the situation in which in


respect of the same offence several FIRs have been
lodged.
Cross FIR- when such FIR is lodged in the same case by
the opposite party.
Anti Timed FIR- It is the FIR after a long delay of
occurrence of the event, but cannot be anti timed
Zero FIR- whenever a police officer in charge lodges an
FIR but that police station does not have jurisdiction to

1 R.V. Kelkar, Criminal Procedure, Pg. No. 127.


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investigate, such an FIR ultimately is transferred to the


police station having jurisdiction.

Section 154 of the Code reads as follows:

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.

(2) A copy of 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 of the offence. 2

OBJECT OF FIR
The principal object of the first information report from the
point of view of the informant is to set the criminal law in
motion and from the point of view of the investigating
authorities is to obtain information about the alleged criminal

2 Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.


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activity so as to be able to take suitable steps to trace and


bring to book the guilty.3

To set the law in motion FIR is lodged with a view to setting the
investigative process in motion and not for the purpose of
setting down on paper all known facts and circumstances about
the incident.4 It does not constitute substantive evidence it can,
however, be used as a previous statement for the purpose of
corroboration or contradiction of its maker under Section 157 or
Section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act. It can be no means be
utilized or discrediting other witnesses. FIR is not a condition
precedent for setting up the criminal law in motion. The
statement of the wife of the deceased was taken as an FIR in
the case.5

SCOPE AND APPLICATION


Much importance attaches to the first statement of a person
who lodges an information in the thana about the commission
of a crime as it is the original story of the occurrence given
generally at the earliest opportunity without much time left for
embellishment or fabrication. This section provides for the
prompt and proper record of the information. It enjoins the
police officer in charge to observe certain duties and formalities
for the record of the first information. The conditions relating to
the record of first information are:

1) It must be an information (not vague but definite enough


to enable the police to start investigation) relating to the
commission of a cognizable offence. Information must
relate to the commission of a cognizable offence, on the

3 Rattanlal and Dhirajlal, The code of criminal Procedure, Pg. No. 474.

4 State of Orissa v. Dilip Kumar Chand, 1987 CrLJ 1242 (Ori-DB).

5 Sadre Alam Mullick Appellant v. State Respondent, 1977 CrLJ 2441 (2442).
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face of it, not merely in the light of subsequent


circumstances.6
2) It must be an information given to the officer in charge of
a Police Station (who is empowered by Section 154 to
record an FIR) ; or some other Police Officer (e.g., an
officer of the Anti- Corruption Police), who is, by Statute,
given the status of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station,
or the Superintendent of Police who is authorised by sub-
section (3).
3) It must be the earliest report relating to the commission of
such offence made to a Police Officer, with a view to his
taking action in the manner, after recording it in writing for
that purpose.
Where, in Soma Bhai v. State of Gujarat, 7 on receipt of a
report regarding the occurrence, the A.S.I. sought
instructions on the phone from the Main Police Station,
before reducing it in writing, it was the report which was
reduced to writing though a little later in point of time,
rather than the telephonic message, which constituted the
FIR.
4) It must be reduced in writing, signed by the informant
Hence, a cryptic and anonymous oral message
conveyed through telephone cannot be
treated as FIR, even though it was first in point of
time.8
It has, however, been observed by the Rajasthan High
Court in Tehal Singh v. State of Rajasthan9 that :
If the telephonic message has been given to officer in
charge of a Police Station, the person giving the message
is an ascertained one or is capable of being ascertained
6 Manimohon v. Emp., AIR 1931 Cal 745.

7 (1975) 4 SCC 257; AIR 1975 SC 1453.

8 Tapinder v. State of Punjab, AIR 1970 SC 1566.

9, 1989 CrLJ 1350(Raj).


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the information has been reduced into writing as required


under Section 154 Cr.P.C and it is a faithful record of such
information and the information discloses commission of a
cognizable offence and is not cryptic one or incomplete in
essential details, it would constitute FIR. 10
5) It is an information on the basis of which the investigation
is commenced- as distinguished from an information
received by the Police after the commencement of the
investigation, which is covered by Sections 161-162 of the
Code, and does not constitute FIR, even though the maker
of such subsequent statement may be the informant of
the FIR himself.11
6) It must not be vague or indefinite.
7) In the final stage of the substance of the information must
be entered in a prescribed book.

First information of the commission or in what circumstances it


was committed or who committed it is not essential. The object
behind the investigation is to ascertain these matters. Whether
information is under S. 154 is a matter of law; it is not open to
the station officer to treat it as such or not according to his
discretion.

In Lalita Kumari v. Government of U.P. 12 , it has been held


by five member bench that the provisions of Section 154(1) is
mandatory and the officer concerned is duty bound to register
the case on the basis of information disclosing commission of
cognizable offence. In simple words, it is a mandatory provision.
However, if no cognizable offence is made out in the
information given, then the FIR need not be registered
immediately and the police may conduct a preliminary
verification for the limited purpose of ascertaining as to

10 Kelkar 129

11 Sat Kumar v. State of Haryana, AIR 1974 SC 294.

12 (2014) 2 SCC 1.
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whether a cognizable offence has been committed. The Court


has mentioned some such areas as matrimonial family
disputes, medical negligence cases, etc. but then also a
safeguard is provided that within seven days the preliminary
inquiry has to be conducted and the informant has to be
informed whether the FIR is to be registered or not and if not it
has to be supported by reasons.

The obligation to register FIR has several advantages it is the


first step to access to justice for a victim, it upholds the rule
of law, it facilitates swift investigation, it avoids manipulation in
criminal cases in several ways.13

Cryptic message not termed as FIR


In Krishna Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 14 Supreme
Court held that in order for a message of communication to be
qualified to be FIR, 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 FIR 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 FIR.

PROCEDURE OF RECORDING OF F.I.R


Any person can give information to the police relating to the
commission of a cognizable offence, and Section 154 of the
Code provides for the manner in which such information is to be
recorded. The procedure of recording FIR can be drawn out
from Section 154 of the Code, Police Rules Act (Police Rules Act,
13 Supra 1, Pg. 128.

14 AIR 2010 SC 2254.


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1934 for Punjab) and Rules of Criminal Practice framed by the


concerned High Court. An analysis of Section 154 brings out
the following points:

The information is to be given to an officer in charge of a


police station having jurisdiction for investigating the case.
If the information is given orally to such officer, it shall be
reduced to writing by the officer himself or under his
direction.
The information, if given in writing, or if reduced to writing
as aforesaid, shall be signed by the informant.
The information as taken down in writing shall be read
over to the informant.
The substance of the information is then to be entered by
the police officer in a book kept by him in the prescribed
form. This book is called Station Diary, General Diary or
Roz Namchara. (Police Act, 1861).
The informant shall then forthwith be given a copy of the
information as recorded in the aforesaid manner.

WHAT SHOULD THE F.I.R. CONTAIN


F.I.R. is the back-bone of the criminal investigation. It is the
very basis upon which the investigation could be conducted
and speedy and fair justice could be ensured. It is therefore,
essential that the following points should be mentioned in
the F.I.R. in a clear terminology without any ambiguity.

Name and Address of the complaint;


Date, Time and Location of the incident which is being
reported;
The true facts of the incident as they occurred;
Names and descriptions of the persons involved;
Witnesses if any.

But it is not mandatory that all these points should be satisfied


as it is not essential that the informant has to be aware of the
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particulars of the accused and the victim. What is of utmost


importance is that the informants information on the very face
of it should disclose the commission of a cognizable offence.

REDUCED TO WRITING AND SIGNED


A careful and accurate record of the first information has
always been considered as a matter of the highest importance
by the Courts in India. But the conditions as to writing are
merely procedural. If there is information of a cognizable
offence it is within the scope of Section 154 even if the police
officer has neglected to record it in accordance with the law.
(A.W. Khan v. State, AIR 1962 Cal 641).

In State of A.P. v. Punati Ramulu,15 where the constable at


the police station refused to record the complaint on the ground
of lack of territorial jurisdiction over the place of crime, it was
held that it was certainly a dereliction of duty on the part of the
constable because any lack of territorial jurisdiction could not
have prevented him from recording information about
commission of a cognizable offence and forwarding the same to
the police station having jurisdiction over the area. Absence of
signature on FIR will also not nullify the FIR. Failure to observe
the procedure does not automatically render the FIR invalid, it
merely renders it difficult to prove.16

In Gurpreet Singh v. State of Punjab17 it was said by the


Court that under Section 154 as well as R. 24.1 of the Punjab
Civil Service Rules 1934, Volume III what is required to be
mentioned in the daily diary is substance of the information
received and same cannot be said to be repository of

15 AIR 1993 SC 2644.

16 Mir Rahman, AIR 1935 Pesh 165.

17 (2005) 12 SCC 615: ( 2006) 1 SCC (Cri) 191.


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everything. If the name of the witnesses had not been


mentioned, it cannot be said that substance of information
received was not entered and there was violation of Section
154 read with the above mentioned rules.

Thus Section 154 requires that FIR to be recorded in the


language familiar to the informant (as far as possible). The idea
behind reading over the information and reduced to writing and
obtaining signatures of the first informant thereon are intended
to ensure that what has been reduced into writing is a true and
faithful version of the information given to the office in charge
of the police station. This Section also provides that the copy of
FIR has to be given to the informant. While interpreting this
Section, the Supreme Court in State v. N.S. Gnaneswaran18
categorically held that non-supply of the copy of FIR under
Section 154(2) Cr.P.C may not vitiate the trial in every case. The
Court also pointed out that procedure followed by CBI in not
directly registering the FIR on receipt of information is proper
inasmuch as the CBI in such cases has to conduct a preliminary
inquiry after registering the information in the Register
concerned. Here the accused is not at all prejudiced in the
procedure followed by CBI in cases involving economic offences
as exempted in the decision in Lalita Kumari v. Government
of U.P.19

The mere fact that the FIR was scribed by another person and
signed by the victim as grievously injured, he was admitted in
the hospital and having treatment as in-patient, would not lead
the Court to hold that the informant had not lodged FIR. 20

18 (2013) 3 SCC 594: (2013) 3 SCC (Cri) 235.

19 (2014) 2 SCC I.

20 N. Thirumoorthi v. State, 2007 CrLJ (NOC) 959 (Mad.).


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THE SUBSTANCE THEREOF SHALL BE ENTERED IN


A BOOK
Only the substance of the information relating to the
commission of a cognizable offence is to be entered in a book
to be kept at every police station in such form as the State
Government may prescribe. This book is known as General
Diary, Station Diary or Station House Register.

The Magistrate of the district is at liberty to call for and inspect


such diary.

Therefore, it can be inferred that FIR need not be an


encyclopedia of things, the only thing that is required that it
should be authentic.

INFORMATION BY ILLITERATE VILLAGER,


PARDANASHIN WOMAN
Where an informant being an illiterate villager admitted that he
could not get all the facts deposed in the Court written in FIR, it
could not be viewed with suspicion. 21 When the informant is an
illiterate villager, the time of occurrence stated by him could
not be expected to be accurate. Where FIR lodged by
pardanashin illiterate woman, mentioned only the name of
some members of mob, no conclusion can be drawn that those
who were not named, were not members of the mob. 22

REMEDY ON REFUSAL TO REGISTER F.I.R.


If a person has a grievance that his FIR has not been registered
by the police station his first remedy is to approach the

21 Attepalli Gopaiah v. State of A.P., 1978 CrLJ 798.

22 Ram Bali Thanku v. State of Bihar, 1988 CrLJ 764.


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Superintendent of Police under Section 154(3), Cr.P.C or other


police officer referred to in Section 36 of this Code. If the
Superintendent of Police is satisfied that the information
discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, he shall
either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to
be made by a subordinate police officer in the manner provided
by the Code. It further provides that such subordinate police
officer investigating the offence shall have all the powers of an
officer in charge of police station in relation to that offence.

And if his grievance still persists, then he can approach a


Magistrate under Section 154(3) instead of running to the High
Court by way of writ petition or a petition under Section 482 of
the Code. When the petitioners have got alternative remedy,
they cannot invoke the extra-ordinary jurisdiction. 23

TWO FIRs IN RESPECT OF SAME INCIDENT

The legal position is that there can be no two FIRs against the
same accused in respect of the same offence. But if there are
revival versions of the incident of two FIRs, then two FIRs are to
be recorded and the investigation in respect of those FIRs can
be undertaken.24

But the two FIRs on the same incident is not prohibited by the
code and the police is not justified in refusing to record the
second FIR. In such a case, the Magistrate can direct the police
to investigate also the second FIR.25

WHO CAN LODGE FIR


Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable
offence can file F.I.R. It is not necessary that only the victim of
23 Dilip Deshmukh v. State of Karnataka, 2010 CrLJ 620.

24 Kari Chaudhry v. Sita Devi, AIR 2002 SC 441.

25 Upkar Singh v. Ved Prakash, AIR 2004 SC 4320: (2004) 13 SCC 292: 2005 SCC
(Cri) 211: 2004 CrLJ 4219.
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the crime should file an F.I.R. Any police officer who comes to
know about the commission of the cognizable offence can file
an F.I.R. himself or herself. In other words, any person can file a
F.I.R:-

Against whom the offence has been committed;


Who knows an offence has been committed;
Who has seen the offence is being committed;
Who has any information about the commission of an
offence.

Hence, it is evident that FIR can come from any quarter. Even
an anonymous letter sent reporting a cognizable offence may
be treated as FIR. It need not be lodged by the eye-witness
alone and it is not necessary that the informant had personal
knowledge of the crime.26

FIR by accused

When a person who lodged the FIR regarding the occurrence of


murder himself subsequently becomes the accused of the
offence and tried and a report lodged by him is not a
confessional first information report but is an admission by him
of certain facts which have a bearing on the question to be
determined by the Court, viz., how and by whom the murder
was committed or whether the statement of the accused in the
Court denying the correctness of certain statement of the
prosecution witnesses is correct or not the FIR is admissible to
prove against him as admissions which are relevant under
Section 21 of the Evidence Act.27

EVIDENTARY VALUE OF F.I.R.

26 S C Sarkar : The Law of Criminal Procedure (Allahabad law agency) pg. 880.

27 Faddi v. State of M.P., AIR 1964 SC SC 1850.


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A FIR means the information, by whomsoever given, to the


officer in charge of a police station in relation to the
commission of a cognizable offence and which is first in point of
time and on the strength of which the investigation into that
offence is commenced.28

It is settled Law that FIR is not substantive evidence, that is to


say, it is not evidence of facts which it mentions. However, its
importance as conveying the earliest information regarding the
occurrence cannot be doubted.29

Though it not being a substantive evidence, it can be used to


corroborate the informant under Section 157 of the Evidence
Act, 1872, or to contradict him under Section 145 of the Act, if
the informant is called as a witness at the time of trial. 30 It may
however, become relevant under Section 8, Evidence Act.
Section 157 of the Evidence Act is as follows:-

In order to corroborate the testimony of a witness, any


former statement made by such witness relating to the same
fact, at or about the time when the fact took place, or before
any other authority legally competent to investigate the fact,
may be proved.31

It was held in Pandurang Chandrakant Mhatre v. State of


Maharashtra,32 that it is fairly well settled that first
information report is not a substantive piece of evidence and it
can be used only to discredit the testimony of the maker

28 State of Bombay v. Rusy Mistry, 1960 CrLJ 532.

29 Sk. Hasib v. State of Bihar, (1972) 4 SCC 773.

30 Aghnoo Nagesia v. State of Bihar, 1966CrLJ 100, 103.

31 Woodroffe: Commentaries on Code of Criminal Procedure, pg. 573.

32 (1986) 4 SCC 436: 1986 SCC (Cri)500: 1986 CrLJ 1975.


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thereof and it cannot be utilized for contradicting or discrediting


the testimony other witnesses.

The FIR should be lodged with the police at the earliest


opportunity after the occurrence of the report to the police is to
obtain early information regarding the circumstances in which
the crime was committed. Delay in lodging the FIR quite often
results in embellishment which is a creature of afterthought
and on account of delay, the report not only gets bereft of the
advantage of spontaneity, but danger creeps in of the
introduction of colored version, exaggerated account or
concocted story as a result of deliberation and consultation and
for these reasons, it is essential that delay in lodging the FIR
should satisfactorily be explained. 33 The FIR will have better
corroborative value if it is recorded before there is time and
opportunity to embellish or before the informants memory
fails. Undue or unreasonable delay in lodging the FIR therefore,
inevitably gives rise to suspicion which puts the court on guard
to look for the possible motive and the explanation and
consider its effect on the trustworthiness or otherwise of the
prosecution version. In a rape case, where the FIR was lodged
10 days after the incident, it was explained that as the honor of
the family of the prosecutrix was involved the members of the
family had taken that time to decide whether to take the matter
to the Court or not. This explanation for the delay was held to
be reasonable under these circumstances.

FIR can only be used for certain purposes only as settled by


numerous decisions:

To corroborate or contradict the marker thereof (Sections


154 and 157 of the Evidence Act), if the maker is
examined as a witness.
To impeach the credit of the maker, if examined as a
witness (Setion 155 of the Evidence Act).

33 Bishnu Deo v. State, 1982 CrLJ 493, 495.


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To show that the implication of the accused was not an


afterthought.
To use it as evidence as to the informers conduct under
Section 8.
When the information was given by the accused himself,
the FIR can be used against him as evidence of his
conduct (S.8, Evidence Act); or as an admission( S.21,
Evidence Act), provided it is a non-confessional statement-
apart from the uses under Sections 145 and 157 where
the accused is examined as a witness.
o But such FIR made by one accused cannot be used as
evidence against the other accused or to contradict
any other witness.
o If any part of the statement of the accused is
confessional, no part of it can be used against him as
evidence and the doctrine of severability cannot be
invoked.
An FIR lodged by the accused cannot be used against him
for any other purpose, i.e., to show his motive for the
offence.
If the informant dies, and the FIR contains a statement as
to the cause of his death, or the circumstances resulting in
his death, it may be used as substantive evidence as to
the cause of his death, under Section 32(1) of the
Evidence Act.
When the FIR is promptly lodged, it is reliable and where it
is supported by evidence, the plea that the accused
person is falsely implicated is to be rejected.
Moreover FIR can even become substantial
evidence in the following circumstances:-
During declaration when a person deposing about the
cause of his death had died (that is, a dying declaration).
In such cases FIR will become admissible under Section
32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
In the injuries are being caused in the presence of Station
House Officer saying that accused was injuring him.
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When the informer who has written the FIR or read it, fails
to recall memory those facts but is, sure that the facts
were correctly represented in FIR at the time he wrote it or
read it.

DELAY IN F.I.R.
It is well settled that the delay in giving the FIR by itself cannot
be a ground to doubt the prosecution case. Knowing the Indian
conditions as they are, it is not wise to expect from villagers
that they would rush to the police station immediately after the
occurrence. Human nature as it is, the kith and kin who have
witnessed the occurrence cannot be expected to act
mechanically with all the promptitude in giving the report to the
police. At times being grief-stricken because of the calamity it
may not immediately occur to them that they should give a
report. After all it is bit natural in these circumstances for them
to take some time to go to the police station for giving the
report. Unless there are indications of fabrication, the Court
cannot reject the prosecution version as given in the FIR and
later substantiated by the evidence merely on the ground of
delay.34In view of the series of clashes which took place on that
day, it could not be held that there was undue and unexplained
delay in giving the FIR.

In the case of Amar Singh v. Balwinder Singh,35 their


Lordships of the Supreme Court held- There is no hard and fast
rule that any delay in lodging the FIR would automatically
render the prosecution case doubtful. It necessarily depends
upon facts and circumstances of each case whether there has
been any such delay in lodging the FIR which may cast doubt
about the veracity of the prosecution case and for this a bost of
circumstances like the condition of the first informant, the
34 Vidhyaharan v. State of Kerala, (2004) 1 SCC 215; Tara Singh v. State of
Punjab, AIR 1991 SC 63.

35 (2003) 2 SCC 518.


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nature of injuries sustained, the number of victims, the efforts


made to provide medical aid to them, the distance of the
hospital and the police station etc. have to be taken into
consideration. There is no mathematical formula by which an
inference may be drawn either way merely on account of delay
in lodging of the FIR.

Law has not fixed any time for filing FIR, as such a delayed FIR
is not illegal. A mere delay in lodging of FIR cannot be a ground
by itself for throwing the entire prosecution case abroad. The
Court has to seek an explanation for delay and test the
truthfulness and plausibility of the reason assigned. If the delay
is explained to the satisfaction of the Court, it cannot be
counted against the prosecution. Where eye-witnesses are
reliable and trustworthy, mere delay in filing FIR would be no
ground to discard the entire prosecution case. Mere delay in
lodging the FIR would not be fatal in the case where
substantive evidence of PWS regarding the involvement of the
accused persons in the commission of the crime is otherwise
reliable and convincing.

In State of Punjab v. Karnail Singh,36 where the murder had


taken place during night, FIR was filed next day at 9:30 a.m.,
the police station was 7Kms. Away, the area was terrorist
affected and terrorism was at its peak during that period, FIR
was held not a delayed action.

But unexplained delay in filing FIR created doubt about the


involvement of other accused person.

In case of State of Himachal Pradesh v. Shree Kant


Shekari,37 the Supreme Court observed:

Delay per se is not a mitigating circumstance for the accused


when accusations of rape are involved. Delay in lodging first

36 (2003) 1 SCC 271: 2004 SCC(Cri)135: 2003 CrLJ 3892(SC).

37 (2004) 8 SCC 153: (2004 Cri LJ 4232).


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information report cannot be used as a ritualistic formula for


discarding prosecution case and doubting its authenticity. It
only puts the Court on guard to search for and consider if any
explanation has been offered for the delay. Once it is offered,
the Court is to only see whether it is satisfactory or not. In a
case if the prosecution fails to satisfactory explain the delay
and there is possibility of embellishment or exaggeration in the
prosecution version on account of such delay, it is a relevant
factor. On the other hand satisfactory explanation of the delay
is weighty enough to reject the plea of false implication or
vulnerability of prosecution case.

In Santosh Moolya v. State of Karnataka,38 though there


was delay of 42 days in lodging the complaint to the police, the
prosecution witnesses (PW-1 & PW-2) in their evidence
explained that all their family members including themselves
were uneducated and there were no male members in their
family for their assistance. The witnesses also stated that the
accused persons posed threat and, therefore, out of fear they
did not inform the police. This explanation of delay was
accepted by the Court.

DELAY IN SEXUAL OFFENCES

The Courts cannot overlook the fact that in sexual offences,


delay in lodging of the FIR can be due to variety of reasons
particularly the reluctance of the prosecutrix or her family
members to go to the police and complain about the incident
which concerns the reputation of the prosecutrix and the honor
of the family. It is only after giving it a cool thought on arrival of
the elders in the family that a complaint of sexual offence is
generally lodged. In rape cases some delay in lodging FIR is
natural in a traditionally bound society to avoid harassment
which is inevitable when the reputation of a woman is
concerned. In rape cases the delay in lodging FIR where
explained is not to be attached importance. Where in a gang
38 AIR 2010 SC 2247: (2010) 5 SCC 455.
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rape, no male family member was present, delay of 3 days was


held not to be fatal.

In Harpal Singh v State of HP, 39 where the FIR was lodged


10 days after the incident. It was explained that as the honour
of the family of the prosecutrix was involved the members of
the family had taken that time to decide whether to take the
matter to the court or not. This explanation for the delay was
held to be reasonable under the circumstances

In Ram Swarup v. State of UP,40 in the present case the


complainant was a foreign national. Naturally after the rape
committed on her by two persons, she must be in a condition of
shock and only when she contacted the Italian Embassy and
received instructions from there to get lodged report with the
local police she could do so. The said explanation was held
sufficient and created no doubt in the prosecution story.

Therefore, the FIR will have better corroborative value if it is


recorded before there is time and opportunity to embellish or
before the informant's memory fails. Undue or unreasonable
delay in lodging the FIR therefore, inevitably gives rise to
suspicion which puts the court on guard to look for the possible
motive and the explanation and consider its effect on the
trustworthiness or otherwise of the prosecution version.

RIGHTS OF THE FIRST INFORMANT


The informant who lodges FIR with the Police does not fade
away with the lodging of the FIR. He is vitally interested as to
what action is taken by the police on receipt of the FIR as well
as in the subsequent proceedings to ascertain if any offence
has been committed and if so, what action should be taken
against the offender. The Code, therefore, lays down several
provisions to keep him informed at various stages:
39 (1981) I SCC 560.

40 (2011) Cr LJ 924 (927).


20

As soon as the FIR is lodged, the informant is entitled to


get an copy of the FIR free of cost [Section 154(2)].
If the officer in charge of the Police Station on receipt of
FIR decides not to investigate the case because it appears
to him that there is no sufficient ground for entering on an
investigation, the officer in charge must notify to the
informant that he would not investigate the case [Section
157(2)].
After the investigation is complete, the Officer in charge
shall forward to the Magistrate his report. At this stage he
must communicate to the informant the action taken by
him [s. 173(2)(ii)], which means that a copy of the report
made under Section 173(2)(i) must be supplied to the
informant.41
The Supreme Court has further held 42 that where the
Magistrate, after considering the Police Report under
Section 173(2)(i), is not inclined to take cognizance of the
offence and issue process, or that there is sufficient case
for proceeding against some of the accused mentioned in
the FIR, the Magistrate should:
Give notice to the informant, and
Provide him an opportunity to be heard at the time of
consideration of the Police report so that the
informant may make his submissions to persuade the
Magistrate to take cognizance of the offence. 43
INFORMATION AS TO NON-
COGNIZABLE OFFENCES AND
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SECTIONS
154 AND 155
41 Bhagwant v. Commr., AIR 1985 SC 1285 (Paras 3-4): (1985) 2SCC 537: 1985
CrLJ 1179.

42 Supra note 36.

43 State of Bombay .v Rusy, AIR 1960 SC (395)


21

While information in cognizable cases having been dealt


with section 154 of the Code and information as regards
non-cognizable offences is dealt by Section 155 of the
Code.
In cognizable cases the officer in charge of the police
station is bound to record the FIR while in case of
information dealing with non-cognizable offences, the
police shall refer the information to the area Magistrate
and register an FIR only when he assents to it.
The police officer can start the investigation into the
alleged cognizable offence on the basis of the first
information received and recorded by him, but the same is
not the case with non-cognizable offences. As per Section
155 of Cr.P.C the information received by the Police Officer
has to be transmitted to the Magistrate, whose prior order
and permission must be obtained by the Police Officer to
start the investigation into the offence of a non-cognizable
nature.

In Ram Krishna Dalmia v. State 44 where information is given


to police of a cognizable offence and the case is registered
regarding that offence, the investigating officer, while
investigating the cognizable offence cannot possibly be
debarred from investigating any subsidiary and non-cognizable
offence which may arise out of the facts, and can also include
these latter cases in his main report under Section 173.

SECTIONS 154 AND 161

44 1958 Pun 172 (173).


22

The FIR is to be distinguished from information received after


commencement of the investigation which is covered by
Sections 161-162

A statement of eye-witnesses recorded by a Police Officer


immediately on reaching the scene of occurrence cannot be
used as FIR. That would not, however, detract the testimony of
the eye-witnesses which will have to be tested on its own
merits.

When the Investigating Officer deliberately did not record the


FIR after receipt of information of a cognizable offence and
recorded the complaint only after going to the spot and after
due deliberation, consultation and discussion, such complaint
could not be treated as FIR as it would be a statement made
during investigation and would be hit by Section 162 of Cr.P.C.
45

CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2013


Amendment of Section 154

In Section 154 of the Cr.P.C, in sub-section (1), the following


provisos shall be inserted, namely:-

Provided that if the information is given by the woman against


whom an offence under Sections- 326A, 326B, 354, 354A,
354B, 354C, 354D, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, 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-

a) In event that the person against whom an offence under


Section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354c,
Section 354D, section 376, section 376A, section 376B,
section 376D, section 376E or section 509 of the Indian
45 State of A.P. v. Punati, AIR 1993 SC 2694.
23

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 persons choice, in the presence
of an interpreter or a special educator, as the case may
be;
b) The recording of such information shall be video graphed;
c) 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.

This provision provides for registration of FIR on the crime spot


or where the victim is present in case of women against whom
crime has been or tried to be committed under the mentioned
Sections of the Code and in case of physically handicapped
also.
24

CONCLUSION

The principal object of FIR is to set the criminal law in motion,


any person who has the information of cognizable offence can
give information regarding it and the police officer is bound to
register the complaint. FIR is the base upon which fair and
speedy justice rests. It upholds the rule of law in India. It is of
much evidentiary value as is the only information signed by the
informant which by way retains its authenticity that it is truthful
information. It is also important to note that FIR need not be an
encyclopedia of events, what is required that it should disclose
the commission of a cognizable offence on the very face of it.
Therefore, 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, as the case may
be and the forwarding of police report under Section 173 of
Cr.P.C.
25

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Bare Act: The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
Durg Das Basu: Criminal Procedure Code (in 2 volumes),
4th Edition, 2010.
N.D. Basu: Commentary on Criminal Procedure, 9 th Edition,
2001.
K.N. Chandrasekharan Pillai: R.V. Kelkars Criminal
Procedure, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 2014.
Ratanlal and Dhirajlal: Criminal Procedure Code, Wadhwa
and Co. Nagpur, 19th Edition 2014
S C Sarkar : The Law of Criminal Procedure, Dwivedi Law
Agency,2nd (Reprint), 2010,
Woodroffe: Commentaries on Code of Criminal Procedure,
2 vols. 3rd Ed., 2009.
26