First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called the First Information Report. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an FIR.
(i) Communication of information of a cognizable or a noncognisable offence to the Police Officer in writing is called F.I.R. Infect, it is the information first in point of time which sets the Criminal Law in motion. Subsequent information received is not F.I.R.
(a) In non- cognizable offences, when the information is given to the Police Officer (Sub-Inspector), he should enter the substance of information in the "Police Diary" and refer the informant to the Magistrate.
(b) He should not start the investigation without the orders of the concerned Magistrate. But, on receiving such an order, he may exercise the same powers in investigating as in cognizable cases. However, he should not arrest or search without warrant. If the
Police Officer makes an investigation without orders then his report itself will be construed as a complaint and the Police Officer is deemed to be the "Complainant".
(c) In Cognizable Offences, according to Sn.154 Cr.P.C, theF.I.R. is recorded by the Police Officer. If it is oral, it is reduced to writing, read over to the informant and is signed by the informant. Information is in writing it is signed by the informant. The substance of the F.I.R. is recorded in the prescribed book (Police Diary).
A copy of the F.I.R. should be given to the informant.
A telephone message received by the Sub-Inspector and recorded by him in his Diary is a F.I.R.
(ii) If the Police officer refuses to record the F'.I.R. the informant may send the substance of such information to the S.P. by post, who may take the necessary action;
He may provide for investigation.F.I.R. should be lodged at the earliest point of time. The object of F.I.R. is to receive information and to record the circumstancesbefore the person forgets to establish the information.
(iii) Probative Value:- According to the Supreme Court F.I.R.is, not a piece of substantive evidence. It is used to contradict or to corroborate the informant
Bailable and Non-Bailable Offences: Sn.2(a) Cr.P.C
The Cr.P.C. classifies offences into Bailable and non-Bailable. Schedule I to Cr.P.C. specifies in detail.
Eg.: Counterfeit of coin, Robbery, Murder etc., are non-Bailable But Mischief, House trespass etc. are Bailable.
In Bailable offences bail is a matter of course. Police Officers, Courts, Magistrates, Sessions Judge, High Court may release a person on bail.
In non-Bailable cases, bail is not allowed, but a person may be released on bail (Sn.437). In offences punishable with death or imprisonment for life there is no bail. In Murder, counterfeit, Sedition etc. no bail is granted. The bail amount should not be excessive and should be fixed
taking into consideration the circumstances of each case. The accused should execute a bond, with or without sureties as the case may be, thereupon he is released. Exemption: In non-Bailable offences, a person under 16, or any woman under any case or any sick or infirm person may be released on bail even if punishable with death or imprisonment for life.
Cognizable and Non-cognizable Offences : Sn.2(c) Cr.P.C.
Offences may be classified into Cognizable and Non-Cognizable. A Non-Cognizable offence Is one in which a police officer may not arrest without warrant. In cognizable offences, he may arrest without warrant. The Cr.P.C. has mentioned these offences in the schedule. The Police Officers are guided by the above classification, and the I Schedule. Sn.41 Cr.P.C. enumerates various categories under which the Police Officer may arrest without warrant, that is:
(a) Cognizable Offences.
(b) Proclaimed Offender.
(c) Extraditable Offence.
(d) Deserter of Army.
(e) Released Convict.
(f) Person with House-breaking tool or stolen property etc.
Complaint: Sn.2(d) Cr.P.C.
A complaint is an allegation made by a person called the com- plain ant, orally or in writing, to a Magistrate, with view to his taking action under Cr.P.C., that some person (known or unknown) has committed an offence.
In Cognizable offences, the police officer proceeds to directly investigate. But, in non-cognizable offences, he can investigate on the orders of the Magistrate. The New Cr.P.C. provides a remedy, where the police officer has made an investigation in non cognizable cases, without the orders of the magistrate. According to it, a police report made by a police officer, in a case which discloses, (after investigation) the commission of a non-cognizable offence,shall be deemed to be a complaint. Further, the police officer who repaired such a report is deemed to be the complainant.
A complaint is made to the Magistrate only. What is given to the Police is only a report. It is not necessary that the name of the alleged offender must have been mentioned. It may not clearly specify or even wrongly specify the nature of the offence. On the basis of the complaint the Magistrate takes cognizance of the case and proceeds with the examination of the complainant.
Complaint by an idiot or lunatic:
In this case the complaint may be made by any other person called 'next friend', with the permission of the court. Hence though the lunatic cannot make a complaint, the next friend can make on his behalf.
Compoundable offences : Sn.320 Cr.P.C.
Offences are grouped into compoundable and non-compoundable. Compounding
Means 'making a compromise'. Compromise may be made (i) with the permission of the court or (ii) without the permission of the court. Compounding is allowed because the complainant and the accused may make some compromise within themselves, i.e., they agree to settle their differences mutually. Compromise once made cannot be withdrawn. It can be made
at any time before the sentence is pronounced by the court. The Cr.P.C. has provided the table mentioning the offences which are to be compounded with the permission of the court.
(i) Theft (value below Rs.250/-)
(iii) Cheating by personation.
(v) Insulting the modesty of a woman etc.
The composition is as good as the acquittal of the accused. Compounding without the permission of Court: In cases of hurt, assault, Cr. trespass, defamation etc., mentioned in the Cr.P.C. the offences are compoundable without the permission of the Court. The new Cr.P.C. has added a few more offences to the above list.
Police Station, Police Report, Police Diary:
Police Station: Means any place (or post) declared generally or specifically by the State Government to be a Police Station and includes any local area specified by the State Govt. in this behalf. Police Report: This is report forwarded by a Police Officer to a Magistrate under Sn. 173(2). Under Sn.173, investigation is to be completed without any delay. On completion he prepares a report containing:
(i) Name of the parties.
(ii) Nature of information.
(iii) Names of Prosecution Witnesses(PWs.)
(iv) Whether any offence is committed and if so by whom.
(v) Whether the accused is arrested etc.
He also forwards:
(i) All documents and all exhibits.
(ii) Statements of witnesses etc.
With the submission of completion report, the duty of the Police Officer ends, and, the duty of the Magistrate begins. Police Diary: Every investigation Police Officer should maintain A Diary (Station House Diary or Police Diary). He should enter his day to day proceedings in it. He shall mention the time of receipt of information, when investigation started and when closed, places visited etc. and a statement of circumstances. The diary may be called for, by the Criminal Courts. This is not used as evidence. The accused has no right to get into the diary. The Police Officer may use it as aid to memory (Aide memories), in such a case, the accused has a right to get into the diary.