FIR Full Form is First Information Report. Any report of crime or cognizable offense, when it first reaches the police, an official document is prepared with all details of the case. This documents is termed as FIR. So an FIR is documented by the police once a complaint is received. It plays a very significant role in a case, as it determines the process of justice in motion.
In other words, only after the written document of FIR is filed, a police can start investigating on a case. Any individual including the victim who knows about an offense can file FIR. Hence, the FIR basically has all information like; (1) Name and address of the person who files the case, (2) Time, location, and date of the offense or incident reported, (3) The facts of offense as witnessed or occurred, (4) Names of the accused and every other person involved in the incident, etc.
FIR Full Form – Additional Information
What we are talking about is an essential document the use of which must be adequately known to the public. First Information Report, which will hereinafter be referred to as FIR, is that document. FIR is basically a document in writing, which is prepared by the police in countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The document is prepared on receipt of information regarding a cognizable offence and its commission.
To be simpler, an FIR is a complaint that is lodged by the person, who is the victim of that offence, or any other person on behalf of the victim. Such a report or complaint can also be lodged also. FIR is regarded as a crucial document in criminal justice system primarily because it causes the criminal justice system in motion. On lodging of FIR only, the police can take up the matter for investigation, and therefore, it holds great value.
Apart from those mentioned above, any person who has knowledge of the commission of a cognizable offence, who also includes a police officer, can lodge an FIR. In India, we have Criminal Procedure Code and the Judiciary to supervise the law on FIR. It is important that some very important aspects of FIR are dealt with significant elaboration. So, here are five things about FIR which everyone must know. It is to be noted that the following facts pertain to Indian position on FIR:
Overview of FIR
It is necessary to note down the following:
- As mentioned before, an FIR can be oral or in writing.
- Where the account of the commission of a cognizable offence has been verbally furnished, it is an obligation on the part of the police officer to write the oral account.
- After the police officer has jotted down the details of the account, it is obligatory on the part of the officer to read out the document and ensure that the record is written in the exact manner as orally furnished.
- Not only that, person lodging the FIR has the right to ensure that the police officer reads out the document in order to confirm it is correct.
- Once the person is satisfied that the document is correctly laid down, the person should sign the document.
- Followed by the sign of the person filing the FIR, the document must be signed and then registered by the police officer.
- After having done that, the police must hand over the copy of the FIR to the applicant.
- The copy is handed over to the person without any fee charged.
- It is suggested that the person files an FIR in the police station within whose jurisdiction the alleged cognizable offence has been committed. The reason behind this is that it will cause expeditious investigation into the matter and will save a lot of resources and time.
Details to be furnished in an FIR
If the person filing the FIR is the victim or is a witness, he must offer a clear description of the incidents, which were experienced or witnessed. In case, the person filing only possesses second-hand knowledge about the event, he must exactly tell what and all he has heard about or knows personally.
Caution must be given and no exaggerations should be made. It is important that there are no assumptions that are reported. The report should be as objective as possible and must not be vague or otherwise, it would be difficult for the police to investigate into the matter adequately and effectively.
Limitations of FIR
An FIR comes with few limitations that must be borne in mind. One such limitation is that an FIR can only be lodged in respect of a crime that is cognizable in nature. If supposing a person complaints about a commission of a non-cognizable crime, he must not be shooed away. Instead, the police must hear him/ her out and record the matter in the daily register of station diary. Following this, a copy of the entry is to be furnished as an evidence that the matter has been adequately recorded. The copy is to be furnished free of cost to the complainant. The receipt of such copy is actually a right vested in the complainant.
Refusal to register an FIR
If there is an instance wherein the police officer refuses to register the FIR, then a complaint in this regard can be made to the high ranking official, for example, the Superintendent of Police (abbreviated as SP), the Inspector General of Police (abbreviated as IGP), or the Deputy Inspector General (abbreviated as DIG). If not the aforementioned remedy, the person can also file a complaint to the judicial magistrate nearby.
The Magistrate can then make necessary orders obligating the police officer to register the FIR. A written complaint can be sent to the National Human Rights Commission (abbreviated as NHRC) or the State Human Rights Commission stating lack of responsible behavior on the part of the police officer. Nobody can stop you from filing an FIR and if someone does, you always have a remedy to avail.
What follows after registration of an FIR?
As mentioned before, the filing of an FIR sets the criminal justice system in motion. When the FIR is registered the police commences an investigation into the alleged commission of the cognizable offence. The investigation comprises interrogation, collection of evidence, analysis of the crime scenes, chalking out suspects, a record of statements, etc. If there is strong suspicion, even arrests could be made.
When the police have completed its investigation, it moves one step forward and formulates a charge sheet. When there is the satisfaction that charge sheet is sufficient, the case shall proceed to court for judicial determination. If, however, even after the conclusion of an investigation by the police, it does not have sufficient evidence, then the police can very well close the case concerned but only after citing proper reasons on it to the court.
The decision shall be duly informed to the person, who has filed the FIR. All of it must have made it clear that FIR is very instrumental in the criminal justice system of the country and acts as a document with considerable evidentiary value. Thus, people must know about it adequately.
FIR, an evidence?
It has been repeatedly mentioned that FIR is an important piece of information so a question might arise as to whether it is an evidence in the court of law. Section 157 of the Evidence Act, an FIR could be an evidence. The provision provides that any previous statement made by any witness pertaining to a fact can be used for the purposes of corroboration. Such statements are nevertheless subject to cross-examination.
If the FIR was filed by the accused himself, then it will not be used as an evidence against him because of the simple fact that an accused cannot stand as a prosecution witness and it will be very rare that he will offer himself as a defense witness as per section 315 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In the case of Pandurang Chandrakant Mhatre vs. the State of Maharashtra, the court held that FIR can be utilized for the purpose of discrediting the testimony of the witness.