What is FIR?
The first information report is a report giving information of the commission of a cognizable crime, which may be made by the complainant or by any other person knowing about the commission of such an offence. It is intended to set the criminal law in motion.
A First Information Report is the most important document and forms the basis of the case for prosecution.
The word ‘First Information Report’ has not been defined in the CrPC. By practice it has
come to mean the information disclosing commission of a cognizable offence and recorded under Sec. 154 CrPC.
The principal object of FIR is only to make a complaint to the police officer to set the criminal law in motion while the secondary objective is to obtain early information of an alleged criminal activity and to record the circumstances before there is time for such circumstances to be forgotten or embellished.
Characteristics of FIR
- It must disclose the commission of a cognizable offence.
- It should be given to the In-charge of a police station.
- It should be earliest in point of time.
Other Features of FIR
- It may be in writing.
- If given orally, it shall be reduced to writing by the police officer.
- It should be signed by the person giving it.
- A copy of it should be delivered to the informant free of cost.
- It may be made by any person, whether or not he has the first-hand knowledge about the crime reported except in certain specified cases.
- Delay, if any, in making the FIR should be explained in the FIR itself.
- Strictly speaking, the Telegrams and telephonic messages cannot be treated as FIR, because
- they are not given in writing duly signed by the informant nor they are reduced to writing by the police and read over to the informant. Moreover, there is hardly any guarantee as to their genuineness / authenticity.
- Refusal by Informant to sign the FIR is punishable u/s 180 IPC.
Objectives of FIR
- To set the criminal law in motion through the agency of the police.
- To furnish to the police early information of an alleged criminal activity.
Value of FIR
- It is valuable because it gives the earliest version of the occurrence.
- It is not a substantive piece of evidence.
- It can be used for the purpose of corroboration u/s 157 Indian Evidence Act.
- It can corroborate the maker if he is called as a witness.
- It may be used for contradiction u/s 145 Evidence Act against the author thereof.
- As a conduct u/s 8 I.E. Act, if lodged by the accused.
- As an admission u/s 21 I.E. Act, if lodged by the accused.
- As a dying declaration, if lodged by the deceased whose death is in issue.
- As an entry by a public servant in the discharge of his official duties u/s 35 I.E. Act