“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

First Information Report (FIR) & Zero FIR

First Information Report (FIR)

  • Essential Document: An FIR is a written document prepared by the police upon receiving information about a cognisable offence.
  • What is a cognisable offences? It is when an officer can arrest a suspect without a court’s warrant if/she has “reason to believe” that the person committed the offence and arrest is necessary based on certain factors.
  • Triggering Investigation: It serves as the first step towards initiating the investigation process and subsequent police actions.
  • Registration for Cognizable Offences: Section 154(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowers the police to register an FIR for cognizable offences.
  • Punishment for Non-Registration: Section 166A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides punishment for public servants failing to record information related to a cognizable offence, with imprisonment of up to two years and a fine.

    What is Zero FIR?

    • Provision and Purpose: Zero FIR allows any police station to register an FIR for a cognisable offence without assigning a regular FIR number initially.
    • No diary: Whereas FIRs have serial numbers assigned to them, zero FIRs are assigned the number ‘0’. Hence the name.
    • Swift Action: The relevant police station subsequently registers a fresh FIR and commences the investigation.
    • Focus on Victims: It is designed to expedite complaint lodging, particularly for serious crimes involving women and children, without the need to approach multiple police stations.
    • Preserving Evidence: Early registration helps prevent the loss or tampering of crucial evidence and witnesses.
    • Transferred Jurisdiction: The Zero FIR is later transferred to the relevant police station where the offence occurred or where the investigation should be conducted.

    How does it work?

    • After a police station registers a zero FIR, it has to transfer the complaint to a police station that has the jurisdiction to investigate the alleged offence.
    • Once a zero FIR is transferred, the police station with the appropriate jurisdiction assigns it a serial number, thereby converting it into a regular FIR.

    Legal Provisions for Zero FIR

    The provision of Zero FIR finds support in various judgments and recommendations.

    • Satvinder Kaur vs. State (1999): The Delhi High Court held that a woman has the right to lodge her complaint from any place other than where the incident occurred.
    • Justice Verma Committee (2012): The introduction of Zero FIR was based on the recommendation of the Justice Verma Committee, which was formed in response to the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case.
    • Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of UP (2014): The Supreme Court ruled that registration of an FIR is mandatory when information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.

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