A First Information Report or FIR A First Information Report or 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 offense or by someone on his/her behalf. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police.
The process of filing FIR or First Information Report is provided under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. The FIR is the primary information given to a police officer regarding the commission of a crime by the first informant. To file an FIR, the informant has to approach the police station in the jurisdiction of which the offence or crime has taken place.
It is important for one to know the difference between a cognizable offence and a non-cognizable offence. The former is when a police officer has the authority to arrest a suspect immediately, even without a warrant. The latter is when a police officer needs the warrant to arrest a suspect. The seriousness of a crime is what decides whether it a cognizable offence or a non-cognizable one. Thus, crimes like murder, rape, dowry, kidnap, et cetera fall under the former category. While crimes like assault, stalking, cheating, et cetera are classified as non-cognizable offences.
In Kolkata, there is an option to report crimes online. However, these should be “minor crimes”, as stated in the official website, and should not be a case that requires immediate action. The website also provides the phone numbers of the police stations, using which crimes may be reported. Here is a link to the page http://www.kolkatapolice.gov.in/reportcrime_new.asp
HOW TO FILE AN FIR:-
- Provide detailed information about the crime to the officer-in-charge at the police station.
- The officer-in-charge records the information in writing (if the information is given orally) and reads it to the informant for verification and confirmation.
- The informant, after verifying the details, signs on the document, following which the officer records this information in the book prescribed by the state governments. Those are unable to read or write can put their left thumb impression after verifying the correctness of the recorded information.
- The informant then collects a copy of the FIR from the officer totally free of cost.
- In case the officer-in-charge refuses to file a complaint, the informant can post the details to the concerned Superintendent of Police, who in turn begins the investigation himself or authorizes a junior officer to conduct the investigations.
WHAT TO MENTION IN AN FIR:-
- The informant’s name and address.
- Name and details of the people involved in the incident.
- Time, date and exact location of the incident.
- Precise facts and details of the incident as it occurred.
- Witnesses, if any.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN FIR AND A GD:-
General diaries (GD) are records which maintain information about all the cases that are brought to the police station. Every working of the police with reference to a reported crime is recorded in the general diary. FIR is the first information report filed with the police regarding commission of an offense. Unlike a general diary, it does not disclose the gist of the matter, but the whole incident. It is in the witness dictated format. It will include everything the witness knows about the incident and the connecting circumstances. But mere information received through a phone call by a police officer without any details of the accused or nature of injuries caused to the victim cannot be treated as FIR.
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