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 at the first point, and that is why it is called the First Information Report. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim or someone on his behalf. The content of the FIR is always the commission of an offence. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable crime orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can initiate an FIR.
The police must register FIR without any delay or excuses. Non-registration of FIR is an offence and can contribute to disciplinary action against the concerned police officer.
What is a cognizable Offence? A cognizable offence is when the police may arrest a person without a warrant. They are authorized to start an investigation into a cognizable case independently and do not require any orders from the court.
What is a Non-cognizable Offence? A Non-cognizable offence is an offence in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without a warrant. The police cannot investigate such an offence without the court’s permission.
Why is FIR necessary? An FIR is essential as it sets the criminal justice process in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police start an investigation of the case. According to Articles 21, 22, 23, 25, 49, and 50 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order 1984, FIR is a relevant fact.
Who can lodge an FIR? Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence can file an FIR. Only the victim of the crime doesn’t need to file an FIR. A police officer that comes to know about a cognizable offence can file an FIR himself. One can file an FIR if someone has committed a crime against him. One can also lodge an FIR if one knows the commission of an offence or has seen it happen.
The police may not investigate even if there is an FIR. It normally happens, when a case is not severe, or police feel the insufficient ground to explore. However, the police must record the reasons for not conducting an investigation and inform you in the latter case as required by the law. (Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898)
What is the procedure for filling an FIR? Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 provides the process of lodging an FIR. When information about the commission of a cognizable offence is provided orally, the police must write it down. It is the right of a person giving information or making a complaint to demand that the information recorded by the police is read over to him. Once the police have recorded the information in the FIR Register, the person giving the information must sign it.
One must sign the report only after verifying that the information recorded by the police is as per the details given by him. People who cannot read or write must put their left thumb impression on the document after being satisfied that it is the correct record. Always ask for a copy of the FIR. It is a right of a complainant to get a copy of the FIR free of cost.
What should you mention in the FIR? Your name and address; date, time and location of the incident you are reporting; the facts of the incident as they occurred, including the use of weapons, if any.
Names and description of the persons involved in the incident; names and addresses of witnesses, if any.
It would be best if you did not do these Things. Never file a false complaint or give wrong information to the police. You can be prosecuted for providing inaccurate information or misleading the police under the law (Section 182 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860). Never exaggerate or distort facts. Never make vague or unclear statements. One who refuses to sign his statement of FIR can be prosecuted under section 180 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860. One who lodges a false charge of offence made with intent to injure a person can be prosecuted under section 211 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
What can you do if your FIR is not registered? 1 You can meet the District Police Officer (DPO) or Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), or other higher officers like the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police and Provincial Police Officer (PPO) and bring your complaint to their notice. You can send your complaint in writing and by post to the DPO, CCPO, DIG, or PPO concerned. If the DPO, CCPO, DIG or PPO is satisfied with your complaint, he shall order the registration of FIR. You can also file a complaint to the District Public Safety and Police Complaints Authority in your district. You can also file a private complaint before the court having jurisdiction.
As soon as the police receive the first information about the commission of an offence, it is their responsibility to act immediately and investigate the case. In some cases, however, a dispute may emerge between two police stations about their territorial jurisdiction about the spot where the reported offence occurred. In such a situation, the police should follow the following procedure. If there is any confusion about the jurisdiction of the police station and if each one of the SHOs contends that the territory under dispute does not fall in his jurisdiction, it is the responsibility of each SHO to stay on the spot and keep on investigating the case. The case record in such a case shall remain with the SHO, who reaches the spot earlier until the question of jurisdiction has been decided (25-5 of the Police Rules, 1934). When one of the two police officers is relieved after the determination of the area of jurisdiction by senior police officers, the relieved officer shall record a report of all that he has done in a case diary and sign it, giving the date and hour of his relief. Such case diary shall be handed over to the other police officer, who shall certify thereon that he acknowledges the case to have occurred within his station limits or to be one which he is empowered to investigate, as the case may be (25-6 of the Police Rules, 1934).
When a case is transferred from one police station to another, after the determination of the area of jurisdiction, the offence registered in the original police station shall be cancelled by the Superintendent of Police, and an FIR shall be submitted in the police station in the jurisdiction of which the case occurred (25-7 of the Police Rules, 1934).