Source - India Legal
WHAT IS AN FIR?
First Information Report (FIR) is information recorded by the police officer on duty, given either by the aggrieved person or any other person about the commission of an alleged offence. On the basis of the FIR the police commence its investigation. FIR shall be signed by the person giving information about the offence. It is mandatory to give the copy of the FIR to the complainant or any other person who is informing free of cost. Section 154 of The Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) states about FIR.
WHO CAN FILE AN FIR?
Any person can file an FIR. He needs not to be the aggrieved person. It needs not to be by the person who has firsthand knowledge of the facts.
WHERE TO FILE AN FIR?
An FIR can be filed in police station of concerned area in whose jurisdiction the offence has occurred. It must be made to the officer-in-charge of the police station and in his absence the assistant sub inspector is competent to register an FIR.
HOW TO FILE AN FIR?
When a wrong has been committed and aggrieved person or any other person wants to file an FIR, it shall be filed in the following manner.
Go to the nearest police station and meet an officer-in-charge
Step by step in a sequence narrate to the officer detailed information about the commission of the offence.
The information given shall be signed by the person giving it.
The information given shall be entered in the book to be kept by the officer.
The copy of the information filed should be given to the person filing it free of cost.
WHAT IF OFFICER-IN-CHARGE REFUSED TO TAKE AN FIR?
If the officer-in-charge refused to record the information, the information can be sent in writing and by post to the Superintendent of police concerned. He shall then investigate the case himself or any other Police officer subordinate to him.
OFFENCE: - Offence refers to an illegal act or crime that is punishable and against which a complaint can be registered to police or magistrate, etc. An offence can be Cognizable Offence or Non Cognizable Offence.
Cognizable Offence is an offence in which police has direct authority to arrest the accused without any warrant. These offences are usually serious in nature. The Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari Vs Govt. Of UP held that the police must register an FIR on receiving information related to Cognizable Offence. Cognizable Offence is stated under section 2(C) of CrPC 1973 that states a case in which police officer may arrest without warrant as per the first schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 or any other law for the time being in force. Waging or attempt to wage war, abetting the waging of war against government of India, Murder, Rape , Dowry Death, Kidnapping, Theft, Criminal breach of trust, Unnatural Offences, etc. all are the examples of Cognizable Offence. FIR can be registered without any magistrate’s permission; also FIR is registered only for Cognizable Offences. A police officer is under a legal duty to investigate without any direction or orders from judicial magistrate. Cognizable Offence are considered as public wrong, and therefore the prosecution of the offender is left to the initiative and efforts of the state. The Cognizable Offences are punishable with imprisonment for 3 years or more. Cognizable Offences are reported as FIR under section 154 of CrPC.
NON COGNIZABLE OFFENCE:-
Non cognizable Offence is an offence for which police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The Offences are minor in nature such as assault, forgery, cheating, etc. Section 155 of CrPC provides that in a non cognizable offence, the police is not allowed to record an FIR unless he gets the prior permission from the magistrate. Non cognizable offences are less serious offences. Defamation, Dishonest Misappropriation of Property Section, Misrepresentation, Punishment for Hurt section, etc. all are the examples of non cognizable offence. Section 2(l) of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 states Non Cognizable Offence means an offence in which police officer without any warrant has no authority to arrest. FIR cannot be registered without magistrate’s permission. A police officer has neither the duty nor the power to investigate into such offence without the authority given by judicial magistrate. The Non Cognizable Offences are considered Private wrong, and therefore prosecution of the offender is left to the initiative and efforts of private citizens. The Non Cognizable Offences are punishable with imprisonment for less than 3 years or with fine. Non cognizable offences are reported as NC report.
HOW TO FILE AN NC COMPLAINT?
Information about Non Cognizable Offences is to be given in a same manner as FIR. The only difference is that no police officer can start an investigation unless he get a prior permission of a judicial magistrate giving power to try such case.
It is very important for every individual to understand the basic concepts relating to an FIR and the difference between FIR and NC Report. A complainant can understand his own case only after understanding these fundamental laws. Also the correct process of FIR like it must be signed by the person who is filing FIR, a copy of FIR must be given to the person. Difference between Cognizable and Non Cognizable Offences is important to be known by everyone.