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Filing an FIR (First Information Report) is the first and the most important procedure to initiate criminal investigation by the police. Here's how to file an FIR at your nearest police station
Shreya lives with her parents and she is only 15. Both her parents work for a big MNC and usually they come home only after Shreya. One day when her parents got back from work, they saw Shreya injured and frightened. Two men, introducing themselves as representatives of a famous online shopping company, had stormed into the house, threatened Shreya, and robbed her of her gold chain and earrings.
On hearing Shreya's screams, one of the neighbors had managed to click a photo of the scooter on which the two thieves had managed to escape. When Shreya's parents came home, the neighbors suggested that they go to the police station and file a complaint at the nearest police station. But, the parents were a bit hesitant as they didn't know how to file an FIR and were apprehensive about visiting the police station.
A majority of us, like Shreya's parents, are ignorant of even the basic legal procedures. However, with rising crimes, especially against children today, it is essential to be informed and educated about these procedures.
The First Information Report (FIR) is the first and the most important document to initiate criminal proceedings. Here are a few points you should know about the FIR.
An FIR is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offense. It is also one of the most important supportive evidence on which the entire structure of the prosecution case is built up.
An FIR can be filed by the victim, a witness to the incident, or any person with knowledge of the incident.
An FIR is a document that initiates criminal proceedings against the wrongdoer. In instances where there is property damage, it is very much necessary to claim insurance and to protect yourself from any liability that could arise from the misuse of your property. The purpose of an FIR is:
FIR can be registered by the police only for cognizable offenses or those offenses where the police have the power to arrest the accused without a court warrant. Cognizable offenses include murder, child sexual abuse, rape, theft, attack, etc.
Generally, the FIR has to be registered at the earliest point of time after the incident and if some delay occurs in the filing of the same then it has to be explained. A delay in registration has the chances of reducing the credibility of the same because it may give rise to suspicion as to whether it was an after-thought or a fabricated version.
Ideally, the FIR should be registered at the police station under whose geographical limits or jurisdiction the crime has taken place. But this rule is not concrete. In emergency cases, you can register the file at any police station and then transfer the investigation to the appropriate station. Also, in emergencies where one can't go in person and register an FIR, police can register an FIR based on a phone call or e-mail. Even if you are away from the place of the incident or are unaware of the right jurisdiction, you can successfully file an FIR in any police station. This type of FIR is termed a Zero FIR.
The procedure for filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
Filing of an FIR is the first and foremost step towards making sure that the victim gets justice by setting the process of criminal justice in motion. In case of incidents related to child sexual abuse, the procedure is very child-friendly keeping the best interests of the child in mind. Let's try to remove the ignorance that many parents have when it comes to law. Having an awareness of the law and its basic procedures will put you and your child in a better position.