Section 154 of The Code of Criminal Procedure deals with registration of First Information Report (though the Section does not use the word ‘First Information Report or FIR). Know your rights on how to file an FIR in India, procedures of filing an FIR both through physical and online FIR filing system. Know everything about filing FIR in India and how to escalate the situation if any official refuses to file a complaint.
How to file an FIR in India?
One can do online FIR registration or online police complaint about cognizable crimes. Non-cognizable crimes require submitting a complaint to the magistrate. The magistrate, in turn, directs police for action.
A “cognizable” crime covers for example murder, rape, rioting, dacoity, etc. These are the crimes where arrest can be made without a warrant. A “non-cognizable” crime covers cheating, fraud, etc. There is a difference between an FIR and a complaint.
A First information report is the report of crime or civil issues that the police receive first in point of time. The commission of the crime or the police has the right to arrest without warrant and can start the investigation. The complaint refers to an appeal made to the magistrate, comprising an allegation that a crime has taken place.
You can file FIRs online. You can always find relevant information and get contact information from each State’s Human Rights Commission office. It can be through the website of the National Human Rights Commission http://nhrc.nic.in Moreover, it is not necessary to go to the police station if the police ask you to visit, unless the police are arresting you on criminal grounds.
Grounds for the arrest of a citizen
Police can summon you to the police station in case you are a witness, suspect or have a perceived part in the crime. The police cannot take you with them while you are walking outside or you are at home if you haven’t done anything illegal. Unless they have a substantial reason, you have the right to refuse to go with them anywhere.
Police can only question a woman or children under 15 years in their homes. They don’t have to visit the police station.
Let us summarize how you can file FIR in India (First Information Report). Register your complaint at the nearest police station. It can be done at the locality where the offence is allegedly committed, or where the victim resides or carries on business.
The concerned police officer in the police station may register an oral FIR. One can make a written complaint. Which is then converted to the FIR format.
The concerned Police officer, after recording the FIR in the prescribed form, will explain the contents of the said FIR. The complainant then has to sign over in the said recorded FIR.
The Police are obliged to give FIR to the complainant. It should be noted that an FIR can even be registered by a person who is alleged to have committed a crime.
What steps to take if the police refuse to register an FIR?
Send your complaint in writing to the Superintendent of Police (SP) through registered post.
Send a complaint to the concerned State Human Rights Commission or the National Human Rights Commission. Mention that the police are not enforcing the law or that they are being negligent and corrupt.
It is a crime to refuse to file FIR in India.
Refusal to lodge an FIR on jurisdictional ground amounts to 1 year of Imprisonment for the Police officials.
A petition can be filed and submitted to the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court / Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court. It requests to take Suo Moto Cognizance of the alleged contempt of the court. A copy of the letter is also sent to the concerned police officer. One can check for the status of the petition through an application under the Right to Information (RTI).
How to escalate your complaint?
Know that you can:
- Complain to the superintendent of police
- Approach to a judicial magistrate with your plea
- File the writ petition
- Complain to the state and national human rights commission.
You can write the complaint of your case and can send it by post to the senior officer of the police, Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of police. First, the superintendent analyses the complaint. Then sent to the High Court Chief Justice of the State.
A copy of the online police complaint is sent to the Chief Justice of the High Court of the State once it is analyzed by the Superintendent of the police.
You may send a written complaint in the form of the letter to the Concerned judicial metropolitan magistrate. After analyzing the letter magistrate will decide whether to take cognizance or not. An informant may also send an application to the judicial magistrate.
You can even file a writ petition in the Hon’ble High Court for the issuance of a writ of mandamus against the defaulting police officer. To give the reason why he has not registered the FIR, and why he should not be suspended from his position of police service for interfering in the administration of justice and disturbing the accused person.
Right to Compensation
A citizen can ask for damages/compensation, for the frustration and for the deprivation of life and liberty under Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
You can file a case with the State human rights commission or National human rights commission in written form. You will mention that the concerned police officer is not doing his duty. Disregarding law. Stating the disregard for the victim’s problems that could create a situation of mental trauma or frustration for the victim.
If a police official misuses their power against less privileged or someone who cannot read or write, an Application u/s 156(3) or Criminal Complaint u/s 200 of CRPC, 1973, can be filed. Also filed orally before the competent magistrate.
But in the recent era, things have been changed now. Refusing to file FIR is an offence. Follow up the above guidelines and do not be silent on the crime. The one who is doing the crime is equally responsible as the one who is suffering from it.