October 27, 2021

What is First Information Report with Important Case Laws


Everyone around the world is familiar with the term or say abbreviation – FIR that is First Information Report. In layman term, when a cognizable offence or act is committed and police receives information about the offence, a written document is prepared by the police, which is nothing but FIR. We have section 154 of CrPC, 1973 which deals with FIR, and it states that –

  1. “Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read Over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.
  2. A copy of the information as recorded under sub- section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
  3. Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in subsection (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.”[1]

However, one cannot relate FIR with complaint as they both are two separate terms, FIR is filed only when a cognizable offence is committed and police does investigation for that matter whereas in case of complaint, investigation is not done until and unless a competent authority directs the police.

So, FIR is considered as an important document in a case, it can be called as the prime evidence of a case as it directs or somewhere provides a brief knowledge and facts of the case. We have numerous judgments passed on regarding FIRs, but in this paper, the researcher is going to frame some important landmark judgements on FIR, which do have provided another level for that matter.

Landmark Judgments

  1. State of Haryana and others v. Bhajan Lal and others, 1992 AIR 604, 1990 SCR Supl. (3) 259

It was a landmark judgement in respect to FIRs because after this case, court introduced following guidelines related to FIR which has to be followed. In this case, supreme court held that, police officers are duty bound to lodge the FIR and to send the occurrence report before the Magistrate. Occurrence report has to be submitted with the copy of FIR in the court. Occurrence report is nothing but the report where police officers notify the Magistrate that if hey are going to investigate the said matter or not, and if not then has to  provide proper reasons. Also, it was held that, in the absence of FIR, complainant can write an application to SP of the district reporting about the said matter and on the basis of the application, he may provide a written order to investigate for the same as provided under section 156 (3) of CrPC. [2]

  • Ramesh Kumari v. NCT of Delhi 2006 SC

In this case it was held that, Police officers are free to conduct a preliminary investigation to find whether it is a cognizable offence or not as FIR is filed only for the incognizable offences and it is compulsory to lodge FIR for a cognizable offence. However, the preliminary investigation has to be done only after the filing the FIR. [3]

  • Lalita Kumari v. Government of UP and others 2013 SC

Basically, this case talks about the advantages for lodging of FIR. Lodging of FIR is the first step to be taken for the process of justice to the victim. In this case, court held that – A preliminary enquiry can be conducted before lodging of FIR even though it is a cognisable offence such as matrimonial disputes, commercial offences, corruption cases, medical negligence cases and cases where there has been a delay of 3 months or more in lodging the FIR.[4]

  • TT Antony v. State of Kerala 2001 SC

This case talks about the Cross FIR, in this cross FIR, the court clubs together both the FIR upon which the same investigating officer investigates the case.[5]

  • State of Andhra Pradesh v. V.V. Panduranga Rao 2009 SC

In this case, supreme court held that, “If the information about the offence is given on telephone and the information is non-cryptic then such information with subject to lodge FIR.”[6] This decision has also referred in the case Surajit Sarkar v. State of West Bengal 2013 SC.[7]

  • Ramdas v. State of Maharashtra 2006 SC

In this case it was held that – if there is an unexplained delay in lodging of FIR then the court may get suspicious about the role of the informant and may seek an explanation about the same from the informant. [8]

  • State of Punjab v. Gurmeet Singh 1996 SCC (2) 384

In contrast of the above case of Ramdas v. State of Maharashtra, supreme court held that– No need of explanation in cases of Rape or other sexual offences as this delay is self-explained. [9]

[1] Section 154 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (indiankanoon.org)

[2] State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal and Ors. – Law Times Journal

[3] Ramesh Kumari vs State (N.C.T. Of Delhi) And Ors on 21 February, 2006 (indiankanoon.org)

[4] Lalita Kumari vs Govt. of U.P.& Ors on 12 November, 2013 (indiankanoon.org)

[5] T.T. Antony vs State of Kerala & Ors on 12 July, 2001 (indiankanoon.org)

[6] State of A.P vs V.V. Panduranga Rao on 4 May, 2009 (indiankanoon.org)

[7] Surajit Sarkar v. State of West Bengal | Calcutta High Court | Judgment | Law | CaseMine

[8] Ramdas And Others vs State of Maharashtra on 7 November, 2006 (indiankanoon.org)

[9] The State of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh & Ors on 16 January, 1996 (indiankanoon.org)

Author- Garima Bhaisare