How to Register FIR with Police? Oral Complaint or it written? Is it mandatory to submit written complaint to the Police? Is delay in registering FIR a ground for acquittal
Mode of Complaint to the Police - written or oral
There is a duty officer at in most of the Police Post for recording F.I.R. The complainant who visits the Police Station to lodge Report may bring a Written Complaint and present the same to the Station House Officer (SHO) or Additional SHO. The SHO would assign the complaint to the Duty officer or to some other police officer for recording of FIR. In case the informant wants to make a statement about the offence, it is required to be recorded in the FIR Book. The information would narrate to the Police the true version in own words.
Points to be remembered in preparing a complaint.
- Narrate basic information about you and your contact details.
- Circumstances under which the incident happened.
- Date, time, place and persons involved in the incident
- Write complete details about the incident so that Police Officer can investigate it properly
In many cases the information regarding the incident may not amount to First Information Report. It depends on facts and circumstances of each case as to whether the information that was first communicated to the police would amount to FIR or not. In many cases the information provided by the eye witness would be treated as FIR. A message or communication to be qualified as to be a First Information Report, there must be something in the nature of a complaint or accusation or at least some information of the crime given with the object of setting the police or criminal law into motion.
It is not necessary to include in FIR minutest details as to how the offence had taken place or it is not required to contain the names of the offenders or the witnesses. But it must at least contain some information about the crime committed as also some information about the manner in which the offence has been committed. A mysterious message recording an occurrence cannot be termed as an FIR.
Information about the crime or wrongful act must be given to
police without delay. Prompt lodging of First Information Report
rules out possibility of false implication of the accused or any
kind of deliberations or concoction of story or afterthoughts on
any aspect of the matter. Contrary to it, unexplained or
unjustified delay may adversely affect the case. The reason is
that delay in lodging report raises possibility of
deliberations, manipulations, falsehood, additions or
substitutions of facts or even that of culprit.
In many cases it is not is that delay in registering FIR has been argued as a ground for denying rights of the complainant or favoring accused for acquittal. In cases like insurance claim against theft of vehicle or article, delay in filing First Information Report is being shown as a ground to question genuiness of the complaint and to deny claim. So it is better to register the FIR without delay. If the aggrieved person is not able to register FIR immediately, the information to the Police can be given through some other representative.
If the Complainant was prevented with sufficient reason, and was not able to register complaint immediately after the incident, the FIR can be registered later also. In a recent Judgment, The Supreme Court of India held that delay in registering FIR cannot be a ground for acquittal in heinous crimes.
Delay in registering FIR cannot be used as a ground for acquittal - Supreme Court Judgment, 2016.
In 2016 the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that delay in registration of an FIR in heinous crimes like dowry harassment leading to death of the wife or abetment by husband to commit suicide is not a ground for acquittal in all cases, the Supreme court has held. A Bench of Justices Deepak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said, "It will be useful to remember that delay in lodging the FIR or complaint is not fatal in all cases. The Court must show some sensitivity in cases of present nature (dowry death) where the victim's closest relation - mother is a poor helpless lady. Even a well-to-do person may suffer a state of mental confusion when struck by such a tragedy. The prosecution in such cases is likely to be delayed further if the deceased has left behind children. The issues relating to their safety and custody often require higher priority."
The Bench said occurrences of the present nature require lodging of criminal case against persons who are already in the category of relation by virtue of matrimonial ties through the deceased and it is not always easy to take a decision whether to lodge a criminal case against a relation or not. Hence in such cases the factum of delay has to be dealt with sympathetically keeping in mind the mental condition of the close relations of the victim.
The Bench said the story of the deceased young lady (Rekha), aged about 25
years who was forced to commit suicide by the unfortunate situation and
circumstances surrounding her life, resembles the tale of so many similar young
women who end their life due to untold miseries and hardships faced by them
within the confines of the four walls of their matrimonial home. All of them
enter such home with hope of leading a long and blissful married life but this
hope, invariably, does not last long, nor their life."
In the present case the victim left behind a son then aged about ten months and she was also mothering a life of twenty weeks in her womb and she committed suicide by consuming poison unable to meet the dowry demand of her husband.
The appellant Satish Shettya and both his parents were acquitted for offences punishable under Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Dowry Act and under Sections 498-A and 304-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the only ground that there was delay in filing FIR.
Important Case Laws, Citations of Supreme Court, High Court and District Courts
Indian Penal Code (IPC)
Important Case Laws, Citations