Section 154 of Cr.P.C. deals with the FIR. It is the information given to the police by the aggrieved person or any other person about the alleged commission of an offence. It is the first step which initiates the investigation. The oral statement is reduced to writing and is signed by the informant to make that person responsible for that information.
Place and Time Limit of FIR
The FIR should be filed at the police station of the area in whose jurisdiction the crime has been committed. But a police officer cannot refuse to lodge an FIR on the ground that the area of offence does not fall under its jurisdiction. FIR can be filed at any police station and later it is transferred to the concerned police station of the place of offence. It is to ensure that the first informant does not have to wander from one place to another for lodging FIR and prompt FIR is lodged. Prompt filing of FIR is very important as it gives weight to the authenticity of FIR, and rules out the possibility of concoction and fabrication of the given information. There is no definite time duration fixed for the lodging of FIR. Judges have to use their discretion while deciding about the credibility of FIR based on the delay. It is the duty of the prosecution side to explain the cause of delay. If such delay is substantiated by the reasonable hindrances which came in the way of lodging of FIR, then such delay cannot be used to dilute the credibility of prosecution story.
Alternate Remedies when Police refuses to file FIR
If the police officer refuses to lodge an FIR of a cognizable offence, the informant can make a written complaint to any senior officer of police, or the Superintendent or the Commissioner of Police. If the senior officer is satisfied about the commission of the cognizable offence, then he may give directions to his subordinate police to investigate the matter or may do it himself.
If the senior official also do not lodge the FIR without giving any reasonable points then the informant can approach the Judicial Magistrate under Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C., requesting for the lodging of FIR by the police and commencement of investigation in the matter.
SECTION 166A(c), IPC
The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013, inserted Section 166A (c) in I.P.C. which states that whoever, being a public servant:
(c) fails to record any information given to him under sub-section (1) of section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in relation to cognizable offence punishable under section 326A, section 326B, section 354, section 354B, section 370, section 370A, section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376E or section 509, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Landmark Case for Registration of FIR
A Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. Of U.P. [(2014) 2 SCC 1] has given a set of guidelines for making the registration of FIR mandatory under section 154 of Cr.P.C., in cases where the information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence. If the information does not reveal the cognizable offence prima facie, then a preliminary inquiry may be conducted for ascertaining whether the offence committed is cognizable or non cognizable.