We’ve all come across a point in life where we have heard instances where the police have refused to register an FIR. In this article, we will see five major reasons that the police use to justify their refusal to register the first Information report and how far they are valid.
You may read about FIR: How to write a FIRST INFORMATION REPORT and What Happens After You File An FIR? for more information on this topic.
Refuse to Register FIR because of Delay in time
They will look at the amount of delay. Even if there is a delay of a day or two days, let alone a few weeks or a few months, they will say because of this delay now registration of your FIR is impossible.
You have to tell them that it is extremely illogical on their part to give such reasons. The complaint must be taken. An FIR must be registered. If the offense is a Cognisable offence, the delay does not matter. The delay is something which is for the courts of law to consider and not the police.
Alternate Remedy in Law
The next objection that the police will have is you have an alternate remedy in law. “Why don’t you avail of it?”
The majority of the time, if there is any sort of case of cheating or criminal breach of trust. Or any of the ancillary offenses arising out of commercial transactions, the police will say, “but this is a civil dispute and We cannot do anything in this matter.”
You will have to explain to them that there might be a civil angle involved in it, but the law of this country, that is the law of the land is very clear. For example section 420, 406,468 IPC clearly mentions even breach of trust as a criminal offence in certain cases. They are all situations where you, as the victim have the right to lodge a police complaint and demand that the police investigate the offense that you allege the accused person has committed against you.
Another example that comes to my mind. On a couple of occasions when female persons have gone to the police to report workplace sexual harassment or outright molestation in those situations, the police refuse to register the FIR on the ground that there’s ‘The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) at Workplace Act’ and you should first bring the matter to the internal committee for redressal. “You must first go and file your complaint over there. We cannot help you over here”
And the same logic you have to give to the police here as well. These are both alternate remedies. I can choose to avail myself of either of them, both of them or none of them. And right now I am insisting that you register my complaint.
An FIR is not an application for enforcement of a writ where you need to exhaust your alternate remedies.
Proof for Complaint
The next objection that the police will throw your way. “What proof do you have now?”
If I go with the sexual harassment allegation, or if I go with an allegation of say, maybe me being punched on the face, or theft taking place there’s a major possibility that I will have no proof at the time of registration of an FIR.
So, How can we register a case when there is no proof in the matter? You’ll have to explain to them that your statement to the police is good enough proof in itself. Registration of an FIR does not need any proof and nor the FIR has to be an encyclopedia of all facts.
You do not need to tender any other proof. If you have any other proof, it helps. Or if you have proof, which is in the hands of the accused person, you have to explain to the police that it is their job to track down the accused person and get it recovered from them and build the case against the accused person.
Write on spot FIR
The next thing that the police may tell you is to give your statement in writing there at the police station itself. There have been various instances of bullies on a lot of occasions. Sometimes people prefer to give it in writing to the police or get typed it out by an advocate or someone from the legal profession.
Sometimes we write the FIR at a place other than a police station and when we go there to submit it, the police insist that we must sit there in the police station itself and write down the complaint without looking at the written complaint.
So, the question arises, “Is this legal?” Absolutely not. Not that it is mentioned in any law.
You’ll have to explain to the police that this is not some memory learning competition. It is their responsibility to reproduce the contents of the complaint into an FIR, which they are supposed to register.
They cannot have you memorize the complaint or sit down with you and write down in your own handwriting the facts of the complaint.
They may on a lot of occasions, take your written complaint and then deliberately add a certain point itself, make you again, write your grievance. And there will always be a little bit of dissemination. But at some omission, perhaps some addition, and then the police will hand it over to the accused person.
If they’ve taken a bribe, perhaps, or if they want to take a bribe and in that kind of a situation, the accused person can guarantee himself an acquittal because of the discrepancies in the two statements given to the police at the time of registration of the fir and the next and the last.
No Acknowledgement of FIR
What the police will do to you, which is something which they will almost always do is that they will not give you an acknowledgment of the complaint that you have submitted to them. On a lot of occasions, you will go to the police to say I’ve been cheated or I’ve been robbed or anything else for that matter.
The police will say, all right, you give us your complaint. We will investigate the offense and we will, we will update you in time. The difficulty is if you go and you wait for a couple of weeks along, a lot of occasions, there could be a counter case, just started against you by the accused person, especially if it’s a commercial transaction, or if you go after a week or 10 days or 15 days, the police will say we have no record of your complaint because even if you go to the court of the magistrate it will direct the police to register an FIR.
The police will outright deny receiving any copy of the complaint. So what are you supposed to do? You’re supposed to demand that the police give an acknowledgment of the date the time. And of course the, the stamp of the police station. On a photocopy of the complaint that you are submitting to the police.
If you do not do that, you will suffer the consequences where the police will say at a much, much later date that no such complaint exists in our records, because nothing was given to us. Now, if the police refused to give you an acknowledgment of the complaint that you are submitting to them in that kind of a scenario just click a picture of the complaint that you’re filing before them. And then email a copy of that picture, or just email the photographs or make it a PDF and email it to the concerned DCP or superintendent of police.
Please note it is your right to get a photocopy of FIR duly acknowledged by the police officer. This has been provided in 154(2) CRPC: A copy of the information as recorded under sub-section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
The police may refuse to register your FIR stating that the offense or matter is outside the jurisdiction of the police station where you have approached.
The question arises, where can an FIR be registered?
A plain reading of sections 154 and 155 of the CRPC reveals that an FIR related to a cognizable offense may be registered anywhere but an FIR relating to a non-cognizable offense can only be registered with the police station which has the jurisdiction of the area.
Furthermore, “The Union Ministry of Home Affairs vide communication February 6, 2014, while placing reliance on the dictum of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumar v. State of UP, inter alia directed registration of FIR irrespective of territorial jurisdiction through Zero FIR. It had advised that “when it becomes apparent that even if the offence has been committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station, Zero FIR would be registered and the FIR will then be transferred to the appropriate police station as per Section 170 of CrPC.”
“What to do if the police do not register FIR?”
The code of criminal procedure vide section 154(3)asks you to send your FIR or complaint in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police when there’s any refusal on the part of the police to register the FIR. Don’t forget to keep the acknowledgment receipt.
FIR UPSC QUESTIONS
No, the police cannot refuse to register FIR. In case they do so you can avail the remedy as mentioned in section 154(3) CRPC i.e by sending your complaint in writing to the Superintendent of police by post acknowledgement due.
Since police is a subject of the state, you will have to check for online FIR facility provided by your state government. Please call your nearest Police station and ask them if they allow for Online FIR registration.
FIR is the first step to get the authorities to notice your case. It gets the ball rolling. An investigation follows the FIR.
FIR is just an intimation to the police that such and such offense has taken place. An FIR once registered cannot be taken back or withdrawn. Quashing of FIR is altogether a different subject.
FIR sets the law in motion. First Information Report could however be used in evidence if it is corroborated and substantiated.
A law student with a mind for technology. A nerd who loves to learn.