How to file an FIR

हिंदी में पढ़ें
December 05, 2023
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Table of Contents

  1. What is an FIR?
  2. Who can file an FIR?
  3. Where can you file an FIR?
  4. Important things to keep in mind while filing an FIR
  5. Remedies are available in case the police officer denies to register the FIR 
  6. When can you file an e-FIR?
  7. Why do you need a Lawyer?

What is an FIR?

The First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by a police officer, containing information about the commission of a criminal offense, eg- murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, etc. The FIR is the primary and most important step in seeking justice against any criminal offense.

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Often people are reluctant in filing an FIR or approaching the police for reasons like-family honor, or they think that getting involved in court proceedings could lead to a lot of humiliation and defamation, or due to the fear or threats from the offenders, some even consider it a tedious process. Due to this fear of people, a lot of criminal activities occurring in our society go unreported. This in a way also encourages the criminals to commit further crimes. Hence, it is very important to file an FIR.

Related Post: How to file and register FIR online  

While there are few people who refrain from filing a legal complaint because they do not want to get involved in criminal proceedings, which can take years to get resolved, there are others who do not have complete information about what they should do in such situations. If you too want to file a legal complaint but have no idea about the legal procedures, have a look at this article to get a complete set of knowledge about how can you file an FIR and what can be done next.

A detailed procedure for filing a legal complaint in India is laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 . The following steps shall clear all the doubts that you may have in such a case-

Who can file an FIR?

An FIR can be filed by the victim of the offense that is to be reported, or any person on behalf of the victim if he/she is either dead or not in a state to make the complaint. A person who has witnessed the crime taking place can also file a legal complaint or any other person who has knowledge about the commission of an offense.

Where can you file an FIR?

An FIR can only be made for cognizable crimes i.e. serious offenses involving 3 or more years of punishment under the Indian Penal Code 1860 (rape, murder, theft). In case of non-cognizable offenses (that carry a punishment of less than 3 years), the police will read the matter and direct it to the magistrate. Generally, the FIR should be filed at a police station that is nearest to your place of residence or the place where the crime has taken place. However, if you have any confusion regarding the jurisdiction of the police station in which the FIR should be filed, you can even file a zero FIR in any police station. The police officer shall later transfer the case to the police station having competent jurisdiction in the case.

Related Post: How to file a criminal complaint

Important things to keep in mind while filing an FIR

1. The FIR should be filed soon after the occurrence of the incident that has to be reported. Any delay in filing the same shall have to be also specified in the report.

2. You must ensure that the police officer has taken down the report in writing if it has been narrated by you orally.

3. You must also ensure that the FIR is recorded in a language that can be understood by you.

4. You must specify all the relevant information you have, related to the crime that is being reported. Here, it becomes really difficult for a common man to understand what information is considered relevant information in the eyes of law. Following are a few of the details that you should necessarily mention in your FIR-

                -Who is the perpetrator of the crime?
                -Who has the crime been committed against – victim /complainant?
                -When was it committed (time)?
                -Where was it committed (specific place /locality/area)?
                -Why do you think it was committed?
                -Which way (the actual process involved) was it committed?
                - Were there any witnesses? (Names will be required here.)
                - What were the losses? (Money /valuables/ physical damage, etc)
                - Also if you have any evidence related to the crime

Consult:  T op Criminal Lawyers in India

5. Ensure that the arrival/departure time is mentioned in the F.I.R and the Daily Diary (DD) Register at the Police Station.

6. After the FIR has been recorded, carefully read the same and then sign it.

7. You must also ensure that the FIR has been recorded by the officer in the book that has to be maintained by him for this purpose by the State Government. 

Remedies are available in case the police officer denies to register the FIR 

You can directly meet the Superintendent of Police or any other official concerned and bring your complaint to their notice.

You can send your complaint in writing through a post to the Superintendent of Police concerned. If the officer is satisfied with your complaint, he shall either investigate the case himself or order an investigation to be made.

You can file a private complaint before the court having jurisdiction.

If the police do nothing to enforce the law or if they act in a biased or corrupt manner, then you can always approach the State Human Rights Commission or the National Human Rights Commission.

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When can you file an e-FIR?

An e-FIR or an online complaint can only be made against non-cognizable criminal offenses, which means the offenses while carrying less than three years of punishment to the offender as provided under the I ndian Penal Code, 1860. Some of the non-cognizable offenses are- assault, cheating, assault, etc. E-FIR is a process wherein an individual can go online and log into the specified website and file an FIR. In turn, he receives a confirmation receipt with the date, along with a specific FIR number. The complainant will have to log on to the portal and create a user ID and submit some personal information before proceeding to file the complaint. The complainant will subsequently have to visit the police station concerned, along with the E-FIR reference number, to complete the remaining procedural formalities before the police can proceed with further investigation.

Why do you need a Lawyer?

An experienced attorney can give you expert advice on how to handle your criminal legal problem owing to his/her years of experience in handling such criminal cases. A criminal lawyer is an expert on the laws and can help you avoid significant mistakes that may cause further harm or will require future legal proceedings to correct. Thus, by hiring an attorney you can ensure avoid delay and can seek justice quickly. A good criminal lawyer will guide you in the right direction, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case. Even if the FIR is against you, or if you need bail or need to be represented in front of the Court, it is a must that you hire a criminal advocate. You can also  ask a lawyer online  a free legal question using LawRato's Ask a Free Question service.


These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

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