A ZERO FIR can be filed at any police station, irrespective of Place of incident or jurisdiction.
Zero FIR is one such provision, which might help the victim to appeal for investigation without wasting time. To understand Zero FIR, first let us know what is a FIR, i.e. First Information Report.
FIR means First Information Report
A First Information Report (F.I.R.) is the first information in point of time regarding the commission of a cognizable offence that is given to the police and is recorded in the manner provided under section 154 of the Cr.P.C [These are the offence/case in which Police can arrest a person without warrant].
Who Can Register An FIR ?
Any person who has knowledge about the commission of a cognizable offence may register an F.I.R. with the police. Such person may be:
- the victim of the offence, or
- a family member of the victim, or
- a witness to the offence, or
- the person who has committed the offence, or
- a police officer, or
- any other person who has come to know about such offence.
Different aspects of a FIR are listed below:
Nature and right
- If information about the cognizable offence is given orally, the police must write it down after the report is verified and signed by the person giving the information.
- The person giving information has right to demand that the information recorded by Police be read to him.
- Person has right to demand copy of FIR free of cost.
- If the person is not able to read and write then they can give their left hand impression on the document after being satisfied about the correctness of report.
- The FIR should be filed immediately after the occurrence of the incident. Delay in filing led to suspicion as to the authenticity of crime thus causes major hamper in getting justice.
- Any Delay has to be adequately explained.
- Duration of investigation should not be more than seven day as per verdict of Supreme Court. And if there is further delay then it has to be reasonably justified.
Where to Register an F.I.R.?
The entire territory of India is divided into various police stations that exercise jurisdiction over a particular territory. An F.I.R. can be registered in the police station that has jurisdiction over the place where the offence has allegedly been committed.
For example, if somebody snatches away Neha’s mobile phone while she is walking on Shivaji Marg in North Campus of University of Delhi, she can lodge an F.I.R. in the Kamla Nagar Police Station- since Shivaji Marg falls within the territorial jurisdiction of the Kamla Nagar Police Station.
Many victims who have not faced legal proceedings ever in their life, are unaware of such proceedings and provisions provided by law. Due to lot of complain and misuse by Police and powerful corrupt people, Zero FIR concept is highly popular among People for prompt action and justice.
The concept of Zero FIR :
The concept of zero FIR came after the Nirbhaya case of December 2012, On January 18, 2013 after strong protests by the citizens of India.
The provision of Zero FIR came up as a recommendation in Justice Verma Committee Report in the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 after the heinous Nirbhaya case of December 2012.
The provision of Zero FIR :
If you are not sure about the police station that exercises jurisdiction over the place of the offence or you cannot go to that police station for some reason, you can register the F.I.R. at the nearest police station. A FIR can be filed at any police station irrespective of place of crime and area of jurisdiction. This provision is for everyone . When in trouble Men and women will be benefited equally. Such police station can then forward the F.I.R. to the police station that has the jurisdiction to investigate the case.
The procedure of Zero FIR:
The concept Zero FIR is an applaudable effort for ensuring that the procedure of investigation in motion starts without wasting much time. When the victim files a FIR, if it becomes apparent that the crime was committed outside the jurisdiction of the police station, then a FIR is lodged by the police under the serial numbers “00”. It is then transferred to the concerned police station under which the case falls so that investigation process starts swiftly [Clause (e) of Section 460 of the Criminal Procedure Code]. Zero FIR allows the authorities to think about the initial action that they should take rather than trying to figure out what had happened at the crime scene initially. One great advantage is that the victim is not compelled to run from pillars to post, her complaint is lodged considering her statements to be gospel truth.
For example, if an offence is committed within the jurisdiction of the Kamla Nagar Police Station and you approach the Lajpat Nagar Police Station, an F.I.R. (called “zero F.I.R.” because it is not numbered at the Lajpat Nagar Police Station) should be registered at the Lajpat Nagar Police Station. Later, the Lajpat Nagar Police Station can transfer the F.I.R. to the Kamla Nagar Police Station where it will be numbered. Thus, the police cannot refuse to register an F.I.R. on the ground that the offence was not committed within their jurisdiction.
Refusal to record Zero FIR
- In any case If the Officer in charge of the police station refuses to record the information, person can directly write to the Superintendent of Police (SP) and records the complaint. The SP can start the investigation himself or direct any other official subordinate to him to start the investigation.
- Supreme court has passed a verdict that if any police officer refuse to file FIR then police department has to take Disciplinary action against them and also prosecute them under Indian Penal Code
- Individual can go to Human Rights Commission also.
Registration in case of woman
- To simplify the process of FIR for woman and ensure no technical hazards for prompt registration.
- The victim can lodge FIR in any police station of the State and subsequently it can be transferred to the concerned PS for investigation. These FIR are called Zero FIR
- Under Section 154 of Criminal Penal Code provides that information pertaining to offences given by woman victims shall be recorded by a woman Police officer or any woman Officer.
- As per Police Circular Order 343/13 regarding standard operating procedure (SOP) for registration of FIR and Investigation of Crime against Woman & Police Circular Order 338/13 regarding prompt investigation of cases in case of woman has been issued by the Government.
Impact of Zero FIR:
- The infamous Asaram Bapu Rape case:
The report against The self-proclaimed Goodman Asaram Bapu was booked under Zero FIR. The complaint about the crime committed in Jodhpur was lodged in Delhi by a minor girl who hailed from UP.
On August 21 Delhi Police then booked Asaram under the charges of rape and wrongful confinement. The case was later transferred to Jodhpur police, where the actual crime took place.
Why it is needed:
- 93 cases of rapes are reported every day in India. Provisions like ZERO FIR are essential to bring out the process of justice in a very efficient manner. Many cases go unsolved because of lack of evidence, which was lost because of wastage of time.
- Heinous crimes like murder, rape and accidents require immediate action from the concerned police authorities so that they take appropriate samples, eyewitnesses, and other circumstantial details.
- Zero FIR is one of the greatest asset when you are traveling & unfortunately become a victim of any cognizable crime .You can reach any police station and file a zero FIR anytime.
The Zero FIR is a free jurisdiction FIR. It was introduced in order to avoid the delay in filing the crime that adversely impacts the victim. The government should run campaigns to make people aware of such provisions and peoples should also show more concern about knowing their rights as well as when & how to use them.
“Silence is Ignorance, Ignorance is crime , Say Yes to Justice”
Know your rights, citizens!