So you want to file an FIR? Here’s how

Judging a police complaint can be a harrowing experience, especially if you are not wellversed with the letter of law. Who is a complainant? What is a complaint? What are the rights and legal safeguards available to a complainant? How do you ensure that your aggressor is brought to book? These are some of the questions most people have. Complaint & FIR
In criminal jurisprudence, it is a complaint that sets the criminal proceedings in motion. As per Section 2(d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a complaint can be given either orally or in writing against someone, known or unknown.
If you are a person aggrieved by a neighbourhood development or a not-sotrivial scuffle involving many persons, it is not necessary that you name and identify everyone in your complaint. You identify as many persons as possible and put the rest in the ‘others’ bracket. It is for the police to pick up leads from your complaint and other evidence, and track down the aggressors.
Though police in Tamil Nadu give you what is called a Community Service Register (CSR) number before registering an FIR, neither the CrPC or IPC or the Police Standing Orders has any such provision. The number could at best be an acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint.
So, a literate complainant would press for registration of an FIR under Section 154, incorporating his version of the incident. Though an FIR need not be an encyclopaedia containing every detail, the complainant must ensure that key portions of his complaint have found a place in the FIR. You are entitled to a copy of the FIR under Section 154 (2) of the Code “free of cost.”
Refusal to
register FIR

What if the police refuse to accept the complaint and register FIR?

S e c - t i o n 1 5 4 ( 3 ) cl e a rly s t at e s that if an official in charge of the police station refuses to receive the complaint, then you are entitled to send “substance of the information” to the Commissioner of Police or the jurisdiction Superintendent of Police “in writing, by post.” You can also approach the jurisdictional judicial/metropolitan magistrate for an appropriate direction, under Section 156(3), asking the police to register an FIR and investigate.
There is a provision to invoke the inherent provision of the High Court directly under Section 482, and obtain a direction to the police to register an FIR and investigate.
Direction petitions for fair probe
Section 482 could be invoked to ensure that investigation was fair and impartial. If a complainant is not satisfied with the manner in which the local police handles the matter, he can ask the court to either direct the police to probe and file a final report (chargesheet) under Section 173 of CrPC, or transfer the investigation agency itself.
In umpteen cases, the court has directed the local police to hand over cases to either the CB-CID or the CBI. It can also direct the police to complete the probe and file chargesheet within a time frame. At times, courts even specificy names or designations of officials who should either conduct or monitor the progress of the investigation.
As a complainant, you have the locus standi to oppose the grant of anticipatory bail or bail to the accused. Both at the bail stage and at the trial stage, a complainant enjoys the privilege of becoming an intervenor to assist the court.
(You can’t be wronged if you know your rights. This weekly column will give you a lowdown on your rights)

So you want to file an FIR? Here’s how


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