INDIAN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

F.I.R. is the abbreviated form of First Information Report. It is the information recorded by the police officer on duty, given either by the aggrieved person or any other person about the commission of an alleged offence. On the basis of the F.I.R. the police commences its investigation.

Who can file an F.I.R.

Any person can file an F.I.R. He need not be the aggrieved person. It may be merely hearsay and need not be by the person who has had first-hand knowledge of the facts.

Where to file an F.I.R

An F.I.R. can be filed in the police station of the concerned area in whose jurisdiction the offence has occurred. It must be made to the officer-in-charge of the police station and if he is not available the Assistant Sub Inspector is competent to enter upon the investigation.

How to file an F.I.R.

When a wrong has been committed and the aggrieved person or any other person wants to file a F.I.R. it shall be filed in the following manner.

  • Go to the police station and meet the officer-in-charge.
  • Step by step in an orderly sequence narrate to the officer every information relating to the commission of the offence.
  • The officer shall reduce the information given in writing.
  • The information given shall be signed by the person giving it.
  • The information given shall be entered in a book to be kept by the officer.
  • COPY OF THE INFORMATION AS RECORDED SHALL BE GIVEN FREE OF COST TO THE INFORMANT.

where an offecer-in-charge refuses to record the information

If the officer in charge refuses to record the information, the information may be sent in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him.

Once the F.I.R. has been registered the investigation in the case shall begin. In criminal proceedings once a Police Officer receives information about the commission of an offence he is entitled to start investigation of the matter. Investigation includes all the proceedings of collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or by any person who is authorized by the Magistrate in his behalf.

Your Rights

  • No male under the age of fifteen years or woman shall be required to attend at any place other than where they reside.
  • The police officer shall orally examine the person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
  • A person is not bound to answer those questions, which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.
  • No statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of investigation in writing shall be signed by the person making it.
  • No police officer shall prevent any person from making in the course of any investigation any statement, which he may be disposed to make of his own freewill.

Your Duties

An F.I.R. can be filed in the police station of the concerned area in whose jurisdiction the offence has occurred. It must be made to the officer-in-charge of the police station and if he is not available the Assistant Sub Inspector is competent to enter upon the investigation.

Such person is bound to answer truly all questions relating to the case put to him by the officer.

No police officer or other person shall offer or make any such inducement, threat or promise to the person being questioned.

A summon is a court order to an individual to appear in court at a specified time and place. A summon may be issued in both criminal and in civil cases.

How is a Summon served ?

  • Every summon shall be served by a police officer, or by an officer of the court issuing it or any other public servant.
  • The summon shall if practical, be served personally on the person summoned, by delivering or tendering to him one of the duplicates of the summons.
  • Every person on whom a summon is served shall sign a receipt on the back of the other duplicate.

Service when persons summoned cannot be foun

Where the persons summoned cannot be found, the summons may be served by leaving one of the duplicates for the person with some adult male member of the family residing with him, and the person with whom the summon is left, shall sign a receipt on the back of the duplicate.

A servant is not a member of the family.

Summons may be served by post to a witness

A court issuing summons to a witness may simultaneously direct a copy of the summons to be served by registered post addressed to the witness. When an acknowledgment purporting to be signed by the witness or an endorsement is made by the postal employee that the witness refused to take delivery of the summons has been received, the Court issuing the summons may declare that the summons has been duly served.

In case the service of summons is evaded the court may issue bailable or non-bailable warrants.

Person arrested to be informed of grounds of arrest

Every police officer arresting without warrant shall communicate to the person being arrested, full particulars of the offence for which he is arrested or other grounds of arrest.

Person arrested to be informed of right to Bail

Where a police officer arrests without warrant a person accused of a bailable offence, he shall inform the person arrested that he entitled to be released on bail and that he may arrange for surety on his behalf.

When searched receipt of the articles taken to be given

Whenever a person is arrested but the person arrested cannot furnish bail, the officer making the arrest may search such person, and place in safe custody all articles, other than necessary wearing apparel found upon him and where any article is seized from the arrested person, a receipt showing the article taken in possession shall be given to such person.

Person arrested to be taken before Magistrate Or Officer in charge of Police Station

Astrong police officer making an arrest without warrant shall, without unnecessary delay and subject to the provisions for bail, take or send the person arrested before Magistrate having jurisdiction of the case, or before the officer in charge of a police station.

What is Forgery ?

Forgery may be termed as the fraudulent making or alteration of a writing to the prejudice of another man's right. A person commits forgery if he:

  • 1. Makes any false document or any part of it,
  • 2. With an intent to:
  • cause damage or injury to the public or any person,
  • support any claim or title,
  • cause any person to part with property,
  • cause any person to enter into express or implied contract,
  • commit any fraud or that the fraud may be committed.

For Example: B, picks up a cheque on a banker signed by D, payable to bearer, but without any sum having been inserted in the cheque. B, fraudulently fills up the cheque by inserting the sum of ten thousand rupees. B, commits forgery.

Punishment

Who ever commits forgery shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to two years, or with fine or both.

Where the forgery is committed with intent to cheat then the punishment shall extend to seven years and will also be liable to fine.

Where there is fraudulent cancellation or destruction of the will, authority to adopt or valuable security, then the person committing such mischief shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine (Sect.477).

What amounts to cheating ?

Where there is delivery or destruction of any property or alteration or destruction of any valuable security resulting from the act of the person deceiving, then this section comes into force. It must be proved that the complainant parted with his property acting on a representation, which was false to the knowledge of the accused, and the accused, had an dishonest intention from the outset.

Under this section property does not necessarily mean having money value or market value. Even if the thing has no money value in the hands of the person cheated, but becomes a thing of value in the hand of person who may get possession of it, as a result of the cheating practiced by him, then also it would fall under the meaning of the term 'property'.

Punishment

Who ever cheats and dishonestly induces the delivery of property shall be punished with an imprisonment, which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

FAQ - Criminal Law

Exercising the right of private defence or what is also known as self defence is one of the exceptions that the law recognizes. By virtue of this, a person commits no offence, in some circumstances, even if he takes the life of another. This right is discussed below.

The right of private defence is a very valuable right recognized in all democratic and civilized societies. It says that every person has a right to defend himself and his property against any threat, danger or violence.

The law does not expect a person to behave like a coward when confronted with dangerous situations. Law requires people to rise to the occasion in such situations. It is perfectly justifiable to use force, if it is needed, to protect oneself from an unlawful attack.

It is the primary duty of the state to protect the life and property of its subjects. But no law, however vigilant it may be, can control each and every troublemaker in the country. Therefore law confers the right of private or self defence on people. Nothing is an offence which is done in private defence. (S.96 of IPC)

Illustration

B, a lady is attacked by a drunken person who attempts to rape her. B, desperately trying to safeguard her modesty, gets hold of a knife and stabs her attacker who dies as a result. Here B is not guilty of any offence because she was only defending herself.

The right of private defence begins as soon as there is an imminent danger to your body or property and it continues as long as this danger exists.

Illustration

K aims a strike at R with a thick stick. R somehow avoids the blow and gives K a spear blow. K dies. R has not committed any offence. All R has done is to protect himself since there was a reasonable fear in his mind that death or grievous hurt would be caused to him.

Nothing is an offence, which is done by a Judge while acting judicially. It is a privilege conferred on the Judge. (S. 77 of IPC)

Consent plays a very important role in criminal law. Its presence or absence makes all the difference between innocence and crime. For example, if you have sexual intercourse with a girl of over 16 years, who gives her consent, there is no offence. But if the act is done without her consent, it would be rape. However it may be noted that consent is irrelevant when a person has sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 16 and such act amounts to rape even though her consent is given. It further makes no difference if the male was under a genuine mistake about the age of the female who gave her consent. Consent is defined in S. 90 of IPC.

Yes, if it is very urgent and if the patient is in no condition to give his consent. In cases of emergency or unconsciousness (of the patient), no consent is required and the doctor can do whatever is necessary to save the patient's life. However it is to be noted whatever the doctor does in such situations must be in the best interests of the patient.

In life-threatening situations, doctors are not required to consult with parents or guardians of minor patients. The normal rule is that a doctor must seek the permission or consent of the parent or guardian of a minor patient before performing any risky operation.

*Note: Causing miscarriage is an offence even if it is done with the consent of the woman or her guardian. But if it is done to save the life of the woman, it will not be an offence (S. 91 of IPC).