FIR and its Evidentiary Value

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First Information Report (FIR)

First information report is an information regarding the commission of cognizable offence to the police authorities and it can also be taken as a very good piece of initial evidence which has to be backed up by the narration of the eye witnesses.

Purpose:

Its purpose is to set criminal law in motion and to obtain first hand spontaneous information of occurrence in order to exclude possibility of fabrication of story or consultation or deliberation or complainant has time to devise or contrive anything to his advantage and to the disadvantage of others and to safeguard the accused of such like happenings/occurrences in FIR.

Essentials of FIR:

The following are the pre-requisites of First Information Report:

Relating to the commission of cognizable offence:

The condition that necessitate the recording of an information under this section are firstly, that it must be an information, and secondly, it must relate to a cognizable offence on the face of it and not merely in the light of subsequent events. FIR which does not alleged or disclose that the essential requirements of the penal provision are prima facie cannot form the foundation or constitute the starting point of a lawful investigation.

Shall be reduced in writing:

S.154 itself provides that when information relating to commission of a cognizable offence is given orally to an officer in charge of police officer, it shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction and the same to be read over to the informant. This section imposes duty upon the police officer to record the information given to him orally and after recording the same to read it over to the information. However, an omission to read over is not a serious infirmity by the scribe. As provided in this section it is not necessary that SHO himself should record the FIR, it can be written by him or any other officer under by direction.

Shall be signed by the person making it:

154 is the only section by which the police officer can compel an informant to sign the information recorded by him. The failure to sign the report by the maker may affect the credit that is to be given to his report but nevertheless it will be admissible in evidence.

Shall be entered in a book:

Section 154 Cr.P.C r/w rule 24-1 (2) of the Police Rules 1934 oblige the officer in charge of the police stations on receiving information as to the commission of cognizable offence to record the same in the First Information Report register as well as in station diary. The provision is meant to secure assurance in respect of a certain report having been made at a certain time. Absence of same of assailant, names of witnesses, weapon used in the daily diary of police, not be said to have been recorded at the time at which it was claimed to have been recorded.

Evidentiary value of FIR:

A First Information Report is a document for bringing the investigation agency into operation, it can’t be treated as substantive piece of evidence. However, at the same time it certainly furnishes a clue to the possible truth of the allegation against the accused as it is the earliest version of the prosecution case.

FIR itself is not a substantive piece of evidence unless its contents are affirmed on oath and subjected to the test of cross-examination. In view of the provisions of Articles 140 and 143 Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, FIR is a previous statement which can be used for the purposes of contradicting or corroborating its maker. So far as FIR is not proved in accordance with law it cannot be taken as proof of anything stated therein.

Mere mentioning of a name of a person in the FIR without other evidence in the case, would not be sufficient to connect him with the crime, nor the omission to give the name of accused would mean that in spite of such evidence as may be subsequent came on record, such accused person cannot be put to trial. This object of the FIR is to obtain an early information of an alleged criminal activity. It simply puts the machinery of law in motion for investigate and determination of the facts of the case.

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