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154. Information in cognizable cases.

(1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given

orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him
or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such
information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be
signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book
to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in
this behalf.
(2) A copy of the information as recorded under sub-section (1) shall be given
forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.
(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police
station to record the information referred to in sub-section (1) may send the
substance of such information, 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, in the manner
provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in
charge of the police station in relation to that offence.
First Information Report- First information report is not defined in the Code It may be
defined as follows:
(1) It is an information which is given to the officer in charge of police station;
(2) Information must relate to a cognizable offence;
(3) It is on Information first in point of time;
(4) It is on the basis of this information that investigation into the offence
In Ravi Kumar v. State of Punjab (AIR 2005 SC 1929), the Supreme Court stated that
FIR is a report giving information of the commission of the cognizable crime which may
be made by the complainant or by any other person knowing about the commission of
such offence. It is intended to set the criminal law in motion.
It was held in State of Harayana v. Ch. Bhajan Lal (1992 Cr.LJ 527 SC) that when
any information disclosing a cognizable offence is laid before the in charges of a police

station, he has no option but to register the case on the case on the basis thereof. A cryptic
and anonymous telephone message which did not clearly specify a cognizable offence
cannot be treated as a First Information Report. The mere fact that such a report is first in
point of time does not itself clothe it with the character of F.I.R.
Who may lodge FIR: - Section 154 of the code does not require that the report must be
given by a person who is a victim or his/her relative/friend or a person who has seen
the incident or has personal knowledge about the occurrence. The only requirement
of the section is that such information/report must disclose the commission of a
cognizable offence. The said fact is sufficient to put investigating machinery in
action. (Hemraj v. State of Punjab, AIR 2003 SC 4259)
Where F.I.R is lodged The general rule is that ordinarily the information about the
offence committed is to be given to the police station having territorial jurisdiction where
the offence has been committed. But this does not mean that it cannot be lodged
elsewhere. In State of A.P v. Punati Ramube (1993 Cr LJ 3684 SC) the police
constable refused to record the complaint on the ground that the said police station had no
territorial jurisdiction over the Place of crime. It was held by the Supreme Court that
refusing to record the complaint was a dereliction of duty on the part of the constable
because any lack of territorial jurisdiction could not have prevented the constable from
recording information about the cognizable offence and forwarding the same to the police
station having jurisdiction over the area in which the crime was said to have been
Object of F.I.R The object of insisting upon prompt lodging of the report to the police
in respect of commission of an offence is to obtain early information regarding the
circumstances in which the crime was committed. Delay result in the embellishment and
the report gets bereft of the advantage of spontaneity. There is also danger of introduction
of a coloured version exaggerated account or concocted story as a result of deliberation
and consultation. Though the importance of F.I.R made promptly cannot be minimised
the mere facts that it was immediately made after the incident cannot rule out any

embellishment in the version about the incident given by the prosecution. Where F.I.R
was found to have been written after inquest report was prepared it was held to have lost
its authenticity (Balaka Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1975 SC 1962). The information
contemplated by this section is usually given by the complainant; on the basis of this
information investigation is commenced by the police. As a matter of fact all statements,
whether one or more, relating to the commission of cognizable offence made to the police
before the commencement of investigation may be called first information report But it is
neither customary nor necessary to mention every minute detail in the report such as the
overt acts attributed to such of the accused which had to be narrated and proved at the
trial (Podda Narayana v. State of A.P., AIR 1975 SC 1252)
Importance of F.I.R First information report is important from many points of views.
It is a statement made soon after the occurrence, hence the memory of the informant is
fresh and it is also unlikely that he had opportunities of fabrication Delay in giving
information is therefore viewed with grave suspicion. The First information need not
contain the name of witnesses or other minute details. Where the first information report
is also a Dying Declaration it can be used as substantive or primary evidence as a dying
declaration. Where FIR can be tendered in evidence under any provision contained in
chapter II of the Evidence Act, such as dying declaration or as a part if informants
conduct under Section 8 it can be used as substantive evidence. In Savi and another v.
State of Tamil Naidu (1981Cr. LJ 736 SC) the Supreme Court observed that where it is
alleged that the original FIR was suppressed by the police officer and was substituted by
another and on requisition being made by the Court the police officer failed to produce
either FIR book or general diary at the police station or in the Court, an inference can be
drawn that original FIR was suppressed and thereby prosecution case becomes suspicious
Delay in filing F.I.R neither the Cr.P.C. nor the Limitation act prescribes any period of
limitation for filling FIR. A mere delay in lodging FIR, therefore, cannot be a ground to
through away the case of prosecution. But long and unexplained delay may create doubt
or raise suspicion as to hoe the incident has happened or accused persons were involved.
Delay in giving first information can be condoned if there is satisfactory explanation.

Whether the delay is so long as to throw a cloud of suspicion on the deeds of the
prosecution case must depend upon a variety of factors. Where the delay in filing F.I.R is
due its being lodged at a wrong police station, it was held to be reasonably explained.
Where the accused himself gives the first information the fact of his giving the
information is admissible against him as evidence of his conduct under Section 8 of the
Evidence Act. If the information is non confessional it is admissible against the accused
as an admission under section 21 of IEA and is relevant. But a confessional First
Information Report by the accused to a police officer cannot be used against him in view
been of Section 25 of the Evidence Act. The Supreme Court held that if in a rape case
lodging F.I.R was delayed for ten Days, the Delay will be deemed to have been
reasonable explained where the honour of the family was involved and its members had
to decide whether to take matter to the Court or not.
Evidentiary value: - Though FIR is an important & valuable document, it is not a
substantive or primary piece of evidence of the facts stated therein. It can be used for
the purpose of corroborating or contradicting the informant. It also cannot be used
for the purpose of corroborating or contradicting witnesses other then the
informant. (Alagarsamy v. State, AIR 2010 SC 849)
Quashing of FIR: - If the proceedings are initiated malafide or in violation of article 21
of the constitution, the high court can quash them under section 482 of the code or by
issuing the writ of Mandamus restraining the police from misusing their powers.

156. Police officers power to investigate cognizable case. (1) Any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate,
investigate any cognizable case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area
within the limits of such station would have power to inquire into or try under the
provisions of Chapter XIII.
(2) No proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in
question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered
under this section to investigate.

(3) Any Magistrate empowered under section 190 may order such an investigation as
Under this section the police is empowered to investigate into a cognizable offence without
order of a Magistrate or without a formal first information report. If the Police do not
investigate the Magistrate can order the investigations but if police investigates, the
Magistrate cannot prevent them from investigating. The statutory right of the police to
investigate cannot be controlled or interfered with by the Court. The Court may or may not
take action when a charge sheet is preferred by the police after investigation but its
function does not begin until that stage.
The later part of sub-section (1) enables the police to investigate cognizable offences
committed beyond their local jurisdiction.
It was held Madhubala v. Suresh Kumar (1997 Cr. LJ 3757 SC) that once a complaint
disclosing a cognizable offence is made before a Magistrate, he may take cognizance upon
the same under Section 190(1)(a) or order an investigation by the police under Section 156(3)
Cr. P. Code. Whenever a Magistrate directs an investigation on a complaint the police has to
register a cognizable case treating the same as F.I.R. Once such a direction is given under
sub-section (3) of Section 156 the police is required to investigate into that
complaint under Section 156(1) and on completion of investigation to submit, a
police report in accordance with Section 173(2) on which a Magistrate may take cognizance
under Section 190(1)(b) and not under section 190(1)(a).