An FIR (Initial Information Report) is a report prepared by the police after receiving information about an identifiable crime. Section 154 of the 1973 Criminal Code deals with the procedure for filing an FIR. FIRs can be registered at the police station. 

Registering an FIR 

To register an FIR, it is best to go to the nearest police station or online with the details of loss or damage of evidence.  Its always advisable to register the FIR as soon as possible, otherwise the chances of loss of evidences are high 

Who can register an FIR? 

Anyone can register an FIR, including a victim of a crime, a witness to a crime, or anyone with the knowledge of a crime. 

FIR Content 

FIR contains information about the victim and the details of the case, including the date, place, manner and time of the crime, and details of witnesses. FIR details cannot be changed or deleted once submitted, but additional information may be included at any time during the FIR investigation. Police decides the type of crime or offence. There are two types of Offence,

  1. Cognizable Offence: In this offence police can catch and investigate without a court order without a judge’s order. Examples of crimes include murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, and dowry death. 
  2. Non-Cognizable Offence:  In this offence police cannot arrest anyone without a warrant and start investigating the matter themselves. The police must seek an order from the judge under Article 155 (2) of the Criminal Code, otherwise the police have no power to do anything. Examples of crimes include forgery, forgery, defamation, public slander and sedition 

How to file a FIR 

FIR can be offline and or Online  

Offline FIR 

Step 1: Go to the nearest police station and narrate the police everything 

Step 2: You can tell the police verbally or write down the details yourself. 

Step 3: If you narrate to the police verbally, the duty officer must write the same and make an entry in the general dairy or daily dairy. 

Step 4: If you make a complaint, be sure to bring two copies. One for the officer on duty, the other to keep the received copy by the police personnel 

Step 5: Once you have submitted your documents, the Police will check all the details. 

Step 6: The police will read you the complaint that he has recorded in the report  

Step 7: After the police have collected all the information, you must sign the FIR. 

STEP 8: Sign the report after making sure that the information in the police record is the same as what you have narrated. 

STEP 9: Duplicate copy of the FIR registered will be provided to you which has the FIR number, FIR date and station name. If you lose the copy of FIR, you can use these details to access the FIR online for free. 

What to do if the police do not file an FIR 

In rare cases, the police may delay filing an FIR and refuse to file an FIR, if the offences are cognizable and the police do not want to file an FIR, the following steps can be taken

  1. The Complainant can file a complaint with the SP (Police Inspector) or the District Court. 
  2. Write a complaint and send it to the superintendent of police. 
  3. Ask your lawyer for help when you go to the police. 
  4. Complain to the next police station in the locality. 
  5. Inform to some other person who will file the FIR on your behalf 
  6. Make a “complaint” directly with the district/judge, who if necessary, will order the police to lodge an FIR 

Online FIR 

 Step 1: Visit the police website on the state. 

Step 2: Select “Service” and may have to scrolled down. 

Step 3: If you want to make an online complaint to the police, select ‘Complaint’ from the online service box. 

Step 4: Register FIR/Complaint File accordingly. 

Step 5: After submitting the complaint you will receive a copy of the e-FIR in PDF format on your email ID. Print the report. You must complete your personal information when submitting an FIR. The following details may have to be recorded

  1. Enter Complaint Name – Enter the name of the person wishing to file the e-FIR. 
  2. Enter Father / Mother / Name – 
  3. Enter Complainant’s Address – Enter the full address. 
  4. Enter Complainant’s Mobile Number – 
  5. Enter The Complainant’s Email ID – Email ID is important as a copy of your e-FIR will be emailed to you for verification. 

What happens after FIR is registered

Once FIR is registered, police are legally bound to initiate the investigation of the case. 

How long the FIR Last 

Investigation officer must submit the report to the magistrate. Time period defined is 

  1. 60 days of filing an FIR (If the prescribed punishment for the offence committed under law is less than 7 years)
  2. 90 days of filing an FIR (If the prescribed punishment for the offence committed under law is more than 7 years)

Quashing of FIR 

There have been many instances where frivolous FIR’s are filed against individuals to harass them using the police machinery. However, the Supreme / High Court of India can exercise its powers under Section 482 of CrPC, to prevent abuse of the legal process

Although a petition can be filed under Section 482 of CrPC for quashing of an FIR, 

If the Supreme Court is convinced that the police are abusing their investigative powers, and in such cases, the Honourable Court can issue a writ o Mandamus restraining the police officer from misusing his legal powers and Quash the FIR. 


It is the FIRST STEP criminal procedure that leads to the trail and punishment of a criminal. Legal process starts from the time, FIR is registered, based on which the investigation and prosecution takes place 


  1. The Code of Criminal procedure, 1973 
  2. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

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