Zero FIR

By Harshita Kumari

Abstract

Zero FIR is type of FIR that could be lodged in any police station and a case could be begin on ground level from there until it’s transferred to the verifier’s Police station. Zero FIR is mainly used to be filed in case of mobility, traveling, robbery, theft, rape and sexual assault cases. Zero FIR is a term which is in record from 2013 and still everyone is not having awareness regarding this. So it could be beneficial tool for people around and mainly for women to use it.

Zero FIR is term that is very helpful to People who are roaming and for them it’s a tool to begin their case at the moment their accident occurred instead of waiting for it for them to be in their locality. 

Zero FIR is a tool that is a boon for each and every citizen of India.

Keywords: Zero fir, FIR, Police, Crpc

Zero FIR is the same as commonly known FIR (First Information Report) which must be registered in any criminal activity in the police station authorized to investigate it. Zero FIR is different from an ordinary FIR because that it is lodged in a police station that lies outside the location of the crime.

According to law, the Zero FIR should be following carried to the police station having authority under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC). This means Zero FIR is similar to an ordinary FIR but its serial number would be 0 until it reaches the particular police station having jurisdiction to take further actions.

An example of a zero FIR is within the Asaram Bapu case during which a minor girl was raped in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, but the victim filed Zero FIR against him in Delhi, a place distant from the place of the incident. It was the Justice Verma Committee that endorsed the concept of Zero FIR for inclusion in the criminal procedures, in the consequence of the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi on 12th December.

Case law:

  • In Kirti vs State, the court committee ordered Delhi police commissioner to appoint a standing order in each and every police station in capital territory region to accept any sort of information they receive which reveals the happening of cognizable offence even if the the police station is inept because of the jurisdictional limitations and then transfer the case to the competent Police station
  • The Apex court in Lalita Kumari v. Government of U.P. observed that it is mandatory to register a FIR under Section 154 if the complaint is related to a cognizable offence.
  • In State of Andhra Pradesh vs Punati Ramulu and others, here the Police station was incompetent of lodging the FIR because the constable who was supposed to file the Fir, refused to do so. The court acknowledged the failure of duty of the police constable and emphasized on his legal duty  to register  the information and then transfer it to the competent police station.

The concept of Zero FIR is to begin a jurisdiction-free FIR. It was introduced by the direction of the Justice Verma Committee in the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 after the horrible Delhi rape case. The Amendment was gone by the Lok Sabha on 19 March 2013 and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March 2013 and received the President’s assent on 2 April 2013 and is considered to have come into force from the 3rd day of February 2013. The 2012 Rape case led to many legal outgrowths through the legal code Amendment, one among which was the concept of Zero FIR.

On enrolling a Zero FIR, the police officer of that station can conduct any timely investigation required now to collect changeable evidence. Any investigative operations conducted by a police officer, notwithstanding having no authority, are guarded against being challenged on grounds of territorial sovereignty.

This is because of Section 156 (2) of the Cr. P.C contains an impediment that no proceeding of a police officer shall be claimed on the ground that he has no territorial power to investigate the case. In Satvinder Kaur vs State (Government of NCT Delhi the Supreme Court (SC) held that the police can investigate a case that does not fall under their jurisdiction.

The court held that even after the investigation is over if the investigation officer finds that the crime occurred outside his jurisdiction, then he is expected to submit a report under Section 170 of the CrPC and send it to the Magistrate having power.

Drawbacks:

One disadvantage of the Zero FIR is that the police station not having provincial jurisdiction over the case lodges the FIR to convince the complainant but may convey the FIR to the concerned police station immediately without making necessary introductory examination in the case.

Legal provisions for Zero FIR:

There is no specific provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure to accommodate Zero FIR.

• Nevertheless, Section 460 of the Code talks about ‘Violations which do not vitiate circumstances’, Clause € of the section states that If any Magistrate is not authorized by law to take cognizance of an offense under clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 190 and takes awareness of the offense irrespective of this, such a proceeding shall not be set apart merely on the ground that the Magistrate did not have the power to entertain the same.

• Under clause ( c)  of section 166A[vii] of Indian Penal Code, if any public servant fails to register any information given to him under sub-section (1) of section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, about cognizable crime… shall be punished with severe imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may elongate to two years, and shall also be responsible to fine.

Delhi High court issued directions on Zero FIR In Kirti Vashisht vs State & Ors delivered on 29 November 2019, the High Court of Delhi directed the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to issue circular/Standing order to all or any the police headquarters in NCT of Delhi and everyone concerned that if a complaint of cognizable offense is received during a Police Station, and the offense occurred in the jurisdiction of other Police Station, in that case, the Zero FIR shall be lodged by the Police Station which has received the complaint, and thereafter it shall be transferred to the concerned police headquarters .

What is the procedure to file a Zero FIR?

• If the knowledge is given orally, it should be decreased to writing.

• If it’s in writing, it shall be signed by the Informant.

• the knowledge shall be read over to the Informant so it are often verified.

• It shall then be recorded within the ‘station house diary’ or ‘case diary’ as prescribed by the government .

• The copy of the knowledge as taken down in writing shall tend to the Informant freed from cost.

Zero FIR is consequently a free jurisdictional FIR. It guarantees that persons with information regarding the appointment of a cognizable offense are adequately heard and are not turned down with the excuse of ‘lack of jurisdiction’. It also guarantees that everything potential is enough done by a Police officer towards guarding justice for the victims of the alleged offense. No complaint can be discarded merely on the ground of a police station not being within the jurisdictional limits of the place of performance of an offense.

Conclusion

Basically the conclusion for zero FIR is this that it’s beneficial and a helpful tool fir women around the country for them, for their protection against rape and sexual assault.  

In fact in case of traveling and mobility citizen it’s obvious that they need help. They need help while anything unwanted happened in way they will need a basic support that will be this zero FIR that will be filed there at time of incident.  

However, we can’t say that it’s easy to go for it as still all officers aren’t accepting to file this type of FIR in such cases on grounds of jurisdiction. It’s sole responsibility of government to make officials aware and also to make aware general public for this that in our society something like zero FIR exists. Zero FIR, is for people who are in way, who are away from their native place. Although after having this act it’s easy to go for it because it’s officially an act now. All people out there are free to go for this in case they feel like using this act.  

So for us it’s important to know our right and should be educated on this ground for such law. So that whenever you face some problems like that atleast you are having a tool for your safety. Zero FIR gives you that basic support and uprise your confidence for traveling even, just because if anything happened in between you can lodge a FIR.

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