Registration of FIR

By Team Legal Helpline India, October 22, 2021


Registration of FIR in India is governed by the provisions of Section 154 of the CrPC. It contemplates that whenever any report of cognizable offense is received to the police officer, he will register a FIR thereafter investigate the matter. The pure construction of law contemplates that the police officer has no choice then to register the FIR as and when the report of a cognizable offense is reported. Due to historical reasons and the interplay of various factors, the police is reluctant in Registration of FIR despite the report of cognizable offense is made. It has also been observed that the police very often resort to divert the complaint and prolong the registration of FIR due to various extraneous considerations. The law related to registration of FIR has been settled several times by the Supreme Court but there is not much improvement and the police still dodges the complainant at times for registration of FIR.

The issue related to the registration of FIR has been subject matter of various judgements and was finally settled by the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of India in case titled as “Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P” Writ Petition No.68/2008. Several important directions were issued with regard to the registration of FIR and several eventualities were discussed at length.

 The Supreme Court contemplated the following situations:

  • Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
  •  If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
  • If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.
  • The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed.
  • The court also issued directions for action against the police officers who fail to register FIR despite the receipt of information disclosing the commission of a cognizable offence.
  • It was made clear by the court that the scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.
  • It was also clarified that in what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under: (a) Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes (b)Commercial offences (c) Medical negligence cases (d)Corruption cases (e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution.
  •  While ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be made time bound and in any case it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the causes of it must be reflected in the General Diary entry.
  •  Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all information received in a police station, we direct that all information relating to cognizable offences, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and meticulously reflected in the said Diary and the decision to conduct a preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above.

It is thus very clear that the courts are concerned about the registration of FIR under all circumstances without holding a trial of the veracity of the facts which may be true or may not be true at the stage of registration of the FIR.


It is also contemplated under the law that if the police refuses to register the FIR despite the report of a cognizable offense, the complainant has the choice to approach the courts. The complainant has to approach the court with an application under Section 156 (3) of the CrPC and seek direction from the concerned court of Magistrate for investigation. In the event of any direction being issued for investigation of the case, the police is bound to register the FIR and then investigate the matter.

Some cases, even the court refuses to issue a direction for registration of FIR on the facts so stated hence the complainant is given the choice to file a private complaint under Section 200 of CRPC and based on the same, the court of Magistrate may summon the accused. This is not a process of registration of FIR but a registration of the crime.

There is no fixed format of FIR but it should be like a statement of fact containing the specific details of the commission of crime giving the details of time, date, place of occurrence and the name with address of the accused or the criminal if known.

We have given a suggested format of FIR which is can be used after free download and modified accordingly.

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