Anyone with the information about the commission of an offence may provide it to the police. The information regarding the commission of a cognizable offence transmitted to the police officer is known as a FIR (First Information Report), and the individual delivering the information is known as the Informant. An FIR has significantly more evidential value than any other statement made by the police during the course of the inquiry.
Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure includes the provision for recording a FIR.
The goal of Zero FIR is to create a FIR that is free of jurisdiction. After the heinous Delhi rape case, the Justice Verma Committee recommended that it be included in the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013.
The Amendment was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 19, 2013, and the Rajya Sabha on March 21, 2013, and it gained the President’s assent on April 2, 2013, and it is deemed to have entered into force on February 3, 2013. Through the Criminal Law Amendment, the 2012 Rape case resulted in various legal ramifications, one of which was the concept of Zero FIR.
The concept of ZERO FIR basically is that, If the stated offence happened beyond the jurisdiction of their police station, no police officer can refuse to file a FIR. The police officer is required to file the FIR (also known as a zero FIR) and transmit it to the appropriate police station.
This is done to ensure that evidence in specific cases involving sexual assault or traffic accidents is collected on time and does not go missing. In such instances, evidence protection from tampering and corruption is critical, hence the concept of Zero FIR is advantageous. Murder, rape, and accidents necessitate rapid action by the responsible police authorities, who must collect appropriate samples, eye witnesses, and other circumstantial details. Instead of trying to find out what transpired at the crime site, police might use a zero FIR to document the initial action performed.
When a police station registers a FIR, the officer usually assigns a serial number to each one and registers it. In the instance of a Zero FIR, however, the FIR is neither numbered or is numbered as ‘0.’ When registering it at a police station other than the jurisdictional police station, it is transferred to the station with competent jurisdiction after a pre-investigation is completed. This is where the name ‘Zero’ FIR comes from.
In Kirti Vashisht v. State &Ors., the Delhi High Court made the following observations:
“If any information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence is received by any Police Station, the said Police Station is duty bound to lodge the FIR,” according to section 154 Cr.P.C. If, however, the crime did not occur within the jurisdiction of the specified Police Station, the ‘Zero FIR’ must be moved to the concerned Police Station for investigation, where the offence was committed… The victim can file a Zero FIR at any police station, regardless of where they live or where the incident occurred.”
As a result, a zero FIR is a jurisdictionally free FIR. It ensures that people who have knowledge about the commission of a criminal offence are properly heard and are not turned down due to a lack of jurisdiction. It also assures that a police officer does everything possible to ensure that the victims of the alleged crime receive justice. A complaint cannot be rejected solely because a police station is not within the jurisdictional limits of the place where the crime was committed.
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