Investigation Procedure & Scheme of Cr.P.C. relating to FIR

In Damodaran P. v. State of Kerala reported in AIR 2001 SCC 2637 the Supreme Court explaining the scheme of the Cr.P.C. relating to an FIR in the real sense and the procedure of investigation to be followed, pursuant thereto as herein below extracted :-

An information given under sub-section (1) of Section 154 Cr. P.C. is commonly known as first information report (FIR) though this term is not used in the Code. It is a very important document. And as its nickname suggests it is the earliest and the first information of a cognizable offence recorded by an officer in charge of a police station.

It sets the criminal law in motion and marks the commencement of the investigation which ends up with the formation of opinion under Section 169 or 170 Cr. P.C., as the case may be, and forwarding of a police report under Section 173 Cr. P.C.

It is quite possible and it happens not infrequently that more informations than one are given to a police officer in charge of a police station in respect of the same incident involving one or more than one cognizable offences. In such a case he need not enter every one of them in the station house diary and this is implied in Section 154 Cr. P.C.

Apart from a vague information by a phone call or a cryptic telegram, the information first entered in the station house diary, kept for this purpose, by a police officer in charge of a police station is the first information report FIR postulated by Section 154 Cr. P.C. All other informations made orally or in writing after the commencement of the investigation into the cognizable offence disclosed from the facts mentioned in the first information report and entered in the station house diary by the police officer or such other cognizable offences as may come to his notice during the investigation, will be statements falling under Section 162 Cr. P.C.

No such information / statement can properly be treated as an FIR and entered in the station house diary again, as it would in effect be a second FIR and the same cannot be in conformity with the scheme of Cr. P.C.

Take a case where an FIR mentions cognizable offence under Section 307 or 326 IPC and the investigating agency learns during the investigation or receives fresh information that the victim died, no fresh FIR under Section 302 IPC need be registered which will be irregular; in such a case alteration of the provision of law in the first FIR is the proper course to adopt.

Let us consider a different situation in which H having killed W, his wife, informs the police that she is killed by an unknown person or knowing that W is killed by his mother or sister, H owns up the responsibility and during investigation the truth is detected; it does not require filing of fresh FIR against H the real offender who can be arraigned in the report under Section 173(2) or 173(8) Cr. P.C., as the case may be. It is of course permissible for the investigating officer to send up a report to the Magistrate concerned even earlier that investigation is being directed against the person suspected to be the accused.

The scheme of Cr. P.C. is that an officer in charge of a police station has to commence investigation as provided in Section 156 or 157 Cr. P.C. on the basis of entry of the first information report, on coming to know of the commission of a cognizable offence. On completion of investigation and on the basis of the evidence collected, he has to form an opinion under Section 169 or 170 Cr. P.C., as the case may be, and forward his report to the Magistrate concerned under Section 173(2) Cr. P.C.

However, even after filing such a report, if he comes into possession of further information or material, he need not register a fresh FIR; he is empowered to make further investigation, normally with the leave of the court, and where during further investigation he collects further evidence, oral or documentary, he is obliged to forward the same with one or more further reports; this is the import of sub-section (8) of Section 173 Cr. P.C.

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