What ZERO FIR? How to file a report

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Everyone knows about FIR. But have you heard about Zero FIR?

What is a zero FIR?

In which cases, zero FIR can be lodged, how is it lodged and how effective is this zero FIR?

You will find the answers to all these questions in this article.

What is FIR?

The First Information Report is a type of document, on the basis of which the police starts their action, to punish the offender.

For taking action against the criminal, offender we file a complaint with the police for the crime is called First Information Report or FIR.

In the FIR, the police can arrest the accused without a warrant. It is only recorded in cognizable offences such as murder, rape, theft, assault etc.

What is NCR (Non-Cognizable Report)?

In minor incidents like non-cognizable offences such as abusive speech, the police do not have the right to arrest anyone without a warrant.

Such a case has to be sent to the Judicial Magistrate first. In such cases, NCR (Non-Cognizable Report)is filed.

Difference between NCR and FIR?

If any of your goods have been stolen, an FIR will be filed. Whereas if it is lost, then NCR will be registered.

After the FIR the police initiate action to punish the accuse. There is a risk of misuse of something you have stolen.

In such a situation you may get caught in a crime, which you have not done.

To avoid such situation FIR should be lodged. An FIR should be lodged immediately after the incident. It is also necessary to give clear reasons for the delay.

NCR (Non-Cognizable Report) and FIR (First Information Report) are two different types of reports related to criminal reports:

FIR (First Information Report): – An FIR is a formal written document filed with the police by the victim or a witness of a cognizable offense.

Cognizable offenses are more serious crimes where the police can take immediate action without needing a court order.

An FIR initiates the criminal investigation process, and the police are required to register it, conduct an investigation, and take appropriate legal action. – FIRs are crucial in serious cases like murder, theft, robbery, and other major crimes.

NCR (Non-Cognizable Report): An NCR is a report filed for non-cognizable offenses, which are generally less serious in nature, such as minor disputes, defamation, or simple assault.

In non-cognizable cases, the police cannot take immediate action without a court’s permission. – When someone files an NCR, the police do not register it as an FIR but may file it as a complaint.

What is Zero FIR?

Zero FIR

Generally, an FIR should be lodged in the police station near the site of the incident.

But if the victim is required to lodge a complaint at an outside station under any circumstances, then the complaint is later transferred to the concerned police station.

It can be transferred only through a senior officer. The FIR lodged in the police station or any other area beyond the boundary of the incident is called zero FIR.

Zero FIR is also called NIL FIR.

Justice Verma Committee Report recommended the provision of Zero FIR, after the December 2012 gang rape of a 23- year old girl in Delhi.

“In addition to every individual being able to register an FIR at any police station irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the crime was complained of in writing, every individual must also be able to register his complaint online on a designated website.

After this, a complaint number should be automatically generated so the complainant can track the FIR.

The same complaint would then be generated at the nearest police station and a copy would also be provided to an ombudsman office located in every district.

It will still be the case that an FIR cannot be registered anonymously and the individual who has registered an FIR online will then have to go to any police station to verify his identity and the FIR. [Justice Verma Committee Report]”

Zero FIR Under BNSS 2023

Zero FIR (First Information Report) is a concept introduced to ensure that a cognizable offense can be reported and registered at any police station, regardless of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

The idea behind Zero FIR is to facilitate the prompt registration of a complaint without any delay, especially in cases where immediate intervention is required.

Certainly, the inclusion of the Zero FIR provision is beneficial for victims since police officers are obligated to record the initial information, irrespective of territorial jurisdiction.

While Section 154 of the CrPC mandates FIR registration, the equivalent provision in BNSS is covered under Section 173.

For convenience, the relevant portion of Section 173 reads as:

173. (1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, irrespective of the area where the offence is committed may be given orally or by electronic communication and if given to an officer in charge of a police station,— (i) orally, it shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it; (ii) by electronic communication, it shall be taken on record by him on being signed within three days by the person giving it…

Frequently Asked Questions related to ZERO FIR

  1. What is the Purpose of A Zero FIR?

    The purpose of a Zero FIR is to help victims of a crimes (such as women, senior Citizen and other person who are not able to go to police station) to complaint quickly, in the nearest police station, without having to go from one police station to another in search of jurisdiction. It is helpful if you know/suspect a serious crime has been committed, and urgently need an FIR registered so that police can start their investigation and proceed ahead.

  2. Where Can I file a zero FIR?

    You can file a Zero FIR in any police station. It can be the nearest police station to you. It need not be the police station in whose jurisdiction the crime took place. Earlier there was no specific provision for Zero FIR under the IPC but now under section 173(1) of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023 anyone can file Zero FIR.

  3. What is the procedure to file a zero fIR?

    The procedure to file a Zero FIR is the same as a regular FIR. Instead of giving an FIR number which is registered with the police station, the police will give you any registered number and the compliant will be registered as ‘0.’ Once it is transferred to the respective police station with jurisdiction, it will be assigned a registration number.

  4. What if police refuse to register zero FIR?

    As per section 173(1) of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023 registration of Zero FIR is mandatory and you can register from the comfort of your home without rushing to police station.

  5. What is the provision for registration of zero FIR

    The provision for registration for Zero FIR is provided under section 173(1) of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023. This provision allows a victim to file a First Information Report (FIR) anywhere in the country, regardless of where the crime occurred and police will have to take action on the compliant.

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