This article is written by Diksha Trivedi, a student of Nirma University, on the possibility of registering FIR in a Police Station without Jurisdiction
On 2 January, a the heinous crime of rape occurred in Gurgaon and was registered via a zero FIR filed at RK Puram police station in Delhi. Gurgaon police conducted a medical examination of the rape victim. A judicial order was given by a Delhi local court to take quick action on the complaint of the victim following which on Sunday night a Zero FIR was registered at RK Puram police station and the case was transferred to Sushant Lok police station in Gurgaon. Now does this procedure stand on roots? Before going into the legality of procedure, it is important to note the decision given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case the of Bimla Rawal V. State.
ZERO FIRE: THE CONCEPT
As per the concept, Zero FIR is a FIR that can be filed in any police station regardless of the place of incidence or jurisdiction. The same is later transferred to the l Police Station having competent jurisdiction after investigation and filing with a magistrate. What distinguishes Zero FIR from Ordinary FIR is that in the latter, FIR is registered by a serial number in police station but in the former one an FIR is instituted at any Police Station other than the jurisdictional Police Station concerned, that is the place where incident took place, and such an FIR is registered but not numbered. Such unnumbered FIR simply is then forwarded to the concerned Police Station where it gets numbered and further acted upon. Hence those FIR’s are known to be Zero FIR’s. For instance an Offence is committed within the jurisdictional limit of ‘A’ police station & FIR is lodge at ‘B’ police station. Then by the procedure, if it is revealed that the offence is committed within the jurisdiction limit of the other police station the FIR will be channelize to that police station as ZERO number FIR. The Police Station registering the Zero number FIR is required to make some prelude investigation into the case before directing it to the concerned Police Station.
IS ZERO FIR LEGAL?
The provision of Zero FIR came up as recommendation in Justice Verma Committee Report in the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, devised after the December 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in the territory.
However, policemen by and large deny knowing about provisions of “Zero FIR” and direct the complainant to Police Station having jurisdiction but Clause (e) of Section 460 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) says that if any Magistrate not empowered by laws to call for cognizance of an offence positioned in section 190 (a) or (b) erroneously but in good faith does take cognizance, the proceeding minutes will not be set aside merely on the grounds of not being empowered for same. If at the time of initiation of FIR, it looks evident that the crime was committed outside the jurisdiction of the concerned police station, then the police must be appropriately ordered to register a Zero FIR, and ensure that the FIR is transferred to the jurisdictional police station. If there is a failure in compiling with the instruction of FIR registration on acknowledgement of information about the offence, it will invite prosecution of the police officer under section 166A which provides a rigorous imprisonment of six months be extended to two years. This evasion of responsibility may invite the departmental action for the police officer.
The Centre has asked all the states to make amendments in the state laws with respect to the registration of the Zero FIR on receipt of complaint or information about a crime without getting into argument related to the jurisdiction. Central Government, keeping in mind, the influence of the Zero FIR has warned by invoking the amendment in the criminal law that if there is any refusal with regards to the registering of the Zero FIR, it will lead to imprisonment. This ordered amendment empowers the police to register the complaint acknowledged in police station other then the jurisdictional police station where crime has been committed. The concept of Zero FIR is a free jurisdiction FIR, brought up in order to avoid the delay in filing the crime and to avoid wastage of time that adversely impacts the victim and gives a free way to offenders getting an opportunity to escape from the clutches of the law.
- As per static report, there is a crime committed against women in every 1.7 minutes, and rape is committed within every 16 minutes recorded in this country and domestic violence done in every 4.4 minutes against every girl. Zero FIR is provided as a right to women which she can exercise as required. Zero FIR in cases of any such heinous crime done against her in any place or at any moment acts as a remedy in the hands of the women.
- Zero FIR is also a great power to the passengerson rail journey for a direction in making the travel safe and hassle free for the millions of passengers on frequent journey. So, as per the requirement the victim can file the case against theft in the place that is nearest to their approach while travelling.
- Certain grave crimes like accident, murder and rape that require immediate action from the concerned authorities and to collect evidentiary proof from the party and place like samples, deposition from the eye witnesses and circumstantial evidences. A Zero FIR helps take into account of this prelim action regardless of deciding the territorial limits of the crime.
As is the well settled rule when there is certain good there is always something bad attached to it. And the biggest drawback is in the basic concept of the Zero FIR provision i.e., for say a crime occur in a place and reported in other jurisdiction and if there is certain collusion between the police staff of the station where the FIR instituted and the offender then the whole root of the provision collapses.
While going through the upper hand the ZERO FIR looks like a great concept in seeking a way to ameliorate criminal justice in a preliminary stage and deciding on the gulp of truth. But s requires a third eye to monitor the procedure . For such purpose a better option is if a committee simultaneously supervising the process that will include at least an ordinary citizen and scrutinising the whole FIR instituting process is instituted. It is believed if you have
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