Difference between FIR and Charge sheet

Difference between FIR and Charge sheet

Author : Mohammad Riyaz

In this article, we will look at the legal aspect of FIR & CHARGE SHEET and how these two functions work in the procedure of the Indian legal system, and how these two functions are important to the criminal justice system (here procedure refers to CrPC 1973).

First, I would discuss the FIR-

What is the FIR?

Basically, the term FIR meaning is the first information report.

The term first information report is not directly defined under the Code criminal procedure,1973. Section 154(1) of the Code, however, stated that the information given regarding any cognizable offence is to be recorded by the officer-in-charge of the station.

FIR means any information recorded by an on-duty officer given by an aggrieved person or any other person either in writing or made orally about the commission of Cognizable offence.

The term cognizable offence means: The police have powers in cognizable offences that police can arrest a person without a warrant or also can initiate the investigation without the permission of the magistrate.

The concept of Zero FIR:

A complaint can be lodged at any police station irrespective of their jurisdiction of the police station but the investigation will be taken up by the police in the place of where the incident happened and mentioning of that area in FIR report. The sanctity of the legal process remains the same in zero FIR. it’s very needed when the victim or other aggrieved people who can’t find the right police station to file their complaint. Zero FIR maintains the gravity and truth of the report.

Who can lodge an FIR?

A person who knows about the commission of a Cognizable offence committed by someone else. It’s not necessary that only the aggrieved person who suffers from crime should file the complaint. Even a police officer who comes to know about the crime can file an FIR himself/herself.

The importance of FIR: an FIR is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police take up investigation of the case.

What a person should mention in the FIR:

Name and address;

date, time and location of the incident where the crime happened

True factual details,

The info must be definite and clear, not baseless

Things not to do:

false information, it can mislead the case and the investigation

Distort or false information

The procedure of filing of an FIR:

A person can directly approach to the police station where he meets the officer in charge and describes the whole incident. When the information is given orally, the police must write down. It is the right of that person who is going to file the FIR that he should obtain the copy of FIR after completion, and the

police authority will provide him/her free of cost. Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by

the person giving the information. In case if that person who can’t write or read must put their left thumb on the recorded document.

In case if FIR is not registered:

A person can meet the superintendent of police & other higher rank of police inspector like DIG and also can send the letter in writing to these concerned officers. On satisfaction of gravity of the incident, superintendent of police shall either investigate the case himself or order an investigation to be made.

Legal aspect of CHARGE SHEET

The charge sheet is a complete inquiry report done by the investigation officer based on the FIR. At the time of completion of the investigation, the police officer in charge should submit it to the concerned magistrate. Once the charge sheet has been done, the court decides as to who among the accused has sufficient prima facie evidence against him to be put on trial. The police do not have a time limit to file the charge sheet, Even the magistrate cannot compel the police to file the charge sheet in a particular period of time.

The time frame of the charge sheet to be prepared after FIR when accused in jail:

  1. 90 days, where the investigation relates to an offence punishable with date, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years;
  2. 60 days, where the investigation relates to ant other offence.

Section 173 of the code of procedure: That the investigation officer requires to file a report before the magistrate after the collection of evidence and examination of witnesses are done with.

In charge sheet mainly content requires i.e. section 173(2) of CrPC:

  • The name of the parties;
  • The nature of the information;
  • The names of the persons who appear to be acquainted with the circumstance of the case;
  • Whether any offence appears to have been committed and, if so, by whom;
  • whether the accused has been arrested;
  • whether he has been released on his bond and, if so, whether with or without sureties;
  • whether he has been forwarded in custody under section 170.
  • The officer shall also communicate, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government, the action taken by him, to the person, if any, by whom the information relating to the commission of the offence was first given.

Even after the filing of charge sheet if the court is not satisfied, the magistrates may order for further investigation. For further investigation, police can do further investigation under section 178(2) of CrPC.

A brief comparison between FIR & charge sheet:

  • An FIR lodged due to some unlawful or cognizable cases happened but charge sheet is prepared after FIR and charges the accused of those crimes.
  • Fir is the beginning of the investigation but after ending of investigation charge sheet can make by police.
  • Every FIR must be registered promptly and without wasting of time but in cases where accused has arrested, police in such cases submit the charge sheet in a prescribed time period.
  • FIR is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence but a charge sheet is a formal document of accusation prepared by a law enforcement agency.
One Comment