What Is Zero F.I.R.? - [Provisions & Punishment For Failure]
F.I.R. is a written document prepared by police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is generally a complaint register with the police by the victim of a cognizable offense or by someone on his or her behalf, but anyone can make such a report either orally or in writing to the police. Investigation by the police starts after an F.I.R. is recorded. Under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 the procedure for filing an FIR is mentioned.
So, What is Zero F.I.R.? - In Simple Manner, it is a F.I.R. that can be filed in any police station, irrespective of the jurisdictional limitations and location of the incident and the same can be later transferred to the appropriate Police Station. The respective police station takes in the F.I.R. and marks it as a Zero F.I.R. by giving it serial number Zero and immediately transfer the documents over to the concerned jurisdiction. Zero F.I.R. is beneficial for the serious and heinous crime.
The provision of Zero F.I.R. 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, in may cases,policemen usually deny knowing about Zero F.I.R. and direct the complainant to concerned Police Station but Clause (e) of Section 460 of the Criminal Procedure Code 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 F.I.R., 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 F.I.R., and ensure that the F.I.R. is transferred to the jurisdictional police station.
On failure by the police officers to file zero F.I.R. will make them, eligible for imprisonment under section 166A which provides a rigorous imprisonment of six months be extended to two years.