Zero FIR in India: Ensuring Justice for All

This Blog has been written by Mahboob Gaddi pursuing LL.B from LC-II, faculty of law, University of Delhi.

Introduction:

Law means rules and regulations for society from time to time law needs to change society needs change there was difficulty in reporting crime due to the jurisdictional of the police station. Indian criminal system is based on English law. The criminal system needs to change from time to time.  To address this issue, the concept of Zero FIR (First Information Report) was introduced. Zero FIR allows victims to file complaints at any police station, regardless of jurisdiction, ensuring quick action and expedited justice. In this article, we will explore the importance of Zero FIR and discuss notable cases, such as the Nirbhaya case and the  Asharam Bapu case, which have benefited from this provision.

ZERO FIR

What is Zero FIR?

 

Zero FIR means the process of filing complaints by removing jurisdictional complexities. It empowers individuals to lodge a First Information Report at any police station, regardless of where the incident occurred. The Zero FIR is later transferred to the appropriate police station for further investigation and legal proceedings.

It has brought significant improvements to the Indian legal system. It ensures that victims are not denied justice simply because the police station they initially approached lacks jurisdiction. Zero FIR allows victims to start legal proceedings promptly, minimizing unnecessary delays and ensuring access to justice.

Zero FIR is particularly significant in cases involving crimes against women, such as sexual assault and harassment.  Zero FIR  enables victims to report incidents immediately and seek justice, even if they are outside their home jurisdiction. This provision ensures that law enforcement agencies take immediate action and provide necessary protection to victims, irrespective of their location.

 

Who Can Register a Zero FIR?

An FIR can be registered by Following Person given Below:

  1. Victim Himself
  2. Family Person
  3. Relatives
  4. Any other person who knows about facts and incidents on behalf of the victim[1].

 

Provisions from the Law

 

Zero FIR is based on Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) Act 1973. Section 154   mandates that every police officer must record the information given to them by the complainant, regardless of jurisdiction. It emphasizes the importance of promptly registering and investigating complaints to ensure justice for victims.

Cases where Zero FIR is used:

 

  1. Mukesh & Anr vs State For Nct Of Delhi & Ors on 5 May, 2017[2]

In this case in 2012  the young medical student was brutally gang raped on moving bus in Delhi, Leading to her death.

In this case, Victim friend Immediately approached the nearest police station to file a complaint. A Zero FIR was registered, allowing for a swift initiation of the investigation. This facilitated immediate medical attention for the victim and the preservation of crucial evidence. Eventually, the perpetrators were convicted and punished, highlighting the effectiveness of Zero FIR in expediting justice.

  1. Saint Shri Asharam Bapu vs State on 1 October, 2013[3]

 

In this case, in 2013 horrific incident took place in Jodhpur, Rajasthan but Zero FIR is registered in New Delhi by Victim and her parents. The provision of Zero FIR enabled the prompt initiation of the investigation, leading to the arrest of  Asharam Bapu  and subsequent legal proceedings. The case highlighted the importance of Zero FIR, particularly when dealing with influential individuals, and demonstrated its role in ensuring justice for victims.

 

Conclusion:

Zero FIR has significantly improved access to justice for crime victims in India. By simplifying the complaint registration process and eliminating jurisdictional barriers, it ensures swift action and minimizes unnecessary delays in investigations. Cases like the Nirbhaya case and the  Asharam Bapu case showcase the importance of Zero FIR in promptly addressing heinous crimes and securing justice for victims. It is crucial to raise awareness about Zero FIR among the general public and ensure its effective implementation to uphold principles of justice and equality for all.

 

[1] https://blog.ipleaders.in/zero-fir-meaning-significance/

[2] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/68696327/

[3] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/23249594/

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