Swati Jindal Garg & Associates

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ’s)
On Criminal Law

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What is an FIR?

FIR is an abbreviation for First Information Report. It is only available in the case of a
cognizable offence. A non-cognizable offence report (NCR) might be filed. The assimilation
of information relevant to the commission of a cognizable offence is the context of a FIR.
The aggrieved party or any other individual with a clear understanding of the situation can
file such a report. Section 154(1) of the CrPC requires such information to be registered. An
FIR is the first stage in the police investigation of a case and the subsequent start of court
proceedings leading up to a possible prosecution.

Can Police refuse to file an FIR?

NO, the police authorities cannot refuse to file an FIR. If the police refuse to file an FIR
without compelling cause, a complaint can be filed with a higher-ranking authority in the
hierarchy, such as the concerned Commissioner of Police. According to criminal law, the
police must file a FIR for all cognisable offences. If the application to the Superintendent of
Police does not result in a satisfactory resolution, a complaint under Section 156(3) of the
CrPC can be made with a judicial magistrate. The magistrate will investigate the reliability of
the accusation and, if satisfied, will direct the police to file a FIR.

Rights of the arrested person in India

An person who has been accused of a crime and who has been arrested in connection
with the case has the right to a trial that is expedient, thorough, and fair. According to the
principles of criminal law, delayed justice amounts to a denial of the same.

The individual being arrested have the protection of the following rights.
1. Right to the knowledge of the grounds for the arrest.
2. Right to inform their family and acquaintances of the event of the arrest.
3. Right to a lawyer for the representation of their interests in the court of law.
4.Right to free legal aid in the case of an inability, on the part of the accused, to avail legal counsel.

5. Right to seek release from arrest through bail.
6. Right to remain silent.
7. Right to be expediently produced before a judge.
8. Right to seek inspection by the Medical examiner.

What is the difference between congnizable offence and a non - cognizable offence?

In the context of criminal law, a cognisable offence is one for which a police officer is
empowered, under the First Schedule of the IPC (Indian Penal Code), to lodge a FIR, arrest
without a warrant, and begin investigations even in the absence of a court order. Murder,
theft, kidnapping, rape, and dowry deaths are examples of cognisable offences. In general,
such offences are serious and frequently result in a sentence of three years or more. They
might be both bailable and non-bailable.

In contrast, a non-cognizable offence under criminal law is one in which the police lack the
authority to register a FIR, make an arrest, or commence an investigation without the
availability of a warrant obtained with the express approval of the court. These are
considered minor offences. This category includes instances of intimidation, non-lethal
scuffles, individual abuse, fraud, forgery, negligence, stalking, and the like.

What is anticipatory bail?

The provision for anticipatory bail is addressed under Section 438 of the CrPC.
In the event that an individual is afraid of being arrested because of their involvement in a
non-bailable crime, they can apply for anticipatory bail even before the relevant FIR is filed.
The only consideration is that the grounds for fear of such an occurrence must be proved as
rational or obvious.

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