First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police under Section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1974, on receiving information regarding the commission of a cognizable offence. Only after the FIR is registered, the police starts investigation of the case and the procedure sets in motion.
In the past few years, there has been a significant rise in the number of false FIRs being registered. Law protects such victims and provides them with several remedies. In order to safeguard oneself from a false complaint, the accused can approach the High Court by filing an application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and get the frivolous FIR quashed. Along with the application, one needs to produce a copy of the FIR and necessary evidence to prove their innocence.
Section 482, CrPC states:
“ Saving of inherent powers of High Court Nothing in this code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.”Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
Grounds on which an FIR can be quashed by the High Court
- To secure the ends of justice.
- To prevent abuse of the process of any court.
- Where the parties have settled the disputes through compromise.
- Where there is no prima facie to constitute the offence so registered.
- Where the offence so registered is non-cognizable.
- Where the evidence so collected during the investigation does not disclose any kind of offence.
- Where it is proved that the FIR was registered with any malafide intention.
Various Stages at which a FIR can be quashed under Section 482
- After the registration of an FIR or before filing the charge sheet.
- After filing the charge sheet and before the commencement of the trial.
- After the commencement of the trial.
Punishment for a person who lodges a false FIR
Once the false FIR is quashed by the High Court, the person who had lodged a false complaint can be prosecuted in the following ways:
- The public servant can initiate proceedings against the complainant of the false complaint under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. This section states that if a person knowingly gives false information to any public servant, with the intention of causing injury or annoyance to any person, he shall be punished with imprisonment up to six months, or fine upto one thousand rupees or both.
- The accused can file an application under Section 211 of the IPC against the complainant for knowingly registering the false complaint and intending to cause injury. Section 211 says that if a person falsely institutes criminal proceedings or falsely charges any person, knowing that there is no sufficient ground, such person shall be punished with imprisonment upto two years, or with fine, or both. It also states that if the false charge is of an offence which is punishable with death, imprisonment for life or for seven years or more, then the person making such charges shall be punished with imprisonment upto seven years and shall also liable to fine.
- The accused can also file a case of defamation under Section 499 read with Section 500 of the IPC. The person who was falsely charged, after getting the false FIR quashed, can file a case for criminal defamation against the person who initiated the false charges and such person shall be held liable for imprisonment upto two years, or with fine, or both.
- The accused can also file a civil suit against the complainant for seeking damages and compensation.