Thursday, September 28, 2017

Importance of First Information Report (FIR)

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    What is First Information Report(FIR)?

    First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the 
    police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable 
    offence. It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point 
    of time and that is why it is called the First Information Report.

What is the difference between a complaint and a fir?
A criminal complaint is technically a complaint before a judicial magistrate, in writing, regarding a non cognizable offence for which an FIR can not be written technically. For example, criminal defamation u/s 499 IPC. ... 
An informal information to police is neither FIR, nor a complaint in strict legal sense.
How FIR is filed? What is the procedure for filing an FIR?
FIR is an important document because 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. Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence, including police officers, can file an FIR.
The procedure of filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. commission of a cognizable offence is given orally, the police must write it down. information or making a complaint to demand that the information recorded by the police is read over to you.
You can only file a criminal complaint if you are the actual victim of a crime. You must file the complaint within three months of the incident. You can make the complaint against a specific person or persons or against persons unknown. You can withdraw the complaint.

What can be done in case when Police Officer refuses to File an FIR? 

If a crime needs to be reported by you, and the police officer, on an unreasonable ground, refuses to register your FIR then Senior Officer can be approached. If still the FIR is not lodged, then a written complaint can be made to the nearest Judicial Magistrate. Then the Magistrate will order the police to register the FIR. These days there is E-filing of the complaint.

After the complaint has been registered, do not forget to take the receipt of the complaint.
The denial on filing the FIR by the police officer can be due to various reasons, one being – the issue is a pity one or if necessary territorial jurisdiction is not there in that police station. Crimes are classified into two categories as per law – ‘Cognizable’ and ‘Non- Cognizable’ offences. Only the FIR is registered in the cognizable offences whereas in the Non-Cognizable offences the Police is directed by the Magistrate to take the action. 

Crimes coming under the category of Cognizable Offences are Rape, Rioting, Dacoity, Murder etc. wherein the police can arrest without a warrant  

Non- cognizable Offences includes Forgery, Public Nuisance, Cheating, Fraud, etc.  where the police is not allowed to arrest without a warrant.
Remedying the Law – If you are refused by the police officer to file a FIR relating to a cognizable offence within its territorial Jurisdiction Under Sec 154(3), then senior Police officer or Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of Police can be approached with a written complaint. After being satisfied, the subordinate police officer will be directed by the senior officer to register the FIR.
If still the filing of FIR is not done by the police office then, a written complaint can be given to the nearest magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate U/s 156(3) (read with section 190 of Code of Criminal Procedure).A Writ Petition can be filed in the respective High Court involving the Criminal matters so that Writ of Mandamus is issued against the police officer and is directed to show cause the intention behind not lodging the FIR. A contempt petition can be filed against the officer in case of Civil matters in the respective High Court. If police officer refuses to file the FIR on Judicial Ground, it results in 1 year of imprisonment of the officer. The petition for this can be submitted to Chief Justice of High Court or Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court of India so that they can take Suo moto action. A copy of the letter is sent to the Police Officer and it can be requested through an application under the RTI.
Providing a Copy of FIR to the Accused
Under Indian criminal law, the informant, as seen earlier, is entitled to get a copy of the first information report lodged by him at the police station free of cost. It is a necessary document in a criminal case and can majorly support the case of the informant or the victim. However, the accused person is also entitled to get a copy of the first information report. Sec. 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 entitles the accused to get the copy of the first information report the investigation has been completed by the police in the said case, and the charge sheet has been filed in the Court. The provision states that the Magistrate, in such circumstances, must furnish to the accused a copy of the FIR free of cost.
Difference between an FIR & a Police Complaint
The main point of difference between a first information report and a police complaint is that an FIR relates a cognizable offence whereas a police complaint can be filed for both non-cognizable and cognizable class of offences. Though the basic meaning of both is a complaint but they are different in terms of offences they deal with, punishments, legal consequences, evidentiary value, etc. further, a complaint is to be given to a magistrate either by the way of spoken words or in writing, whereas the first information report is lodged at the police station nearby the place of commission of crime.

What is recorded in the FIR?
The following details are recorded:
• The date and hour of occurrence of offence – (or approximate time and dates)
• Date and hour when reported
• Place of occurrence, its distance from police station
• Name and address of the complainant
• Name and address of the accused
• A brief description of the actual offence
• Details of property stolen in case of theft
• Section of law which applies to the offence
• Signature of the complainant on all pages
What happens after an FIR is recorded?
Immediately after recording the police officer investigates the incident forthwith. He goes to the place of inquiry without delay and collects evidence from the scene which could be material or photos and statement of the witnesses. The investigating officer has to give a report to the magistrate on the FIR within 60 days (if the prescribed punishment for the offence committed under law is less than 7 years) or within 90 days (if the punishment is more than 7 years). Once an FIR is lodged, four copies are made. While the original is dispatched immediately to the magistrate having jurisdiction, one copy is retained by the police station and one copy is sent to the Superintendent of Police and another to the immediate superior officer, usually the Circle Inspector.
Online Filing of FIR:
Some state Governments including Tamil Nadu have introduced a system of Online filing of FIR and to find the status of FIR filed online.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Email Mistakes You're Probably Making And Need To Stop Immediately!

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Now a days, email has become the easiest and most popular means of communication. But most of us fail to get it right. It is rather easy to send ineffective, unnecessary emails and end up creating a wrong impression. Much easier to understand the dos and don'ts of email instead!

Here are 9 email mistakes that we should stop to make the mail simple and effective.

1. Using unclear subject lines

Email is most effective when your message is simple, short and to the point. Thus, the subject should be written in such a way that people instantly get an idea on what to expect when they open it.

2. Sending unnecessary email
Remember that email is not a substitute for face-to-face communication. One can avoid sending too many emails if they only choose to talk to each other. There’s no denying that emails are impersonal.

3. Using the wrong tone
Nobody wants to come across as offensive in their business emails. But the very nature of email can get you in trouble. An off-the-context or humorous comment may not be taken jokingly in an email. The smart approach is to draw a line between being too courteous and too friendly. Sarcasm is a big no as well.

4. Failing to use an email greeting
You shouldn't randomly just start an email. A simple ‘Hi’ or ‘good morning’ is enough to break the ice and keep courtesy intact.

5. Not reviewing an email before sending it
Reviewing an email before you send it can help ensure that its tone, meaning and length are correct. Additionally, it can help you keep a tab on your spelling, grammar and punctuation and that you've selected the right recipients.

6. Using BCC too often

It’s important to understand that using BCC is like talking behind someone’s back. Be careful when, and for what reasons, you are using BCC.

7. Emailing the wrong person

It is common for us to use ‘auto-fill,’ predictive text and ‘threads’, which increases the risk of sending emails to the wrong person. So keep an eye out!

8. Forwarding senseless emails

We're hoping that the era of forwarding emails has gone away. Forwards are just like spam. You might find them hilarious, but it might not be funny to the next person. Thus, there’s no need to spam everyone’s already full inboxes.

9. Writing too much

A verbose(containing more words than necessary) email can be a big turn off. Thus, keep it brief.


Friday, September 15, 2017

New Passport Rules in India

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In order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport, the Ministry of External Affairs has taken a number of steps in the realm of passport policy which is expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport. 

The details of these steps are given below:-

  • As per the earlier rules, submitting a birth certificate was compulsory for all applicants born on/after 26th January 1989. But the new rules have bought in a relaxation in this regards. Now, any of the following documents containing the DOB of the applicant will suffice:
  • Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of births and deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India
  • Transfer/school leaving/matriculation certificate issued by the school last attended/recognised educational board
  • PAN card
  • Aadhar card/E-aadhar
  • Copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant (only in respect of Government servants) or the pay pension order (in respect of retired government servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the administration of the concerned ministry/department of the applicant
  • Driving license
  • Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India
  • Policy bond issued by the public life insurance corporations/companies

In a welcome move, the new passport rules has done away with the mandate requiring names of both parents at the time of application. An applicant now only needs to provide the name of either one of the parents or the legal guardian. This makes it easier for children with single parents or orphans to apply for a passport. Provisions have also been made for spiritually oriented people (Sadhus/Sanyasis) who can now mention the name of their spiritual leader instead of their biological parents.
The total number of annexes has been bought down from 15 to 9. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and some of them have also been merged. Lesser annexes means less trouble for you to collate documentation.
While all annexes needed attestation from a Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate previously, henceforth all these annexes can now be in the form of a self-declaration from the applicant on plain paper. This will spare you all the running around for attestation that you would have had to do previously.
The need for a marriage certificate has been discontinued (along with annexure K). Also, in case of a divorce the applicant will not be required to provide the name of their spouse. This is another interesting change that has been made taking into consideration changing societal norms.
For urgent passports, if a government employee is unable to procure the NOC (no objection certificate) or identity certificate from their employers, they can submit a self-declaration stating that they have given a prior intimation letter to their employer informing that they are applying for an ordinary passport to a passport issuing authority.
Overall, this move is set to make the application process easier and hassle-free for everyone. A welcome move, we say!