What is Zero FIR?
- It means that a FIR can be filed in any police station (i.e. Irrespective of place of incident/jurisdiction) and the same can be later transferred to the appropriate police station having competent jurisdiction after investigation and filing with a magistrate.
- The police officers who fail to comply with the registration of Zero FIR may invite prosecution under Section 166A of IPC and also departmental action.
- The provision of Zero FIR 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.
- What distinguishes Zero FIR from ordinary FIR is that in the latter, FIR is registered by a serial number in police station but in the former, an FIR is instituted at any police station other than the jurisdictional police station concerned (that is the place where incident took place), and such an FIR is registered but not numbered. Such unnumbered FIR simply is then forwarded to the concerned police station where it gets numbered and further acted upon. Hence such FIR is known as Zero FIR.
- In the case of SatvinderKaur vs. State (Government of NCT Delhi), High Court had quashed the FIR filed at Delhi police station by the complainant. The Supreme Court overturned it and held that police can investigate the case, which does not fall under their jurisdiction.
- Certain incidents require immediate action on part of the police (like collecting samples, getting information from eye witnesses, etc.); in such a situation police cannot excuse themselves saying that the case does not fall within their jurisdiction. This will hamper the very objective of the police force, i.e. to maintain law and order. It spares people in need of urgent help the hassle of making the rounds of police stations to lodge a complaint.