What is Zero FIR in India
Zero FIR Explained

The 2013 Delhi Gang Rape incident highlighted the need for Zero FIR. Recommendation of the Justice Verma Committee introduced Zero FIR concept through Criminal (Amendment) Act 2013. Zero FIR was introduced to reduce the technicalities and make justice accessible.

Zero FIR can be filed in any police station irrespective of where the incident occurs. The informant or the victim can reach the nearest police station and file an FIR. It is like an ordinary FIR filed under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. But this complaint is registered with serial number 0 (zero).

The informant or the victim can lodge FIR orally or in writing. The police officer will reduce the complaint in writing and get it signed by the informant if given orally. There is no compulsion for the informant to have personal knowledge or be an eye-witness to the incident. If the informant or the victim is a female, a female police officer must write the complaint. While writing the complaint, the police officer must note down the name and address of the informant and all the details of the incident.

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Zero FIR is beneficial as it involves immediate action and also protects the victim. It is beneficial for crime against women, which is serious, heinous and requires immediate action.

Suppose a police officer refuses to register an FIR concerning a cognisable offence. In that case, they can be charged under section 166A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 wherein, they shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of six months which can be extended up to two years.

In Lalita Kumari vs Government of UP & Ors., it was held that it is mandatory to register FIR if the complaint is related to a cognisable offence.

Ankita Trivedi
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