The Supreme Court has said that a first information report (FIR) was not an "encyclopaedia" that would contain the minutest details of an incident and it was not necessary to mention therein all the evidence on which the prosecution proposes to rely during the trial.
"The FIR need not be an encyclopaedia of all the facts and circumstances on which the prosecution relies," said a bench of Justice Harjit Singh Bedi and Justice J.M. Panchal, overturning an April 12, 2002 Allahabad High Court verdict acquitting three accused sentenced to death for killing six people in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district.
"The basic purpose of filing FIR is to set the criminal law into motion and not to state all the minute details therein," the court said in their judgment on Tuesday, but made available on Saturday.
Writing the judgment, Justice Panchal said: "The hard reality of life is that the person who has lost kith and kin in the horrific incident is likely to suffer great shock and, therefore, law would not expect him to mention minutest details either in his FIR or statement under Section 161 (of the Criminal Procedure Code)."
The apex court assailed the high vourt for not taking into account the oral dying declaration of a deceased while appreciating the evidence. The reasons given by the high court for disbelieving the oral dying declaration was that it was not mentioned by the witness, Jhabbulal either in his FIR or in his statement recorded under Section 161 of Cr.P.C.
The high court committed a serious error in disbelieving the oral dying declaration made by deceased Baburam before his brother Jhabbulal, implicating Shrikrishna, Ram Sewak and Kishori, as his assailants, the judgment said.
It said the question before the court is whether the assertion made by the witness that soon after the incident, he had gone to the place where his injured brother was lying and was told that the appellants were his assailants, inspires confidence of the court.
Answering this question, the apex court judgment said that the evidence of the witness as a whole points to a ring of truth in it. It went on to say that there was nothing improbable if a brother approaches his injured brother and tries to know from him as to how he had received the injuries nor it is improbable that upon an enquiry being made the injured brother would not give reply/information sought from him.