The home ministry has asked states to introduce a two-day deadline to decide if the complaints received at police stations should be converted into an FIR as part of the central initiative to tone up the criminal justice system.
The home ministry has told state governments to ensure that complainants get a “proper receipt” for their complaint, an advisory issued by home ministry said.
This is the first comprehensive document drafted by the home ministry in several years to guide governments to improve prevention of crime and it’s registration, detection, investigation and prosecution.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram had last year backed voices demanding automatic registration of all complaints received by the police, adding that the FIRs found false could be ruthlessly cancelled. But this view was never communicated to the states since the Supreme Court is still hearing a case to decide if the law required the police to register a FIR for every complaint received.
Police officers are reluctant to register cases to keep crime figures low. Also, police does not have the right to cancel FIRs and has to approach courts for permission to cancel the FIR.
Aligarh district police in Uttar Pradesh had last year experimented with logging every complaint; it did push up crime figures for the district but ensured that people who went to the police didn’t find the response lacking.
Besides, the home ministry advisory also told the states to create a cadre of intelligence officers who will specialise in intelligence gathering.