If your local police station refuses to file a First Information Report (FIR) in a complaint, it could soon be considered a crime. A parliamentary panel has ‘strongly recommended’ to the government to consider making any refusal to file a First Information Report (FIR) by police personnel a criminal offence.
The panel also doubted the claim of the government that around 78% (approximately 12,000) police stations in the country are registering 100% FIRs. The panel said it ‘would like to know the basis used to arrive’ at this claim.
The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, headed by former Union home minister P Chidambaram and with MPs from the ruling NDA dispensation and opposition parties as members, in its recently tabled report said, “The committee strongly recommends that the government should consider making refusal of registration of FIR by police personnel a criminal offence and action be taken against such erring police personnel.”
In chapter-3 of the report wherein it discussed recommendations or observations in respect of which replies of the government have not been accepted by the committee, the panel said it was ‘displeased to note’ that the government was furnishing a vague and evasive reply to the serious issue like, refusal of registration of FIR.
“The committee had recommended to ensure FIR registration in police stations without any discrimination so that the common people could get justice but the action taken in this regard reflects filing of FIR through CCTNS software...The main issue is refusal to register FIR by the police in police stations.”
On the government’s reply that it had issued advisory in August, 2015 to ensure no discrimination in registering FIRs, the panel told the government that merely issuing an advisory to states in this regard will not suffice.
The government as part of its ‘action taken report’ stated that currentluy 12,519 police stations in the country are filing 100% FIRs using the CCTNS (crime and criminal tracking network system) software. There are total 14,999 police stations in the country and out of them 1,757 police stations are in Bihar and Rajasthan which are encountering delay in using the CCTNS software. The government told the panel among the rest of the 13,242 police station in the country, presently 12519 police stations (94.54%) are entering 100% FIRs using the CCTNS software.
But the panel told the government: “The committee had recommended to ensure FIR registration in police stations without any discrimination so that the common people could get justice but the action taken in this regard reflects filing of FIR through CCTNS software. Filing of FIR through CCTNS software is entirely secondary issue. The main issue is refusal to register FIR by the police in police stations.”
Under the CCTNS project, the intends to create automated, and this transparent and citizen friendly, police station which are connected to each other as well as with offices of senior officers through internet-based platform for sharing information on crime and criminals and also for registering FIRs.
Four years back, the Union home ministry had told the states to initiate penal action against cops who refuse to file FIRs but the advisory was limited to only those cases wherein the police personnel who don’t file FIRs on jurisdictional ground. The refusal to file FIRs is often blamed for people not coming forward to report crimes.