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December 16, 2017 at 5:25 pm #3667
Sir, I want to ask whether it is permissible to register second FIR on the same facts? Can there be two FIRs in the same matter? If one FIR has been closed by police, can there be another FIR on same facts on the ground that there is some fresh evidence?
December 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm #3669
Dr. Ashok DhamijaAdvocate
It is well established that a second FIR is not permissible under law on the same facts. Of course, if there is a counter case by the opposite party that can be the basis of the second FIR arising out of the same incident; but, in such a case, there are two counter FIRs arising out of the same incident or out of the same transaction, but the actual facts from the point of view of the opposite parties would be different. However, filing of the second FIR by the same party on the basis of the same facts is not permissible under law. So, you cannot have two FIRs by the same party on the same facts.
In the case of T.T. Antony v. State of Kerala, (2001) 6 SCC 181 : AIR 2001 SC 2637, the Supreme Court held that there can be no second FIR and no fresh investigation on receipt of every subsequent information in respect of the same cognizable offence or same occurrence giving rise to one or more cognizable offences. It was held that only information about commission of a cognizable offence which is first entered in station house diary by officer in charge of the police station can be regarded as FIR under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code and that all such subsequent informations will be covered by Section 162 of the Cr.P.C. (i.e., statements of witnesses). In this case, the Supreme Court held as under:
“A just balance between the fundamental rights of the citizens under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution and the expansive power of the police to investigate a cognizable offence has to be struck by the court. There cannot be any controversy that sub-section (8) of Section 173 CrPC empowers the police to make further investigation, obtain further evidence (both oral and documentary) and forward a further report or reports to the Magistrate. In Narang case [(1979) 2 SCC 322] it was, however, observed that it would be appropriate to conduct further investigation with the permission of the court. However, the sweeping power of investigation does not warrant subjecting a citizen each time to fresh investigation by the police in respect of the same incident, giving rise to one or more cognizable offences, consequent upon filing of successive FIRs whether before or after filing the final report under Section 173(2) CrPC. It would clearly be beyond the purview of Sections 154 and 156 CrPC, nay, a case of abuse of the statutory power of investigation in a given case. In our view a case of fresh investigation based on the second or successive FIRs, not being a counter-case, filed in connection with the same or connected cognizable offence alleged to have been committed in the course of the same transaction and in respect of which pursuant to the first FIR either investigation is under way or final report under Section 173(2) has been forwarded to the Magistrate, may be a fit case for exercise of power under Section 482 CrPC or under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution.”
“The scheme of CrPC is that an officer in charge of a police station has to commence investigation as provided in Section 156 or 157 CrPC on the basis of entry of the first information report, on coming to know of the commission of a cognizable offence. On completion of investigation and on the basis of the evidence collected, he has to form an opinion under Section 169 or 170 CrPC, as the case may be, and forward his report to the Magistrate concerned under Section 173(2) CrPC. However, even after filing such a report, if he comes into possession of further information or material, he need not register a fresh FIR; he is empowered to make further investigation, normally with the leave of the court, and where during further investigation he collects further evidence, oral or documentary, he is obliged to forward the same with one or more further reports; this is the import of sub-section (8) of Section 173 CrPC.”
“…under the scheme of the provisions of Sections 154, 155, 156, 157, 162, 169, 170 and 173 CrPC only the earliest or the first information in regard to the commission of a cognizable offence satisfies the requirements of Section 154 CrPC. Thus there can be no second FIR and consequently there can be no fresh investigation on receipt of every subsequent information in respect of the same cognizable offence or the same occurrence or incident giving rise to one or more cognizable offences. On receipt of information about a cognizable offence or an incident giving rise to a cognizable offence or offences and on entering the FIR in the station house diary, the officer in charge of a police station has to investigate not merely the cognizable offence reported in the FIR but also other connected offences found to have been committed in the course of the same transaction or the same occurrence and file one or more reports as provided in Section 173 CrPC.”
However, as mentioned above, and as seen from the above case decided by the Supreme Court, another FIR can be filed as a counter-case even if it may be arising out of the same incident or same transaction, but it needs to be kept in mind that a counter case is not by the same party but by the opposite party.
Moreover, if a fresh offence has taken place between the same parties, then of course there can be a second FIR by the same party against the same opposite party. But, on the same facts (i.e., when there is no new offence), a second FIR cannot be filed by the same party.
It may be pertinent to point out that in the case of Nirmal Singh Kahlon v. State of Punjab, (2009) 1 SCC 441 : 2009 Cri LJ 958 : AIR 2009 SC 984, registration of a second FIR was held to be permissible because the second FIR lodged by CBI (as against the first FIR registered by local police) was on a wider canvas involving conspiracy of a large number of persons, and it was lodged after holding a detailed preliminary inquiry and the CBI had collected a large number of materials, recorded a large number of statements, enumerates as many as fifteen categories of irregularities involving as many as fourteen accused persons, and there were different versions and new discovery was made on factual foundations.
Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles.
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