Police And You ( A succinct note on duty of police man and informer in connection with FIR)


Police And You
( A succinct note on duty of police man and informer in connection with FIR)

My endeavour has been to state general principles accurately, and to explain them lucidly by the aid of legal provisions which are of authority and well in point. The present article is strictly confined to the subject expressed in the title; namely, the law relating to duty of Police man while registering FIR as well as the duty of informer as to FIR.

The word ‘police’ has its origin in the Latin word ‘politia’, which means, civil administration. The word, politia too, is a derivative of a Greek word ‘polis’, interpreted as ‘city’ in English. The power of a police officer lies in his ability to enforce the law. Despite the rules governing the duties of a police officer differ from country to country, the basic responsibilities of police do not vary. The present work is strictly confined to the subject what if a police man records FIR wrongly; and what if the informer gives false information to the police.

What should Informer do if a police man records his FIR wrongly?
If a police man records your FIR wrongly, it is an offence and such police man is liable to be prosecuted for the offence punishable under sections 166, 167, 217 and 218, of Indian Penal Code,1860 (herein after referred IPC).

Sec. 166 IPC: Whoever, being a public servant, knowingly disobeys any direction of the law as to the way in which he is to conduct himself as such public servant, intending to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will, by such disobedience, cause injury to any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Illustration
A, being an officer directed by law to take property in execution, in order to satisfy a decree pronounced in Z’s favour by a Court of Justice, knowingly disobeys that direction of law, with the knowledge that he is likely thereby to cause injury to Z. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Simple imprisonment for 1 year, or fine, or both—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

Section 167 IPC deals with public servant farming an incorrect document with intent to cause injury.

Whoever, being a public servant, and being, as 1[such public servant, charged with the preparation or translation of any document or electronic record, frames, prepares or translates that document or electronic record] in a manner which he knows or believes to be incorrect, intending thereby to cause or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause injury to any person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 3 years, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compound­able.
—————————
1. Subs. by Act 21 of 2000, sec. 91 and Sch. I, for certain words (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Sec. 217 IPC: Public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture.

Whoever, being a public servant, knowingly disobeys any direction of the law as to the way in which he is conduct himself as such public servant, intending thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or subject him to a less punishment than that to which he is liable, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or any charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Non-cogniz­able—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Non-compoundable.

Section 218 of IPC deals with public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture

Sec.218 IPC:- Whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or other charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 3 years, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compound­able.

FURNISHING FALSE INFORMATION IS AN OFFENCE:
Furnishing false information by the informer is also an offence and such person is liable to be prosecuted for the offences punishable under sections 177, 182, 211 of IPC.

See. 177 IPC. Furnishing false information
Whoever, being legally bound to furnish information on any subject to any public servant, as such, furnishes, as true, information on the subject which he knows or has reason to believe to be false, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both;

or, if the information which he is legally bound to give respects the commission of an offence, or is required for the purpose of preventing the commission of an offence, or in order to the apprehension of an offender, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Illustrations
(a) A, a landholder, knowing of the commission of a murder within the limits of his estate, willfully misinforms the Magistrate of the district that the death has occurred by accident in consequence of the bite of a snake. A is guilty of the offence defined in this section.

(b) A, a village watchman, knowing that a considerable body of strangers has passed through his village in order to commit a dacoity in the house of Z, a wealthy merchant residing in a neighbouring place, and being being bound under clause 5, section VII, 1[Regulation III, 1821], of the Bengal Code, to give early and punctual information of the above fact to the officer of the nearest police-station, willfully misinforms the police-officer that a body of suspicious characters passed through the village with a view to commit dacoity in a certain distant place in a different direction. Here A is guilty of the offence defined in the later part of this section.

2 Explanation
In section 176 and in this section the word “offence” includes any act committed at any place out of 3[India], which, if committed in 3[India], would be punishable under any of the following sections, namely, 302, 304, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 435, 436, 449, 450, 457, 458, 459 and 460; and the word “offender” includes any person who is alleged to have been guilty of any such act.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I
Punishment—Imprisonment for 6 months, or fine of 1,000 rupees, or both—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by any Magis­trate—Non-compoundable.

Para II
Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Non-compound­able.
———————
1. Rep. by Act 17 of 1862.
2. Added by Act 3 of 1894.
3. The words “British India” have successively been subs. by the A.O. 1948, the A.O. 1950 and Act 3 of 1951, sec. 3 and Sch. to read as above.

If the informer gives false report,. he is liable to be prosecuted u/s 182 or 211 IPC which are as follows:
Section 182 of IPC: False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person

1[182. False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.— Whoever gives to any public servant any information which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, such public servant—

(a) to do or omit anything which such public servant ought not to do or omit if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, or

(b) to use the lawful power of such public servant to the injury or annoyance of any person,

shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Illustrations
(a) A informs a Magistrate that Z, a police-officer, subordinate to such Magistrate, has been guilty of neglect of duty or miscon­duct, knowing such information to be false, and knowing it to be likely that the information will cause the Magistrate to dismiss Z. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

(b) A falsely informs a public servant that Z has contraband salt in a secret place knowing such information to be false, and knowing that it is likely that the consequence of the information will be a search of Z’s premises, attended with annoyance to Z. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

(c) A falsely informs a policeman that he has been assaulted and robbed in the neighbourhood of a particular village. He does not mention the name of any person as one of his assistants, but knows it to be likely that in consequence of this information the police will make enquiries and institute searches in the village to the annoyance of the villages or some of them. A has committed an offence under this section.]

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 6 months or fine of 1,000 rupees, or both—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Non-com­poundable.
—————————

1. Subs. by Act 3 of 1895, sec. 1, for the original section.

Sec.211 IPC: Whoever, with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes or causes to be instituted any criminal proceeding against that person, or falsely charges any person with having committed an offence, knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding or charge against that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both;

and if such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false charge of an offence punishable with death 1[imprisonment for life], or imprisonment for seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I
Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

Para II
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

Para III
Punishment—Imprisonment for 7 years, and fine—No

n-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-com­poundable.
———————–
1. Subs. by Act 26 of 1955, sec. 117 and Sch., for “transporta­tion for life” (w.e.f. 1-1-1956)

CONCLUSION:
Succinctly speaking giving false information to the police is an offence and therefore the persons who intends giving information to the police as to an offence must give correct information. Similarly, Inasmuch as protecting the life and property of people is the prime responsibility of a police officer, a police man should not record FIR wrongly. In a broad sense, it can be said that police officer keeps the bad elements in the society at bay and he/she fights for maintaining peace and harmony. Thus, one should not take the services of police officer for granted. Let’s salute the police for the courage and responsibility they display in ensuring our safety!

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