Ans. FIR stands for First Information Report. It is with the registration of an FIR that the police can begin their investigations into a crime. The law states that it is compulsory for an officer in charge of a police station to register an FIR whenever a person gives information about a cognizable offence. This information can be given to the police either orally or in writing. The FIR usually mentions the date, time and place of the offence, details the basic facts of the offence, including a description of the events. If known, the identity of the accused persons and witnesses is also mentioned. The FIR also states the name and address of the complainant. There is a prescribed form in which the police registers an FIR and it is signed by the complainant. The complainant also has a legal right to get a free copy of the FIR from the police.
Ans. The Supreme Court of India has laid down specific requirements and procedures that the police and other agencies have to follow for the arrest, detention and interrogation of any person. These are known as the D.K. Basu Guidelines and some of these include:
• The police officials who carry out the arrest or interrogation should wear clear, accurate and visible identification and name tags with their designations;
• A memo of arrest should be prepared at the time of arrest and should include the time and date of arrest. It should also be attested by at least one witness who could include a family member of the person arrested. The arrest memo should be counter-signed by the person arrested.
• The person arrested, detained or being interrogated has a right to inform a relative, friend or wellwisher.
• When a friend or relative lives outside the district, the time, place of arrest and venue of custody must be notified by police within 8 to 12 hours after arrest.
Ans. Accused: In the context of this chapter this refers to the person who is tried by a court for a crime.
Cognizable: In the context of this chapter this refers to an offence for which the police may arrest a person without the permission of the court.
Cross-examine: In the context of this chapter this refers to the questioning of a witness who has already been examined by the opposing side in order to determine the veracity of his/her testimony.
Detention: In the context of this chapter this refers to the act of being kept in illegal custody by the police.
Impartial: The act of being fair or just and not favouring one side over another.
Offence: Any act that the law defines as a crime.
To be charged of a crime: This refers to the trial judge informing the accused, in writing, of the offence for which he/she will face trial.
Witness: In the context of this chapter this refers to the person who is called upon in court to provide a first-hand account of what he/she has seen, heard or knows.
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