Whether it is because of deep jealousy or because of some misunderstanding, you can be at the receiving end of a false FIR. When that happens, you will be worried about your job, your future and your reputation. You’ll have to take legal recourse and that can be exhausting in a country like ours. It certainly helps to know the process beforehand in order to save yourself from undeserved trauma.
What is an FIR?
FIR or First Information Report is a written document that is prepared by police after someone files a complaint for a cognizable offence.There are two kinds of offence – non-cognizable and cognizable. Non-cognizable offences are minor cases like slapping someone, heated arguments, abusing someone, etc. No serious injury is caused to the other person in these offences. Cognizable offences are major cases like murdering, raping or seriously injuring someone. In non-cognizable offences, you can ask the police for a warrant. But in cognizable offences, the police can arrest you without it too. For a complete understanding of cognizable and non-cognizable offences, refer to this page.
Step 1: Go and meet the SP or DSP of that area
If an FIR has been lodged against you for a cognizable offence, you can meet the SP or DSP of that area and show him proof of your innocence. You can also take a person along to testify for you. The SP or DSP can take a look at it and give a ‘no arrest’ order.
Step 2: Ask your lawyer to get anticipatory bail from the district court
If the SP and DSP don’t listen to you, you can go to the district court and get anticipatory bail. It’s said that the law is blind, but the judge isn’t. If you are completely innocent, you’ll be able to get this anticipatory bail immediately and that will save you from serving time in prison.
Step 3: Go to the high court and get acquitted
Even though you’ve got bail using these two methods, you are still not proven innocent. To do that, you have to go to the high court with solid proof of your innocence. The high court can quash the FIR against you under section 482 of CrPC. Alternatively, you can also try to compromise with the person who has filed the case. If he/she withdraws the FIR after understanding, you can roam around freely. If not, file a case against him/her under section 500 (defamation). Also, in order to compensate for lost time and reputation, file a case under section 211 (false charge) to seek justice.
What if you get arrested?
In case you don’t do these things and have been arrested, you’ll have to get regular bail which is a slightly longer process. You’ll have to submit a bail application in the court and be there for your hearing. If your bail is accepted, you might have to pay a bail amount to the court. It is to ensure that you appear for the next hearing. A false FIR may hit you like a ton of bricks, but you should not back down. With a right attitude and a solid lawyer, you’ll be able to move on from the setback in no time.