In a significant development, the 22nd Law Commission of India has submitted a comprehensive report titled “Amendment in Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, for Enabling Online Registration of FIR” to the Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, on September 27, 2023. This report follows a request from the Ministry of Home Affairs back in June 2018, which asked the Commission to explore the feasibility of amending Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to facilitate the online registration of FIRs.
The Law Commission’s exhaustive study delves into the world of online FIR registration in India, tracing its evolution in the digital age. This involved examining the history of FIR registration, dating back to both colonial and independent India, as well as analyzing key judgments by the Supreme Court and High Courts on this subject.
The Commission also engaged in extensive consultations with various stakeholders involved in policing reforms, including the National Crime Records Bureau and the Bureau of Police Research & Development. Additionally, they sought insights from academicians, advocates, senior police officers, and others.
One of the key recommendations made by the Commission is the phased implementation of e-FIR registration, initially focusing on offenses carrying a punishment of up to three years of imprisonment. This approach aims to streamline and modernize the FIR registration process, making it more accessible and efficient for the citizens of India.
The potential amendment to Section 154 of the CrPC holds promise in simplifying the process of registering FIRs by leveraging digital technology. It represents a significant step towards aligning India’s criminal justice system with the demands of the digital era, ensuring that citizens can report crimes conveniently and efficiently while maintaining the integrity of the legal process.
The report’s submission marks a milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of law enforcement in India. As this recommendation moves through the legislative process, it could have far-reaching implications for how crimes are reported and investigated in the country. Stay tuned for further developments on this crucial legal reform.