NEW DELHI: The Law Commission has recommended for allowing registration of e-FIR, where accused are not known, for all cognisable offences as per section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Considering the march of technology and availability of communication means, it suggested for allowing registration of e-FIR in a phased manner, beginning with offences bearing a punishment of upto three years imprisonment.
In its 282 nd report submitted to the Law Ministry, the Commission felt enabling filing of e-FIR would allow the relevant stakeholders to test the efficacy of the proposed system, and at the same time, keep the possible misuse of such a facility to a bare minimum.
It felt this would be in tune with Digital India mission and National e Governance Plan.
"If it is found that the proposed system is indeed working effectively, the ambit of the same can be extended through subsequent amendments," it said.
The Commission said it is of the measured view that a Centralised National Portal be created to facilitate the registration of e-FIR.
"Enabling registration of e-FIR would tackle the long persisting issue of delay in registration ol FIRs allowing citizens to report crimes in real time. Further, the said move would also align with the National E-governance Plan of Government of India," it said.
The panel examined the matter on a reference by the Ministry of Home Affairs made in July, 2018, to consider "amending Section 154 CrPC for enabling online registration of FIR".
It also noted the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project has been started in 2009.
According to the Bureau of Police Research & Development, eight States namely Delhi, Gujarat, Kamataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand have implemented registration of e-FIR under the CCTNS Project of the NCRB.
"In areas where visiting the Police Station might not be feasible due to security or other infrastructural issues, filing e-FIR may prove to be a boon. Also, filing of e-FIR would help in overcoming reluctance shown by police officers to file FIRs in cases of petty offences. Moreover, it would overcome the difficulties resulting from low police to public ratio," the Commission said.
It also favoured a minimum punishment of imprisonment and fine for false registration of e-complaints or e-FIR, by amending the provision under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code.