While hearing an appeal against the order of conviction by the Bombay High Court, a Full Bench of Supreme Court has categorically held that telephonic intimation that does not specify the offence cannot be taken as an FIR.
There were contradictions between the telephonic communication of the incident and the official FIR filed later on. The initial information discussed an assault by two persons travelling on a motorcycle. However, in the official FIR, the accused was also implicated in the commission of the offence. The accused therefore raised question over the credibility of such FIR. The Court thoroughly analyzed the precedents on this issue and then delivered its judgement.
The Court acknowledged that the initial intimation received by the police does constitute an FIR. However, a 'cryptic' phone call not providing incomplete details of a cognizable offence commission cannot always be treated as an FIR. A mere message which does not specify the offence is not an FIR. It was held that the phone call informing the police that two persons arrived on a motorbike and assaulted the victim is per se incomplete; it merely set out the facts of an attack. Nonetheless, the Court held that subsequent rendition of an event by the informant might differ depending on various factors and thus, omission of an accused does not create grave suspicion to falsify the prosecution story. The Court, therefore, upheld the order of the High Court and convicted the accused.
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