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 What The Law Commission on e-FIR

  • The Law Commission of India, in Report No. 282, recommended that “in cases where the accused is not known, registration of an e-FIR should be allowed for all cognisable offences”. 

  • If the accused is known, as a preliminary step, registration of an e-FIR may be allowed for cognisable offences wherein the punishment provided under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other laws is up to three years.

  • The verification of the complainant, could be done by verifying the mobile number through an OTP and mandating the uploading of valid ID proof such as Aadhaar

  • It also said that the name of the suspect on the centralised national portal is to be secured until the e-FIR is signed by the complainant


  • The Commission has not demystified the concept of an ‘e-FIR’

  • The procedure laid down in the Report says that the police station will check the contents of information received from the portal to verify whether a cognisable offence is made out as recommended. 

  • Only then will the received information be entered in the prescribed format within three days

  • In the next step, the police officer is required to get the signature of the complainant within three days to register an e-FIR. 

  • Otherwise, the e-FIR shall not be registered, reasons shall be communicated, and the said information shall be automatically deleted after two weeks from the portal

  • Though the Commission mentioned that eight States are lodging an e-FIR.

  • It is thus clear that the concept of ‘e-FIR’ is nothing but obtaining information/complaint through electronic means. 

  • It is obvious that the ‘e-FIR’ is not an automatically registered FIR using electronic means.

  • Still, there are at least two benefits of obtaining complaints electronically. 

  • First, the police will have to take cognisance of the complaint as the system will automatically generate receipt. 

  • This will ensure almost free registration of crime.

  • Second, they will not be able to change the contents of the complaint.

E-authentication technique

  • The Commission has also not discussed using the ‘e-authentication technique or digital signature’ as defined in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, for signing complaints. 

  • Under the Act, any information ‘rendered or made available in an electronic form; and accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference’ is legally acceptable. 

  • In 2015, ‘e-authentication technique using Aadhaar e-KYC services’ was notified in the Second Schedule as a legally recognised technique

  • This is widely used by the income tax department to facilitate filing of returns electronically

  • The law also recognises ‘digital signature’ which uses an asymmetric cryptosystem and hash function..



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: e-FIR UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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