In recent news, the Law Commission has made significant recommendations regarding the implementation of electronic First Information Reports (e-FIRs). This transformative step aims to modernize and streamline the process of reporting crimes, aligning with India’s digital transformation initiatives.
This topic of “e-FIR” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.
Law Commission Recommendations
Phased Roll Out of e-FIRs
- The Law Commission has proposed the phased implementation of e-FIRs as part of their recent recommendations.
Recent Report Submission to the Government
- A comprehensive report addressing this recommendation has been submitted to the government.
Headed by Ritu Raj Awasthi
- The report was led by Ritu Raj Awasthi, a retired Karnataka High Court judge.
282nd Report Topic
- The report pertains to the amendment in Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, with the goal of enabling online FIR registration.
- The report recommends allowing e-FIR registration for:
- All cognizable offenses, even when the accused is unknown.
- Cognizable offenses with a maximum punishment of three years, even when the accused is known.
- Suggested amendments span various legislations, including the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Information Technology Act, 2000, Indian Penal Code, 1860, and other relevant laws.
- States are granted additional powers to expand the list of eligible offenses for e-FIR based on the effectiveness of the system.
- The recommendations emerged from a comprehensive consultation process that began in July 2018.
- This initiative was triggered by a query from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which sought to amend Section 154 for online FIRs.
What is an e-FIR?
- An e-FIR is the electronic version of a First Information Report.
- FIR importance: It serves as the initial report that activates the criminal justice system.
Why Implement e-FIRs?
Addressing Delays in FIR Registration
- e-FIRs aim to tackle the persistent issue of delays in FIR registration.
Benefits of e-FIRs
- They enable real-time crime reporting for citizens, ensuring a faster response from law enforcement agencies.
- The adoption of e-FIRs aligns with key government initiatives, including the Digital India mission and the National e-Governance Plan.
How will e-FIRs be Implemented?
- The proposed solution involves the creation of a centralized national portal designed to facilitate e-FIR registration.