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e-FIR

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.

Report Details

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.

Recommendations

  • 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.

Report Origin

  • 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.

Significance

  • 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?

Proposed Solution

  • The proposed solution involves the creation of a centralized national portal designed to facilitate e-FIR registration.

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