Electronic FIR – One of the Legal Reform

New Delhi: No more pleading with the police station in-charge for registration of your complaint. Just dial and give your complaint. The automatic voice recorder attached to the police station telephone will generate an electronic FIR.
Well, this is no pipe dream but one of the proposals in the UPA government’s Vision Document on legal reforms that will be unveiled on Saturday at a meeting of the government with the judiciary that envisages radical reforms in the functioning of police stations.
After a complaint is generated, it will be given to the complainant as well as the accused. “FIRs should be electronically generated and stored, and may be made available to the complainant and the accused through use of a password or secure key,” said the proposal, which forms part of the extensive legal reforms drafted by the law ministry.
It also suggests giving credence to statements of witnesses and accused recorded by police, which at present have zero value as evidence before a court of law.
This is so because the present recording of statements by police does not require signature of the person who makes the statement and, many a time, it has been found these statements are pure imagination of the police. To change this, the government proposes that “statement of witnesses recorded by police under section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code should be videographed”.
The Vision Document says: “There is an urgent need to modernise police stations. Various practical measures need to be considered. These include technologically equipped interrogation norms, state-of-the-art telephone recording systems with programmed interface and mobile forensic vans.”
It has not put any timeframe for implementation.

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