However, the problem faced by people when filing an FIR is that the process can often prove to be very tedious and some might even fact harassment at the hands of the police or non-cooperation if the police refuse to register the complaint/ FIR.
On the other hand, the police too are hard pressed to perform well when their work conditions are less than ideal. Many police stations are often understaffed and are overburdened by work. This makes processes that involve interacting with the public like filing FIRs a tedious task for the police officers which often leads to them coming off as apathetic or rude.
In order to make the process of filing FIRs easier, convenient and quick police departments in various cities have now made online FIRs available on their websites. Through online FIRs, people can now file FIRs with the police on their websites. The facility also allows them to track stolen vehicles and check the progress of their FIRs. Online FIRs have the benefit that they not only save people on time and money but also save them the trouble of being harassed by the police. Online FIR registration also gives the police more time to complete their own pending work, allows them to respond quickly and enables them to follow up on FIRs more effectively. It should be noted that online FIRs are usually meant for minor offences and one should visit the police station in person for registering FIRs for grave offences like murder or rape.
Given below is the procedure for filing an FIR online with the police of the four metropolitan cities of India: New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
In order to file an online FIR with the Delhi police, following the steps mentioned below:
1. Visit the website of the Delhi Police at http://www.delhipolice.nic.in
2. At the home page, click on the option listed as ‘Citizen Services’. You will be directed to a page which enlists a number of online services that the Delhi Police provides.
For filing FIR for lost possessions:
3. On the Citizen Services page, click on the Lost and Found option.
4. Under the heading of the Lost Article Report in the Lost and Found page, four headings should be visible: Retrieve; Register; Search Found Articles and FAQ. Click on the Register option.
5. You will be taken to the registration page wherein details with being sought including the complainant’s name, address, email ID and description of the lost objects.
6. After filling in the form, click on the Submit button.
7. An e-FIR will be sent to your email address in PDF format.
E-FIRs can also be filed for thefts and thefts of motor vehicles. All the options are available at the Citizens Service page of the Delhi Police website. A similar procedure of registration (which asks for the complainant’s name, email address and phone number) has to be followed for the filing of all e- FIRs.
For filing of a complaint with the Mumbai police, follow the given procedure:
1. Visit the website of the Mumbai police at https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in
2. On the right-hand side of the page, scroll down the drop-down menu of the Contact Us option.
3. You will see an option titled Lodge A Complaint.
4. In the Complaint/ e-FIR form, you will have filled up some details which include your name, address, email ID, phone number and also the complaint that has to be registered. You will also have to choose the police station that has jurisdiction from the list in the drop-down menu.
5. Next, to the option which asks you for your email ID, there is a button which reads ‘Get Code’. An OTP (One Time Password)/ Authoring Code will be sent to the given email address which is needed verifying the complaint and to enable the complainant to submit the complaint. The complaint can only be registered upon entering the correct Authorising Code.
6. Once the complaint is submitted, an FIR Number/ Complaint Number will be generated which shall be used by the complainant for tracking the status of the complaint in the future.
It must be noted that the e-FIR/ complaint can only be registered for non- cognizable offence which is not of serious nature. For all major crimes, which are usually cognizable offences, the complaint/ FIR cannot be made online and has to be made in person at the police station. Such major offences include crimes like murder, rape, theft, extortion, assault, attempt to murder, theft of motor vehicles etc.
In order to file a complaint or e- FIR in Kolkata, follow the given steps:
1. Visit the website of Kolkata Police at http://www.kolkatapolice.gov.in/
2. Scroll down the home page and click on the icon titled Report A Crime.
3. The page will ask you information about the complaint as well as contact information. This includes the complainant’s name, address, email address as well as the relevant police station. You will also have to fill in a description of the incident that has to be reported.
4. Upon selecting the Send button, the complaint will be sent to the Kolkata Police and a confirmation for the same will be sent to the complainant’s email account.
It should be noted that online complaint/ e-FIR can be filed only for minor crimes. Moreover, the Kolkata Police website also explicitly states that responses to complaints filed online will not be addressed on an immediate and urgent basis.
To file an online FIR or complaint with the Chennai police, following the steps are given below:
1. Visit the Tamil Nadu Police website at http://www.tnpolice.gov.in/
2. On the list of Online Services on the homepage, select the option Register Online Complaint. Clicking on the option will take you to the page where online complaints can be registered.
3. The complaints page consists of four sections:
a. First, you need to enter in the correct district of Tamil Nadu in which you want to file the complaint.
b. Second, you will need to enter in details about yourself. This includes filling in your name, address, gender, date of birth, mobile number and your email ID.
c. Third, you will need to enter details about the about the complaint you want to file. You will have to select the type of crime that you want to report followed by the date and place where the crime took place. You will also have to type in a short description of the crime.
4. Lastly, the Tamil Nadu police website allows you to attach any documents to the complaint that you would like to share with the police.
5. Once the form is filled, enter the verification code at the very bottom of the page and press the Register button.
First Information Reports can be filed online with the Jharkhand police at their website https://jofs.jhpolice.gov.in/
There are two methods of filing an online FIR with the Jharkhand police: either using the Aadhaar card as identity proof or using other forms of identification.
If using the Aadhaar card for registration of FIR, follow the below-mentioned steps:
• Enter in your Aadhaar number at the home page of Jharkhand police at https://jofs.jhpolice.gov.in/
• Opt for OTP verification. You will receive a One Time Password on your phone number that has been registered with Aadhaar
• Upon entering this One Time Password, you will be taken to the complaint form with the details of the complainant (as registered with Aadhaar) already filed in.
If filing the online complaint without using the Aadhaar card, follow the below-mentioned steps:
• Go to the website of the Jharkhand police at https://jofs.jhpolice.gov.in/
• On the bottom right corner of the box which is titled as ‘Instant Registration Using Aadhaar’, click on the text which says ‘Please Click Here’.
• You will be directed to the complaint form page. Fill in the required information into the form. You will have to fill in the following details:
o Personal details: Name, age and gender of the complainant
o Full address of the complainant along with the pin code
o Contact details of the complainant that include the complainant’s email address, phone number and mobile phone number.
o A soft copy of the identity document of the complainant. The complainant will have to enter in the identification number and also upload a digital copy of the identity proof. The digital copy should be less than 3 MB in size and be of jpg, doc, docx or pdf format. The following documents of identity can be used by the complainant to register the online complaint with the Jharkhand police:
Voter identity card
• Next, the complainant will have to enter in the district in which the crime took place from the drop-down menu in the form. The complainant also has to fill in the exact name of the place whether the incident occurred.
• After filling in above-mentioned information, the complainant has to fill in the details of the complaint. From the drop-down menu of the ‘Topic’ header, the complainant has to select what type of complaint he or she is going to file: it can be a criminal complaint or a cyber crime complaint. The complainant can also choose the Miscellaneous option if his or her complaint does not fall into any of these categories.
Thereafter, the complainant has to fill in the Subject of the complaint and write down the details of the crime that he or she wants to report. The applicant can also attach documents or other attachments to the complaint. However, such attachments have to be less than 3MB in size. They can be either in jpg, doc, docx or pdf format.
• Lastly, the complainant has to enter in the One Time Password if required. After the form has been filled in, the complainant can now submit the complaint.
• The status of the complaint filed by the complainant can also be checked online on the website of the Jharkhand police. On the top right corner of the website, click on the option titled JOFS FIR status.
• Enter your mobile number or email address as well as the complaint ID and you can see the status of your complaint.
Online complaints can be filed with the Orissa police by following the below mentioned procedure:
• Visit the website of Orissa police at https://citizenportal-op.gov.in/citizen/login.aspx
• Click on the ‘Complaint’ option located in the middle of the homepage.
• In order to register the complaint, the complainant has to first register with the Citizen Portal facility of the Orissa police. For this, click on the ‘Register’ option that is provided in the second last bullet that is displayed on the screen.
• You will be taken to the Citizen Registration page wherein you will have to fill in your details like your name, email address, phone number, gender, date of birth, the Login ID that you would like and also the password that you would like for your Citizen Portal profile.
• Thereafter, you can file the complaint on the website.
• If you already have a Citizen Portal account then login through the Orissa police homepage and you can file the complaint thereafter.
• Once a complaint is filed in the Citizen Portal, the complainant will be provided with a registration number and also be sent an acknowledgment.
• At the same time, the Officer in Charge of the Police Station will receive an alert that a complaint has been filed online and the Officer will carry out the necessary actions.
• When enquiring into the complaint, the complainant may also be contacted by a police officer.