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November 9, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The Law Commission’s Report No. 282 recommended an e-FIR system for all cognisable offences, providing a mechanism for electronic complaint submission and physical signing by the complainant to convert it into a formal FIR. This proposed transition to an electronic FIR system suggests both advantages and potential drawbacks, necessitating a cautious approach in its execution.

Understanding e-FIR

The e-FIR (electronic First Information Report) system is a digital platform designed to facilitate crime reporting to law enforcement agencies. It streamlines the process by allowing complainants to submit information through a national portal.

Complainants submit their crime reports online through a centralized national portal. However, a critical requirement is the physical signing of the report within a stipulated timeframe, often three days.

The primary aim is to simplify crime registration through the initial electronic submission.

Key Provisions of the Law Commission’s Report

e-FIR Recommendation: The Law Commission’s Report suggests the adoption of e-FIR registration for all cognizable offenses with unknown accused individuals. Verification is proposed through the use of an OTP (One-Time Password) and Aadhaar ID proof.

Verification Process: To ensure authenticity, the Law Commission advises the verification of complainants through OTPs. Additionally, they recommend mandating the submission of Aadhaar ID proof to confirm the complainant’s identity.

Information Deletion: The report suggests automatic deletion of unverified information within two weeks. The failure of a complainant to sign the e-FIR within the prescribed time leads to information deletion.

Timeframe for Physical Signing: Complainants are given a three-day window to physically sign the e-FIR for formal registration. Failure to adhere to this timeframe results in non-registration.

What are Cognizable Offenses

Cognizable offenses are those for which the police can make arrests without requiring a warrant. Immediate police action is permissible upon receiving information or a complaint.

Serious Nature: Typically, cognizable offenses encompass more severe crimes such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, and specific types of fraud.

No Court Permission Needed: In these cases, law enforcement agencies can initiate investigations without court authorization, allowing immediate police action upon learning about the offense.

Jurisdictional Variations: It’s worth noting that the classification of offenses as cognizable or non-cognizable may vary across different legal systems. The severity and nature of offenses are crucial factors determining their categorization.

Challenges and Considerations

Limited Efficacy: The e-FIR concept, while innovative, relies on obtaining information electronically but necessitates physical signatures within a prescribed timeframe. This requirement somewhat limits the effectiveness of the online process.

Lack of Discussion: The Law Commission’s report highlighted the e-FIR system but omitted a detailed discussion on the models adopted by states currently using e-FIRs. This gap potentially hampers a comprehensive understanding of practical implementation.

Significance of Human Intervention

Unexplored Aspects: The Law Commission did not consider several associated facets, or the methodologies employed by the eight States implementing e-FIR systems.

Value of Human Involvement: Immediate police interaction becomes crucial, especially in situations like kidnappings, which necessitate prompt medical assessments and crime scene visits. Human intervention remains pivotal in solving blind crimes.

E-Authentication Techniques

Lack of Discussion: The Commission’s report does not delve into utilizing e-authentication techniques or digital signatures under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

Legal Validity: Electronic records mandatorily require electronic signatures or e-authentication techniques to be considered legally valid. The use of Aadhaar e-KYC services is a recognized method, ensuring authentication reliability.


The move towards an e-FIR system marks a substantial shift in complaint registration but presents procedural and technical challenges. The proposed electronic verification, albeit innovative, raises concerns about the integrity of investigations and overlooks various crucial aspects. Implementing e-authentication techniques in line with IT laws is pivotal for a successful e-FIR system, maintaining both efficiency and legal credibility in the complaint registration process. Therefore, a meticulous approach, involving robust verification systems, is indispensable before wider adoption and implementation of the e-FIR mechanism.


November 9, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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