Archive for the 'First Information Report' Category

A Compilation Of Police Interrogation Tactics

I pulled this from various sites on the net. The most common tactics of interrogation, used by the Indian police, is to beat a confession out of a suspect or intimidate the suspect into signing a confession.

My family was subjected to the tactic of intimidation. Among the many indignities heaped upon them, they were made to watch a suspect subjected to third degree treatment in their presence.

Here is a list of the most common interrogation techniques:

  • Exaggerating the strength of their case: They tell you that they have recordings, fingerprints, documents, eyewitnesses, etc. All of this may true or all may be false but you simply don’t know because you are isolated. They try and get to you as soon as possible to play on your fears and work that confused state of mind to their advantage.
  • Good cop, bad cop: this is an age-old tactic. The police will work in teams of good cop and bad cop. The bad cop will shout at you and attempt to intimidate you, and may even rough you up. The good cop walks in and will apply the healing solution. He may even yell at the bad cop. Apart from exchanging pleasantries, speak to him about all other things at your own risk.
  • Comparison: They will convince you that they think you are the least to blame for what happened and that, therefore, you will not suffer as severe a sentence. It’s the other guys they are really after and if you cooperate, they will put a good word in for you.
  • Small talk/Chit chatting: What is critical to getting the ultimate admission is to get you talking in the first place – about anything – usually in a “friendly” manner. They will try and find something that you have in common and just have a regular conversation. Then, when you feel comfortable just talking, they will move into the area of the crime. It’s the old story about the frog – try and place him in the boiling pot and he will jump out immediately. But put him in a cold pot and then slowly turn up the heat, he will die before he knows what happened to him.
  • Separation: if the accused, like in most 498A cases, belong to a family, then the family members may be separated and each will be told that the other confessed. Watch out for this. This is the most pernicious tactic in my opinion.
  • Threats And Intimidation: This is the standard operating procedure. The police may threaten to book you under more charges. Wish them the best. These charges need to be proven in court and lies don’t stand up to impartial, intelligent scrutiny. There will threats of physical violence, direct or suggested. Just stand up to it.
  • Promises: They will cut a “deal” with you or “put a good word in” for you. Don’t be fooled. They have no power whatsoever to make deals – only prosecutors can do that and, even then, the judge is never bound by any bargain.
  • Furniture And Spatial Psychology: When in the interview room look out for use of furniture. The power of persuasion is greater when the interviewer removes the barrier of the desk that creates a division of “their” space and “your” space. It is common for the interviewers to touch the suspect in a gesture of support and friendship. If the interviewer is on the opposite side of the table, such a gesture is limited. You best defense is to SHOW NO EMOTION. The whole atmosphere inside a police station is geared towards creating an environment of stress so as to break down the suspects morale. It is easy to accept the hand of friendship in such a situation, DON’T break your silence. You, as the suspect, will have your back to the door. This is done to make you feel apprehensive each time someone comes into the room. In addition, the seat for the solicitor will be out of your eye line. The interviewer will often fall silent, putting pressure on you to fill in these “pregnant pauses” – maintain your silence.
  • Expressions Of Approval: Look out for expressions of approval, both verbal and non verbal. Verbal: “That’s good”, “Yes, go on” and “I like that approach”. Non verbal: smiling, nodding, looking at a fellow interviewer as if to say “She’s/he’s right you know.” These are all indications of the frame of mind of the interviewer. You may be offered compliments e.g. “You’re no fool”, etc. Non verbal compliments such as a little shake of the head as if to say that I admire you for saying that. The principle behind all this is to make the suspect feel good and to encourage further dialogue.

CHRI has brought out a flier about police interrogation —> CHRI Police Interrogation

Have your lawyer with you at all times and maintain your silence. The right against self incrimination is a fundamental right.

The police cannot torture you or extract a confession out of you either. This is illegal and if they do so, they are in contempt of the many judgments of the Supreme Court in this regard.


Understanding Issues Of Jurisdiction In A 498A Case

Here is a pdf that explains the rules governing jurisdiction of cognizable offenses (498A cases).

Understanding Issues Of Jurisdiction In A 498A Case

Here are a couple of the judgments of Justice Dhingra where I pulled all this information from.

  1. Delhi HC: 498A Jurisdiction Explained
  2. Justice Dhingra Settles Jurisdiction In NRI 498A Case- Jan 2008

I couldn’t find the Satvinder Kaur Judgment, but here is another judgment on jurisdiction by the Supreme Court, the Ajith Abraham case (Chennai).

SC Judgment On Jurisdiction-Ajith Abraham (Chennai)

Finally, NRIs, you are governed by Section 188 of the IPC and to understand it, please read this judgment by Justice Dhingra:

  1. Justice Dhingra Denies A 498A FIR Quash Petition Citing Section 188
  2. Justice Dhingra Settles Jurisdiction In NRI 498A Case- Jan 2008


Understanding The First Information Report

This doc is all you need to know about what an FIR is all about and why it is so important in a 498A case.

Here is the doc, obtained from the NPRD website.

The First Information Report


SC Judgment (1990): Inordinate Delay In Investigation May Lead To Quashed FIR

Here is the ruling by the SC (State of Andhra Pradesh vs P.V. Pavithran-1990), I quote:

“A lethargic and lackadaisical manner of investigation over a prolonged period makes an accused in a criminal proceeding to live every moment under extreme emotional and mental stress and strain and to remain always under a fear psychosis. Therefore, it is imperative that if investigation of a criminal proceeding staggers on with tardy pace due to the indolence and inefficiency of the investigating agency causing unreasonable and substantial delay resulting in grave prejudice or disadvantage to the accused, the Court as the protector of the right and personal liberty of the citizen will step in and resort to the drastic remedy of quashing further proceedings in such investigation. However, there are offences of grave magnitude which would necessarily involve considerable time for unearthing the crimes and bringing the culprits to book. Therefore, it is not possible to formulate inflexible guidelines or rigid principles of uniform application for speedy investigation or to stipulate any arbitrary period of limitation within which investigation in a criminal case should be completed.”

Here is the link to the judgment: SC Judgment: Inordinate Delay In Investigation


SC: FIR Should Not Be Too Sketchy

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, October 15, 2007

First Published: 18:59 IST(15/10/2007)

An FIR should not be too sketchy to make investigation impossible, the Supreme Court has held.

“Lodging of an FIR is necessary for setting the criminal law in motion. It, however, should not be too sketchy so as to make initiation of investigation on the basis thereof impossible,” a Bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Harjit Singh Bedi said. “Mere information with regard to commission of an offence may not for all intent and purpose satisfy the requirement of the FIR,” it said. The Court’s observation came while setting aside the conviction of three persons in a murder case that took place in Kolhapur District of Maharastra in 1993. In this case, two persons were killed on October 21, 1993 in presence of two alleged eyewitnesses, who passed on the information to the deceased family. The brother of the deceased then went to police station but he did not mention the names of the accused. The details of incidents were narrated to the police on the spot by another witness on the basis of the account of alleged eyewitness and names of the accused were mentioned. However, the court observed, “the alleged eyewitness had disclosed all the details about the incident to all whom they had met. Why they did not lodge the FIR has not been disclosed.”

“If the said prosecution witness who claimed himself to be the eye-witness was the person who could lodge an FIR, there was absolutely no reason why he himself didnot become the first informant,” the Bench said rejecting the statements of the alleged eyewitness who didnot approach the police after the incident.



Some Relevant Sections Of The CrPC

Here is the link to the document (pdf): Some relevant sections of the CrPC

The ful CrPC can be found here:


SC: Police Must Register FIR On Complaint Of Cognizable Offence

Here is the link to the judgment

Here is an excerpt:

The concerned police officer is statutorily obliged to register the  case on the basis of the offence disclosed in the complaint  petition and proceed with investigation in terms of procedure  contained under Sections 156 and 157 of the Code.

“Holding that the conduct of the police has led to grave miscarriage of justice, the apex court in its judgment dated October 12 observed, “Section 154 of the Code thus casts a statutory duty upon police officer to register the case, as disclosed in the complaint, and then to proceed with the investigation. The mandate of section 154 is manifestly clear that if any information disclosing a cognizable offence is laid before an officer in charge of a police station, such police officer has no other option except to register the case on the basis of such information.” Rejecting the plea of delay in trial, the court said,”No doubt, quick justice is sine-qua-non of Article 21 of the Constitution, but when grave present case is committed by the police officer, the ground of delay of disposal of cases or miscarriage of justice as pointed out in the otherwise would not scuttle the miscarriage of justice, similarly, we are of the view that in given facts and circumstances of this case, the accused themselves would be laible to be blamed for the delay if any,” Dismissing the appeal of Lallan Choudhary and others, the apex court also said, “Hence the police officer concerned is duty bound to register the case on receiving information disclosing cognisable offence. Genuineness or credibility of the information is not a condition precedent for registeration of a case. That can only be considered after the registeration of the case. The police officer concerned cannot embark upon an inquiry as to whether the information laid by the informant is reliable and genuine or otherwise and refuse to register a case on the grounds that the information is not relevant or credible.”


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Some Interesting Stats On Arrests Of Women

In 1930, the British govt arrested 17,000 women for their involvement in the Dandi Yatra (Salt March). During 1937 to 1947 (10 Years), they arrested 5,000 women involved in the freedom struggle. From 2004 to 2006, the govt of India arrested 90,000 women of all ages under 498A. On the average, 27,000 women per year are being arrested under this flawed law. These are stats from the NCRB.

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The family of the writer was tortured by the Indian Police in an attempt to extort over a $100,000 by holding them in custody for over a week. The police, in cahoots with the magistrate and the PP, did this due to the ridiculous allegations made in a 498A case by his embittered ex-wife. She filed the case years after he and his family had last seen her. Thousands of 498A cases are filed each year in India by women seeking to wreak vengeance on their husbands and in-laws. Enormous sums are extorted from intimidated families implicated in these cases by corrupt Indian police officers and elements of the Indian judiciary. The author and his family haven't bribed any public official nor have they given in to the extortion. This blog aims to raise awareness of due process in India. The content of this blog constitutes, opinions, observations, and publicly available documents. The intent is not to slander or defame anyone or any institution and is the manifestation of the author's right to freedom of expression – with all the protections this right guarantees.

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