Cryptic tele message cannot become FIR: SC

A cryptic telephonic message received from an unidentified person cannot be converted into an FIR as a police officer has to statutorily put down the information in writing and obtain signature of the complainant, the Supreme Court has held.

A bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B Lokur said an oral message can be treated as FIR but the procedure prescribed under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has to be followed for the purpose.


“Even though oral information given by an officer in charge of a police station can be treated as an FIR, yet some procedural formalities are required to be completed. They include reducing the information in writing and reading it over to the informant and obtaining his or her signature on the transcribed information,” the bench said. In the case of a telephonic conversation received from an unknown person, the question of reading over that information to the anonymous informant does not arise, nor does the appending of a signature to the information arise, the court added.

“However, we are not going into any technicalities on the subject, keeping in mind technological advances made in communication systems. All we need say is that it is now well settled by a series of decisions rendered by this Court that a cryptic telephonic information cannot be treated as an FIR,” the bench said.

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