Meaning of ZERO FIR
It was introduced by the recommendation of the Justice Verma committee in the criminal law Amendment Act,2013. the object of introducing the concept of zero FIR was to curb the refusal of an officer in charge of police station to register an FIR due to lack of its territorial jurisdiction.
ZERO FIR can be lodged regarding a cognizable case irrespective of the place of crime and jurisdiction of the police station. The police which registers such FIR classifies it by serial number zero and transfers the relevant documents to the police having territorial jurisdiction which begins the investigation.
In Kirti Vashisht v/s state and ors, Hon’ble Delhi High Court held that if any information is received regarding commission of a cognizable offence by any police station, such is duty-bound to register the FIR and transfer the same to the concerned police station.
POWER TO INVESTIGATE OUTSIDE TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION
Satwinder Kaur v/s state (GOVT.OF NCT of Delhi) 1999 8SCC 728)
The station House officer has statutory authority under sec-156 of the Criminal Procedure Code to investigate any cognizable case for which an FIR is lodged.
At the stage of investigation, there is no question of interference under sec-482 of the Crpc on the ground that the Investigating Officer has no territorial Jurisdiction. At the stage of investigation, the material cannot be judicially scrutinized for arriving at a conclusion that police station officer of particular police station would not have territorial jurisdiction.
Such an FIR, which will be transferred to other police station under whose local jurisdiction the crime was committed would local jurisdiction crime was committed would be called zero FIR.
RAMESH AWASTHI V/S STATE (GOVT.of NCT of Delhi)2017
Sec-154 CrPC unlike sec-156(1) does not prescribe for a restriction on registration of FIR in respect of an offence committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the police station,the officer-in-charge of the police station would still register the FIR and investigate thereon.
There appears to be no settled law yet on the extent of investigation powers of the police station where FIR is registered but falls out of the territorial jurisdiction. Although in case of zero FIR, if at the time of registration it is apparent that the offence is committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of the police station, however even when there is no ZERO FIR the police station can investigate outside of its territorial jurisdiction. It needs to be a settled law on this.