Criminal Law helps keep society in equilibrium, to prevent and correct unsocial criminal behaviour. Make the societ habitable and orderly. However In India – criminal law and police are often used as instruments of oppression, the rich,mighty and the well connected often have police at their beck and call. When the ordinary finds it an ordeal getting their genuine complaints registered for the police is too rude and hostile. But for the rich police is too happy registering false FIRs for them to settle personal scores, earn extortion money, usurp property and what not. This is a short work on what to do if you find yourself in the throes of such an FIR.
1. Don’t fret – initial harassment aside such prosecutions (about 60 per cent of all as per my experience) falls like a pack of cards – because the police as corrupt and wily as they are – lose out on wits in the end ! Write to the highest in police in your state about false implication. This would create a paper trial and help build your defence. Start collecting evidences to disprove your guilt !
2. Get anticipatory bail if the offence is non bailable and cognizable. If you are out you can build your defence better.
3. If the police has framed you up – hire a good defence who shall go for quashing of the matter. The Supreme Court has held that if an FIR is filed with an ulterior motive (eg : to make one withdraw a case/peform a contract or to extort or blackmail) or levels allegations inherently improbable ones which no reasonable person would believe (eg : an old lady beating a professional wrestler)
4. Don’t pay up to earn your freedom. Fight on merits. File legitimate counter cases to shift the balance. Once you earn your acquittal – discharge – file for defamation and malicious prosecution to bring offendors to book.
The author is a Supreme Court Advocate and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org