SC rejects argument of FIR delay in Nirbhaya gang-rape case

New Delhi: An FIR is not an encyclopaedia of facts, the Supreme Court observed on Friday as it rejected the contention of the four Nirbhaya gang-rape convicts that there was delay in lodging of the FIR in the December 2012 crime, and their names were not mentioned in the initial police report.

Finding no fault with the time taken in lodging of the FIR, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan said: “Even assuming for the sake of argument that there is delay, the same is in consonance with natural human conduct.”

The court said this while upholding the death sentence of the four convicts – Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur – in the December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case.

Saying it has no “hesitation in arriving at the conclusion that there was no delay in lodging of the FIR”, the court in its judgment said: “The sequence of events is natural and in the present case the victim was seriously injured and was in a critical condition, and it has to be treated as a natural conduct that giving medical treatment to her was of prime importance.”

The court also rejected the contention on behalf of the convicts that the FIR of the incident did not have the names of the accused (now convicts) persons.

“It has to be kept in mind that it is settled law that FIR is not an encyclopaedia of facts and it is not expected from a victim to give details of the incident either in the FIR or in the brief history given to the doctors,” said the judgment.

“FIR is not an encyclopaedia which is expected to contain all the details of the prosecution case; it may be sufficient if the broad facts of the prosecution case alone appear,” the court said, adding that if any overt act is attributed to a particular accused among the assailants, it must be given greater assurance.

The court said omission of the names of the accused in the FIR has to be considered in the backdrop of the entire factual scenario, the materials brought on record and objective weighing of the circumstances.

“The impact of the omission, … , has to be adjudged in the totality of the circumstances and the veracity of the evidence. The involvement of the accused persons cannot be determined solely on the basis of what has been mentioned in the FIR,” the judgment said.