Complaint to Magistrate

What is complaint to magistrate?

According to Section 2 (d) of Criminal Procedure Code 1973 “complaint” means any allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate, with a view to his taking action under this Code, that some person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offence, but does not include a police report.

Explanation: – A report made by a police officer in a case which discloses, after investigation, the commission of a non- cognizable offence shall be deemed to be a complaint; and the police officer by whom such report is made shall be deemed to be the complainant;

Complaint to Magistrate

So a Complaint means any allegation, that can be either verbally or in writing made to a magistrate, to take action under the Code that a person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offense, but does not include a police report.

What are the essential requirements of a complaint to magistrate?

The essential requirements of complaint are as follows: –

  • Complaint should be made before magistrate and not before a police officer.
  • It can be made either in writing or in oral.
  • It can be made by any person or against any person.
  • For complaint, it is necessary that offence has been committed. But it is not necessary to mention the name of the offence clearly.
  • Any person can made complaint who has knowledge of incident.

Statement must be made with a view to take action

A complaint requires only the facts of the commission of the offence. It does not include provisions of law under which the offence is defined. As a general practice, advocates also refer sections to complaints. This point has been clarified by various judgements and it is clearly stated in section 190 (1) (a) of CrPC.

Section 190: – Cognizance of offenses by magistrates

  1. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, any magistrate of the first class, and any magistrate of the second class specially empowered in this regard under sub-section (2), may take cognizance of any offense: –
    • On receiving the complaint of the facts which constitute such crime;
    • On the police report of such facts;
    • On the information received from a person other than a police officer or on his own knowledge that such a crime has been committed.

2. The Chief Judicial Magistrate may confer upon any second class magistrate the right to take cognizance under sub-section (1) of such offenses as is within his competency to inquire or try.

Dismissal of compalint by magistarte

This is necessary when on a complaint, the magistrate takes cognizance of the offense. It is also provided  in section 200 of the Code, that the magistrate may order an inquiry or investigation into the offense and thereafter if he is of the view that there is not sufficient basis for proceeding, he shall dismiss the complaint as stated in Section 203 of the Code. In exceptional circumstances a second complaint, after dismissing the first one under Sec.203, is maintainable.

What is FIR (First Information Report)?

Information which is given under sub-section(1) of section 154 of CrPC is commonly known as FIR. An FIR (First Information Report) is the first and the earliest information of a cognizable offense recorded by an officer in charge of a police station. The underlying reason for filing the FIR is the preamble of a criminal law and not to express all the minor details therein.

The information which is given to the police officer for the registration of the case, that information must be authentic and bona fide.It should be traceable to a person who should be responsible for providing information and not gossip. It may or may not be hearsay but the person reporting the said hearsay  should take responsibility for it and mention the source of the information. The FIR should not be the result of an irresponsible rumor.

Information by a women

If the information given by the woman against whom the offense is charged under under sections 326A, 326B, 354, 354A-D, 376, 376A-E and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, then such notice will be recorded by the female officer only.

What are the essentials of FIR?

The necessary prerequisites while giving information/recording information are: –

  • What information should be conveyed?
  • In what capacity did the crime occur?
  • Who committed the crime?
  •  Against whom was the crime committed?
  • When was the crime started?
  • Where did the crime happen?
  • What was the motive behind this?
  • Mode of occurrence, if any
  • Witness, if any.
  • If something was taken away?
  • What marks were left by the accused?
  • Any reason, if at all.

Procedure of filing FIR

Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 completes the process of filing an FIR: –

1.Written form: – When the  information of the commission of a cognizable offense is given verbally, the police must write it down.

2. Read Over: – The person giving the information or complaining may demand that the information entered by the police be read by him / her.

3. Verification: – The report should be signed only after verifying the information entered by the police as per the information given by you.

4. Signature: – Once the information is registered by the police, it should be signed by the person giving the information. It should be kept in mind that those who are unable to read or write are expected to put their left thumb impression on the document after being satisfied, this is a correct record.

5. Copy of FIR: – The person who is filing the FIR has the right to get the copy of that FIR free of cost.

Objective of FIR

The objectives of filing FIR are as follows: –

  •  To reduce the substance of the data given of the cognizable offense, whenever given orally, in a written form.
  • To be signed by the complainantant  if presented in writing.
  • To maintain record of cognizable offense committed.
  •  To initiate investigation on receipt of notice of commission of cognizable offense.
  • To inform the magistrate about the nature of the received information.

Who can lodge a FIR?

Following persons can lodge a FIR: –

  1. Any aggrieved person or someon on his behalf.
  1. Any person who is aware of the crime
    • Any eye witness or
    • Hearsay aacount

3. Accused himself can lodge the FIR.

4. Even on the basis of his knowledge or information by the SHO, when a cognizable offense is committed in view of an officer-in-charge, he can file a case himself, although he is not obliged to write any information and even if the information is only Medical certificate on arrival of the injured should be recorded by the SHO in the daily diary and go to the hospital to record the detailed statement of the injured person.

In all cases the information must be definitive, not ambiguous, not authentic, not baseless, gossip or rumor, clearly making a cognizable case. It should be kept in mind that the person delivering the hearsay  is required to mention the source of his information and submit it with his signature to avoid false rumors.

Where FIR should be filed?

Any person can file a First Information Report (FIR). It is not necessary for him to be a victim or injured or an eye witness. The first information report does not have to be correct and therefore it can be a hearsay and not necessarily given by a person with prior knowledge of the facts.

When should it be filed?

An FIR should be lodged in the police station of the concerned area under whose jurisdiction the offense occurred.

Although it is secondary, however it is an equally important object to obtain preliminary information of an alleged criminal activity and to record the circumstances prior to trial, that  such circumstances of the case  are forgotten or embellished.

Evidentiary value of FIR:

FIR is not an important part of the evidence, can be used in the following ways: –

  • Used for corroboration purposes.
  • The evidence of a person giving information is important for contradictory purposes.
  • As an admission against the informer.
  • To refresh former’s memory.
  • To impeaching the credit of an informer.
  • To prove the informer’s conduct.

What if policeman refuses to record FIR?

  • Any person can bring the complaint of the Superintendent of Police or any other concerned officer by meeting them directly.
  • Complaint can be sent in writing via post to the concerned Superintendent of Police. It is at the option of the officer that if he is satisfied with the complaint, he will either investigate the case himself or order an inquiry.
  • One has the option of filing a personal complaint before the court comes under its jurisdiction.
  • The police can always approach the State Human Rights Commission or the National Human Rights Commission in the event of negligence or baised manner.

What is a zero FIR?

A type of FIR that can be lodged in any police station regardless of incident or jurisdiction. However, after its investigation and filing with the magistrate, it was transferred to the police station which has competent jurisdiction. It should be noted that a normal FIR has a proper serial number, on the contrary zero FIR is registered in any police station and hence it is not given number. The police station in which the zero FIR is lodged, must conduct a basic investigation of the case before sending it to another police station in which it has competent jurisdiction.

What is e-FIR?

E-FIR in short is an electronic FIR and can be filed in cases of cognizable offenses like rape, murder, dowry murder etc. The main agenda is to protect the identity of victims who may not be able to file an FIR. Nearby police stations like society pressure, unbalance to face society, etc.

Difference between FIR and complaint to magistrate

MeaningThe First Information Report (FIR) is a document which is in writing prepared by the police officer  when they receive any information about the commission of a cognizable offense.Complaint “means any allegations, made either verbally or in writing to a magistrate, to take action under the Code that a person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offense, but it does not  includes a police report.
FormatIn FIR, the format should be prescribed.In police complaint, there is no such prescribed format.
Made toPolice officerMetropolitan magistrate
OffencesIt can be recorded only in the cognizable offense.It can be recorded in both cognizable and non-cognizable offences.
Who can submitAny aggrieved person or accused or any such person.Anyone subject to certain exceptions.

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