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Complaint under Criminal Procedure Code

Complaint under Criminal Procedure Code

Complaint under section 2(d) of the Criminal Procedure Code 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 it does not include a police report. However, a report made by the 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 making the report as a complainant. In general a complaint into an offence can be filed by any person except in cases of offences relating to marriage, defamation and offences mentioned under Sections 195 and 197.

A complaint in a criminal case is what a plaint is in a civil case. The requisites of a complaint are:

(i) an oral or a written allegation;

(ii) some person known or unknown has committed an offence;

(iii) it must be made to a magistrate; and

(iv) it must be made with the object that he should take action.

There is no particular format of a complaint. A petition addressed to the Magistrate containing an allegation that an offence has been committed, and ending with a prayer that the culprit be suitably dealt with is a complaint. (Mohd. Yousuf v. Afaq Jahan, AIR 2006 SC 705). Complaint need not be presented in person. A letter to a magistrate stating facts constituting an offence and requesting to take action is a complaint. 

Police report is expressly excluded from the definition of complaint but the explanation to Section 2(d) makes it clear that such report shall be deemed to be a complaint where after investigation it discloses commission of a non-cognizable offence. Police report means a report forwarded by a police officer to a Magistrate under Subsection (2) of Section 173.

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