Understanding FIR and Complaint under Code of Criminal Procedure
Adv Md Kasif Khan

Understanding FIR and Complaint under Code of Criminal Procedure

Download FREE LegalStix App


Introduction: Understanding FIR and Complaint under Code of Criminal Procedure

In the realm of criminal law in India, the First Information Report (FIR) and Complaint play pivotal roles, each serving distinct purposes and initiating specific legal procedures. Section 2(d), Section 154, and Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) shed light on the definitions and nuances associated with these crucial legal documents.

First Information Report (FIR):

The FIR is essentially the recorded statement of the informant under Section 154 CrPC, commonly referred to as the First Information Report. This report marks the earliest communication to a police officer, prompting them to take action regarding the commission of a cognizable offense. The primary objective of an FIR is to set the wheels of criminal law in motion and ensure the proper investigation of the alleged offense.

Essentials of a valid FIR:

  1. The information must relate to the commission of a cognizable offense.
  2. The information must be made to the officer in charge of a police station.
  3. It may be given either orally or in writing.
  4. If given oral, it should be reduced in writing by the officer in charge or by any other person under his direction.
  5. It should be read over to informant.
  6. If given in writing or reduced in writing shall be signed by the informant. 
  7. Substance of the information shall be entered in General Diary.
  8. Copy of the information recorded should be given to the informant free of cost.
  9. It must be made with the intention of initiating legal action under the Code.

Complaint (Section 2(d)):

A complaint, as defined in Section 2(d) of the CrPC, encompasses any allegation made orally or in writing to a magistrate, urging them to take legal action. It involves the assertion that a person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offense. Notably, a police report disclosing the commission of a non-cognizable offense is deemed a complaint under the explanation of Section 2(d).

Essentials of a valid complaint:

  1. The allegation must pertain to the commission of an offense, whether cognizable or non-cognizable.
  2. The offense may be committed by a known or unknown person.
  3. The complaint is made to a magistrate.
  4. It is made with the intention of the magistrate taking action under the Code.
  5. A complaint is distinct from a police report and may be oral or in writing.

Deemed Complaint:

While a complaint typically excludes a police report, the explanation in Section 2(d) highlights that if an investigation reveals a non-cognizable offense, the police officer's report will be deemed a complaint.

Difference between FIR and Complaint:

  1. A complaint is submitted to a magistrate who may examine the complainant under oath, while an FIR is handed to a police officer, who does not conduct a sworn examination of the informant.
  2. A complaint may relate to both cognizable and non-cognizable offenses, whereas an FIR is specifically for cognizable offenses.


Understanding the distinctions between FIR and complaint is crucial for anyone navigating the legal landscape in India. Whether initiating legal proceedings through an FIR or opting for a complaint before a magistrate, individuals must be aware of the specific procedures and nuances associated with each process outlined in the Code of Criminal Procedure.


Loading Result...

Download FREE LegalStix App

Get instant updates!

Request a callback
Register Now