A complaint in CrPC means a complaint made to a magistrate. It is defined in Section 2(d) of CrPC. As per the section it 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.
(1) Essential Requirements of a complaint:
  • It must contain an allegation of commission of offence by anyone.
  • It can be made either orally or in writing.
  • It must be made to a Magistrate.
  • It must be made with a view to take action by the Magistrate
(2) Statement must be made with a view to take action
A complaint need only state the facts of the commission of offence. No provision of law in which the offence is defined is to be stated. There is no such requirement. As a usual practise, advocates tend to refer the sections also in the complaint. The point is made clear by various decisions and it is expressly stated in Section 190(1)(a) of the CrPC. It reads thus: Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, any Magistrate of the first class, and any Magistrate of the second class specially empowered in this behalf under sub-section(2), may take cognizance of any offence-(a) upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence. So what is required is that a statement constituting the commission of any offence and a prayer to make appropriate relief orders. It is not meant to state any specific prayer or relief.
(3) Recording sworn statement
It is essential when Magistrate takes cognizance of offence on a complaint. It is thus stated in Section 200 of the Code. The magistrate may order an inquiry or investigation into the offence and after that if he is of the opinion that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding, he shall dismiss the complaint as stated in Section 203 of the Code. In exceptional circumstances a second complaint after the first one is dismissed under Sec.203, is maintainable.

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