Police Complaints procedure and things to know

Overview: There is enough crime that affects us on a daily basis. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to report your grievance to the police. This complaint which is expressed on certain facts and issues can be expressed by the complaint when he/ she is personally affected or through the well wishers of the complainant. The informant can be anyone and the complaint can be public or private in nature 

Purpose: To state and express your problem, or grievance before the police office in whose jurisdiction the offence takes place 

Areas of Application of Law: Indian penal code, code of criminal procedure and any other applicable special act 

Process: the complaint has to be made to the SHO or the Station House Officer within the local jurisdiction of whose police station that offence or incident has taken place. The complainant has to approach the concerned police station and speak to the police officer there. Generally complainants are made in the local police station where the offence has taken place, however there is a provision in law called zero FIR also.  ( which is not dealt in this article)

The complainant should make his complaint to the SHO/ officer in charge, duty officer or the head constable who is the in-charge to register complaints or Firs at the relevant time.  For any cognizable offence, it is mandatory for the police to register the FIR. The complaints are to be registered free of cost. It should be kept in mind that any and all relevant facts must be clearly stated in the complaint. 

The complaint must be filed in writing, as early as possible and without any delay. It should be in first person, and copies must be taken on carbon sheets simultaneously. The time of the complaint has to be mentioned in the complaint and daily diary at the police station. The complaint must be detailed and easy to understand. It should contain details like- your capacity to file the complaint, date, time and place of occurance of the offence, details of the victim, details of the perpetrator of crime, likely reason for the offence, particulars of the witnesses to the offence, any weapons or evidence at the site of offence, any money/ property stolen or involved in the offence. Please note that these details have to be specific. The complainant must read the draft before signing it. It has to be entered into the registers at the police station and a copy must be taken by the complainant for records.

 This complaint after investigation is made into the First information report and forms the basis of the chargesheet. It is extremely important that the facts and information given is true and no frivolous or misinformation is given. Making a wrong complaint invites prosecution as per law. 

Documents required to be submitted in the court if any: not at the stage of filing the complaint before the police officer. 

Punishment/Expected Relief: based on the complaint and FIR the investigation starts and these form the basis of the criminal case. 

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