What is the meaning of complaint ? and its essential features.

WHAT IS A COMPLAINT: In section 2(d) of the Code of criminal procedure code provides that the 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.

The explanation of section 2(d) further lays down that 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.section 2 d criminal procedure code 1973

POLICE REPORT: The police report has been defined to mean a report forwarded by a police officer to a magistrate

NOTE: a complaint need not necessarily be made by the person injured. any person aware of the commission of an offence may set the law in motion by a complaint even though he is not personally injured or affected by the offence.

the is that if a general law is broken any person has the right to complain whether he has suffered any particular injury or not.


  1. The supreme court in the matter of Mohd Yusuf V/S Afaq Jahan (2006 Cri. L.J 788), has observed that there is no particular format of a complaint and nomenclature is also immaterial. a petition addressed to the magistrate containing an allegation that an offense has been committed and ending with the prayer that the culprit be suitably dealt with, as in the instant case, is a “complaint”
  2. in the matter of MENKABALA SARKAR V/S SAURENDRA CHANDRA MALAKAR, 1971 Cr.l.j. 1055(Tripura), it has been held that it is apparent that the complaint as defined under the Cr.p.c and the report of a police officer are quite distinct from each other and mutually exclusive in the legal sense.

ESSENTIAL OF A COMPLAINT The essential of a complaint are as follow: –

  1. There must be an allegation about the commission of an offense.
  2. It must be made to a magistrate.
  3. The intention of making a complaint should be that the magistrate should take action.
  4. The action should be taken by a magistrate under this code.
  5. It must not be a police report unless it discloses the commission of a non-cognizable offense after an investigation by the police.
  6. It must be against some person, whether known or unknown.
  7. Giving the date of cause of action in a complaint under section.