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File a Criminal Complaint in India: A Step-By-Step Process

On November 26th, 2016, one of the most defining moments in India's history took place when the government passed a law that allowed individuals to file a criminal complaint online in order to protect themselves. This article will go over what you need to know on how to do so efficiently.

Filing an FIR in India

If you are a tourist or expatriate residing outside of India, there is a good chance that you have never had to file a criminal complaint in India, let alone understand the process. The good news is that it is not very difficult and can be done quite easily if you are prepared. Here we provide a step-by-step guide to filing an FIR in India.

If possible, try to gather as much information as possible about the incident before filing your complaint. Knowing the facts helps ensure that your complaint is taken seriously and that it is not dismissed out of hand. Additionally, take photographs or video footage of the scene if possible (for example, if the crime occurred at night). This can be valuable evidence should your complaint end up in court.

Assuming you have gathered all of the pertinent evidence, next you will need to reach out to the police department responsible for investigating the case. You may need to provide them with some copies of your evidence (photos and video footage) as well as contact information for everyone involved in the incident. It is also important to state categorically that this is indeed a criminal complaint and not just a trivial matter. The sooner you arrange to have your case investigated and interviewed, the better your odds of getting justice for yourself and your loved one. After all, is said and done (which can take a long time), you may change your mind about pursuing criminal charges against the assailant or pursue a civil lawsuit instead. Keep in mind that not all cases are handled as fast as other situations because the detectives working on them want to make sure they have sufficient proof to convict a suspect before filing charges against him or her.

  • Verify the location of the police station where your FIR should be filed. The police station locator can be found online or on a map
  • Find out the procedure to file a criminal complaint in India. The procedure may vary from police station to police station, but generally, you will need to go to the police station and present identification such as your passport, driver’s license, or residence card. You should also bring evidence such as photographs or videos that support your allegations
  • Complete the forms provided by the police department and submit them with all required documents. Make sure to keep a copy of all forms for your records
  • If your complaint is about an election offense, you will need to provide additional documents such as voting slips or electional cards
  • You must also pay any applicable fees that may be levied by the Indian authorities
  • Finally, wait for a response


Filing an FIR in India By Indian Resident

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to file a criminal complaint in India, there are specific steps you need to take. Here is a step-by-step process of how to file an FIR in India:

  • Gather as much information as possible. Make a list of all the involved parties, their addresses, and any other pertinent information. This can include photos, police reports, or witness statements if necessary
  • Locate the local police station nearest to where the incident took place and make an appointment to file the complaint
  • Present your list of evidence to the officer at the police station and explain your situation
  • Sign the complaint form and leave the station with a copy for your records
  • Wait for the results of your complaint, which could take up to two weeks. If no results are forthcoming, follow up with the police station to see if they have any new information for you.

What Can You Do If Your FIR Is Not Registered?

Option 1: File a Complaint with the District Magistrate

The first step is to file a complaint with the district magistrate. This will allow the authorities to take further action, should they feel it is necessary. The process is straightforward and can be done online. The district magistrate will require some documents from you, such as your passport and proof of residence. Once these are provided, they will take down your complaint and provide instructions on how to proceed. It’s important to note that filing a complaint alone will not result in any legal action being taken. You must also follow through with this by providing witnesses and evidence.

Option 2: Pursue Court Cases 

If the district magistrate fails to address your concerns, or if you feel that the situation has become complicated or dangerous, you may need to pursue a court case. You may need to hire a lawyer or file several documents on your own behalf.

What Comes After Filing an FIR?

If you have filed an FIR or complained to the police in India, then your next step is to wait for a response from the authorities. Keep in mind that the process could take some time, so don’t get too discouraged if there is no response right away. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Monitor the police website or social media accounts for updates
  • Contact the police department if you have not heard back by a certain date
  • Stay calm and patience – this process can be frustrating, but it will eventually lead to justice being served

Filing an FIR (First Information Report) is the first step in any criminal investigation in India. However, there are other steps that need to be followed after filing an FIR. If you have filed an FIR and are concerned about the privacy of the people involved, do not worry. The police will only use your identity and contact information to investigate the case. No other information will be shared with the police without your permission.

  • After filing an FIR, the police will initiate investigations into the case. This process can take several days or weeks, depending on the complexity of the case
  • During this time, the police may request additional information from you or from anyone else who may have information about the case.
  • Once all necessary information has been gathered, the police will submit a report to the court describing their findings in the case
  • You or anyone else, who has information relevant to the case, can request an investigation into the matter. You will not be required to make this statement while in police custody, but it is both wise and polite to consult an attorney before making any statements
  • A charge sheet will then be prepared by the investigating agency containing material witnesses’ affidavits, evidence gathered during the investigation of offence either directly or by way of disclosure under Section 182(1) of Cr PC or Section 164 Cr PC and that which is received during investigation i.e. Statement of third party and statement recorded from accused as well as other particulars. This charge sheet will be handed over for perusal to the court for determination & disposal.

What Is a Zero FIR and When Should it Be Used?

A ‘zero FIR’ is a criminal complaint filed by the police without any evidence or cognizable offence. It is used when the police have insufficient evidence to initiate an investigation and charge anyone with a crime.There are various reasons why the police may decide to file a zero FIR. One reason could be that the detectives feel there is not enough evidence to prosecute someone for a crime. Another reason could be that the police do not have any eyewitnesses or other information that leads them to believe that someone has committed a crime. In some cases, the police may choose to file a zero FIR in order to gather more information before making a decision about whether or not to charge someone with a crime. For example, if during an investigation of a criminal case the police learn that there might be terrorist activity or activity related to drug trafficking at a particular address, that information could influence their decision to file a Zero FIR. If the police filed a zero FIR in such situations they must follow up with additional investigations and/or apply for search warrants as required per Constitutional Court decisions and Supreme Court rule making on matters involving sensitive information.

What Should a Plaint Contain in the Criminal Complaint in India

In order to file a criminal complaint in India, you will need to gather the following information:

  • The name of the person you are accusing of a crime
  • Your contact information
  • The time and date of the alleged crime
  • A description of what happened
  • Any physical evidence that may exist pertaining to the crime
  • The name and contact information of a witness.

What Should a Vakalatnama Contain in the Criminal Complaint in India

If you are filing a criminal complaint in India, here are some key things that your vakalatnama should contain: 

  1. Full Name and Address of the complainant
  2. Date of the incident
  3. Description of what happened
  4. Names and addresses of those allegedly responsible for the incident
  5. Identification of any weapons or injuries sustained by the complainant
  6. A statement that the complainant wishes to file a police report and pursue legal action against those involved in the incident
  7. Signature of the complainant.

What Is the Court Fees to Pay for Criminal Complaint in India

The plaintiff(s) are ordered to pay the court fees in accordance with the rules set by the Court Fees Stamp Act.

Court fees can cost a small percentage of the plaintiff’s claim. It depends on the case filed and any benefits they’re seeking. In the process of dealing with a case, an advocate can instruct about procedures that will occur and what the court fees might be. All citizens must be aware of their rights under the law if they want to file an FIR. If the police refuse to accept your complaint, you may have to turn to the judicial magistrate.

How to File a Criminal Complaint With a Judicial Magistrate

If you have been a victim of a crime, the first step is to file a criminal complaint with the judicial magistrate. Judicial magistrate is an officer who is responsible for resolving minor cases such as petty theft, robbery etc. Judicial magistrates are also responsible for conducting preliminary inquiry in murder and rape cases.

To file a criminal complaint with judicial magistrate in india, follow these steps:

  • Go to the nearest police station and report the crime;
  • Ask the police officer to take you to the judicial magistrate’s office;
  • Present your passport and fill out a form called ‘Citizen’s Complaint – Information’;
  • Pay the fee;
  • Allow the investigation to take its course;
  • If necessary, request the judicial magistrate to conduct a preliminary inquiry.
  1. If the complaint is not in written form

The magistrate investigates the complaint. The complaint is written in sworn form and the complainant, as well as the witness(es), have to sign it in front of the magistrate

  1. If the complaint is in written form
  • The Magistrate needs to examine the complainant and the witness unless
  • The complainant is an official of a government organization carrying out his duties.
  • If the Magistrate has forwarded the case to another Magistrate, they must trial or inquire in the case under Section 192.

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