A complaint is one in which one expresses his/her grievances by stating the facts and situations of the case the approaches the police and files a complaint expressing his/her grievances. India, though, have a bad reputation when it comes to reporting of crime but the laws provides for a full procedure in which one can file a complaint and can give information about a crime. Such laws of procedure are given in Criminal Procedure Code, Cr.P.C lays down full procedure of filing a complaint in a criminal case. In a criminal case, one approaches the police station and files a FIR (First Information Report) with the head of the police station i.e. generally the SHO (Station House Officer) and in his absence with any officer above the rank of constable available at the police station.
A FIR is the first document on which the complaint get registered and is though a very important document. It is very crucial for starting of any investigation. One approaches the police station and lodge a FIR. FIR contain the facts as stated by the aggrieved person. In case of cognizable offence, the police can directly start the investigation and there is no need for getting a sanction from the magistrate. But in a non-cognizable offence, the police first needs to get the sanction of the magistrate to proceed with the investigation and only after such sanction can the police begin with the investigation. After lodging of FIR, copies of that FIR are made and one of such copies is given to the aggrieved person lodging the FIR.
In cases the police does not register someone’s FIR, the person can:
1. Move to senior police officer like Superintendent of Police or some other police officers and bring the matter to his/her notice.
2. One can also post a letter stating his/her grievance to the SP and then he/she can take an action and order for an investigation to be made in that regard or himself can initiate the investigation.
3. One can directly approach a magistrate of jurisdiction through a private application.
4. One can also get his/her grievance addressed through an application to State Human Rights Commission or National Human Rights.
In case of grave and heinous crime, the Criminal Procedure Code also provides for the concept of ‘Zero FIR’. Zero FIR is a FIR lodged in any other police station not having jurisdiction over that particular issue. This provision is made so that there is no time wastage and the process of investigation can start at its earliest. So, in a Zero FIR a complaint/FIR is lodged and the investigation starts and once the investigation starts and is in process the FIR is transferred to the police station having cognizance and there the FIR get registered and numbered. The concept of Zero FIR has been made to make the investigation and trial process speedy.
In a rape case, when the victim is not in a position to come police station a due to any fear or injury, any other person who knows of the occurrences (family, relatives, friends) can approach police station and can lodged an complaint. For lodging a FIR in a rape case, it is important that there is a police women present. And it is seen that the victim is comfortable in telling about the facts and circumstances.
So, in such a way, a complaint in a rape case through a FIR can be lodged and after investigation, the trial can start.
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