What are the alternatives available to the Magistrate in receiving a complaint?

When any Offence is committed, the victim can go to file F.I.R, N.C.R or go to Magistrate and file a complaint before him. But do you know what are the alternatives available to the magistrate.in receiving a complaint?

These are the alternatives –

 

Cognizance of offence by Magistrate under section 190 (1) (a) CrPC

 

Section 190 (1) (a) CrPC states that any Magistrate of first class and any Magistrate of the second class may take cognizance of any offence upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence.

 

In Oommen Chandy v. State of Kerala – 2016 (3) KHC 621, the Court made an observation that A ‘complaint’ within the meaning of Section 190 (1) (a) Cr.P.C. should not be a mere ‘complaint’ within the meaning of Section 2 (d) Cr.P.C. alone; whereas, such a ‘complaint’ should be ‘a complaint of facts which constitute such offence’. The allegations in the complaint should contain “facts which constitute the offence”. Mere allegations or averments cannot constitute ‘facts’.

 

‘Fact’ is defined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 as,

 

Section 3 : “Fact” means and includes-

 

(1) any thing, state of things, or relation of things, capable of being perceived by senses;

 

(2) any mental condition of which any person is conscious;

 

Examination of Complainant under section 200 crpc

 

Section 200 states that a Magistrate taking cognizance of an offence on complaint shall examine upon oath the complainant and the witnesses present and the substance shall be reduced to writing and shall be signed by the complainant and witnessed and also by the Magistrate.

 

Proviso –

Magistrate need not to examine the complainant and the witnesses –

i. if a public servant acting or purporting to act in discharge of his official duties or a court has made the complaint; or

ii. If the Magistrate makes over the case for inquiry or trial to another Magistrate under Section 192

 

In Cheminova India Limited v. State of Punjab (LL 2021 SC 355)

The Supreme Court observed that a Magistrate is not required to record the statement of a public servant who filed the complaint in discharge of his official duty before issuing summons to the accused residing outside the territorial jurisdiction.

 

Postponement of issue of process under Section 202 crpc

 

Section 202, Crpc states that a magistrate on receipt of a complaint of an offence may postpone the issue if proceeding against the accused, and either inquire into the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by a police officer or by such other person.

 

Dismissal of Complaint under section 203 crpc

 

Section 203 Crpc states that if the Magistrate is of opinion that there is no sufficient ground for proceedings then he shall dismiss the complaint and in every such case he shall briefly record his reasons for doing so.

 

In Rajan v. State of Kerala (2016), the Kerala High Court reiterated that dismissal of a complaint at the pre-cognizance stage can only be treated as a “rejection” of the complaint, and not a dismissal.

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