How does the Magistrate deals with complaints?
What is criminal complaint?
The Code of Criminal Procedure defines the term ‘complaint’ as any allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate. It’s done 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.
Examination of complainant (section 200)
A Magistrate with whom compliant filed, shall examine the complainant and also witnesses on oath. The contents in the compliant shall also examined and reduced in writing in a report. The report shall have signature of complainant, witnesses and also the Magistrate. Provided that, when the complaint made in writing, the Magistrate need not examine the complainant and the witnesses,
- if a public servant acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duties or a Court has made the complaint; or
- if the Magistrate makes over the case for inquiry or trial to another Magistrate under section 192:
Provided further that if the Magistrate transfers the case to another Magistrate under section 192 after examining the complainant and the witnesses, the latter Magistrate need not re-examine them.
Procedure by Magistrate not competent to take cognizance of the case ( section 201)
If the complaint filled with the Magistrate who can not take cognizance of the offence he shall,
- if the complaint made in writing, the return it. Also ask him to present the compliant in proper court;
- if the complaint not made in writing, direct the complainant to the proper Court.
Postponement of issue of process ( section 202)
Any Magistrate on receiving a complaint of an offence for which he has authorization to take cognizance or the case has transferred to him, if he thinks, postpone the issuer of process. It can postponed if the accused resides at a place beyond the areas in which he exercises his jurisdiction. The magistrate can also either inquire into the case himself or direct the police officer to investigate into the case. Provided that no such direction for investigation made where:
- it appears to the Magistrate that the offence triable only by court of session; or
- the complaints not made by a Court, unless the complainant and also the witnesses present (if any)examined on oath under section 200.
In an inquiry, the Magistrate may, if he thinks fit, take evidence of witness on oath. Provided that if it appears to the Magistrate that the offence triable only by the Court of Session. Then he shall call upon the complainant to produce all his witnesses and examine them on oath.
If an investigation made by a person not being a police officer, he shall have all the powers for investigation given by this code to an officer in charge of a police station except the power to arrest without warrant.
Dismissal of complaints (Section 203)
If, after considering the statements on oath (if any) of the complainant and of the witnesses and the result of the inquiry or investigation (if any) under section 202, the Magistrate is of opinion that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding, he shall dismiss the complaints, and in every such case he shall briefly record his reasons for so doing.