Thus, any allegation made orally or in writing would constitute a complaint, if the following four conditions are satisfied:
(a) It must be made to a Magistrate (and not to a judge).
(b) It must be made with a view that the Magistrate may take action on it. Thus, a mere statement to a Magistrate by way of information, without asking him to take action, is not a complaint.
(c) The Magistrate’s action must be under this Code. So, a statement to a Magistrate asking him to take action under the Bombay Gambling Act is not a complaint. (Hotu v. Emp., (1914) 15 Cr. L.J. 657)
(d) It must allege the commission of an offence. Thus, a petition for maintenance (under S. 125) is not a complaint, inasmuch as neglect or refusal by a husband to maintain his wife is not an offence.
If the above conditions are satisfied, a valid complaint comes into existence, and it is not further necessary—
(i) That the complaint must quote the particular section of the Indian Penal Code; or
(ii) That the complaint must specifically accuse any particular person of the offence; or
(iii) That it should set out all the facts on which the accused is to be charged.
Thus, the following have been held to be “complaints”:
(1) The presentation of a petition by the complainant that his complaint should be inquired into;
(2) The petition of a complainant who has withdrawn his case, and again asks to be allowed to proceed with the same;
(3) A letter to a Magistrate conveying the information of an offence and requesting the Magistrate to take action.
On the other hand, the following have been held not to be “complaints”
(1) Statements made in a deposition;
(2) An application for issue of process;
(3) A petition for maintenance (under S. 125 of the Code).
Specimen form of a complaint:
In The Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Address
Case No. 480 of 2008:
Charge-Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon (S. 324 I.P.C.)
May it please Your Worship, —
I, the complainant above named, beg to state on oath as follows:
1. I am a money-lender by profession. On 2nd August, 2006, I lent Rs. 5,000 to the accused on a promissory note executed by him in my favour. Hereto annexed and marked ‘A’ is a copy of the said promissory note. Since then, the accused is avoiding me. I went to his place on several occasions for my dues but the accused quarrelled with me. I then warned him that I would now file a suit against him.
2. Yesterday, I, along with my servant, went for the last time to the accused’s place to demand payment. The accused came out of his room, and under the pretext of taking out money from his pocket, took out a knife and was about to stab me. I warded off the blow which fell on my arm, and my servant and I ran away, and I then lodged my complaint at the Byculla Police Station. The Police have referred me to Your Worship’s Court.
I, therefore, charge the accused as above and pray for action against him.
(Sd.) ABC Complainant.
Judicial Magistrate First Class,
Witnesses: 1. Name
2. Inspector of Police, Police Station Name