Complaint cases under section 200 to 203 of Criminal Procedure Code 1973



a person aggrieved by a crime has the right to take judicial proceedings to enforce his right. In the course of a judicial proceedings the aggrieved person gets two options against the accused-

  • First report before the police
  • Second by filing a complaint before the magistrate

In this article we will go into detail about the procedure to be followed by a magistrate when a complaint is filled under the second option. for example if a crime is committed against ‘A’ then in this case he has two options available-

  • First police report
  • Second report before magistrate

If the crime is cognizable then the police start the investigation by filling a report. if the police doesn’t filed a report the aggrieved party can submit a complaint to the magistrate.

What is complaint

complaint defines under section 2 (d) of Criminal Procedure Code 1973

  • first elevation with a view to take action
  • second orally or in writing
  • Third field by known or unknown person
  • fourth police report not included under section 173 clause 2

Who can lodge complaint

Case : AR antulay vs Rs Nayak 1984 SC case

In this case Supreme Court said that a person who is well aware of facts circumstances and development can also file a complaint.

Once a complaint has been filled magistrate can:

1)Order investigation under section 156 clause 3 of CRPC

2)Issue a such  warrant under section 93

3)Take cognizance under section 190 1A section 200 and section 202

4)Dismissal of complaint under Section 203

5) Issue process under section 204

Note: The magistrate cannot issue summons to the accused until he is fully satisfied that the proceedings should proceed.

Note: these sections are exclusively applicable on case where cognizance is taken on complaint.

Magistrate is bound to examine the complainant and can either issue summons or order for enquiry or dismiss the complaint.

Procedure of complaint before magistrate

  • Second 200: examination of complaint
  • Section 201: procedure by magistrate not competent to take cognizance of the case
  • Section 202: postponement of issue of process
  • Section 203: dismissal of complaint

Section 200 :examination of complainants

Complaint can be made verbally or in writing after taking cognizance magistrate examine the complainant and the witnesses on oath.

Substance of the examination is to be reduced in writing and signed by the complainant as well as the witness also by the magistrate.

Section 200 provides 2 exception with respect to to examination of the complainant and witnesses:

  1. First one complaint it is a public servant acting in his official duty or where Court has made the complaint example false evidence.
  2. Second where the magistrate make over the case for enquiry or trial to another magistrate under section 192 of CRPC.

Object is to ascertain whether there is prima facie case against accused or not.

The provision is mandatory and not discretionary.

When examination not necessary

  1. When complaint is made by public servant examination of complainant is not necessary
  2. When complaint is in writing and magistrate makes over the case then he need not examine the complainant and witness
  3. When complaint made in wrong Court
  4. If complaint is in writing the return it for presentation to proper Court
  5. If not in writing Then direct the complaint to proper Court

Section 201: Procedure by magistrate not competent to take cognizance of the case

  1. If the complaint filed with the magistrate who cannot take cognizance of the offence he shall,
  2. If the complaint make in writing the return it also ask him to present the complaint in proper Court
  3. If the complaint not made in writing direct the complaint to the proper Court

Section 202: enquiry  or investigation for further scrutiny of complaint postponement of issue of process

Or receiving a complaint the magistrate has the power to first enquire into the The Case himself or direct investigation by police officer.

This is called postponement of issue of process.

However if magistrate it is satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for proceedings against the accused no such postponement is required and section 204 of CrPC is triggered.

Other words magistrate if think fit in case where accused is residing beyond his jurisdiction then he may postponed the issue of process against accused and either enquire into case himself or direct an investigation to be made.

Object   is to enable magistrate to to form opinion whether process should be issued or not

Section 203 : Dismissal of complaint

If after considering the statement of both of the complaint end of the witnesses and the result of the enquiry or investigation under section 202 of CRPC the magistrate is of opinion that there is no sufficient grounds for preceding usual dismiss the Complaints and in every such case he shall briefly record the reasons for so doing.

Essential elements of dismissal of complaint

  1. If upon statement of complainant he found that no offence is made out
  2. If he was trust the statement made by complainant
  3. After enquiry or investigation no Grounds is found

Judgement related to complaint case under CRPC

  • Puja Kumari and others vs Kamal Nain kaur 2019

Court observed that the chief judicial magistrate did not commit any illegality aur irregularity while proceedings in the matter.

  • In one recent judgement Supreme Court said that an executive magistrate has no power under the code of criminal procedure to direct the police to register on FIR on a private complaint field before him.
  • Padam Singh Saini versis Megh Singh 2018 SCC online HP ID

A complaint is not to be dismissed under section 256 of CRPC for non appearance of the complainant due to unavailable circumstances.

  • Harbhajan Singh versus state of Madhya Pradesh 2001

The magistrate is required to follow the procedure in complaint case after taking cognizance of an offence.

  • Sunil Mehta and another versus state of Gujarat and others 2013
  • Anil Kumar Singh vs State of Bihar and others 1994
  • Vilas and others vs State of Maharashtra and others 2015
  • Hari Ram versus Satish Pandey and others 2006


In conclusion we can say that the Chapter 15 of Criminal Procedure Code 1973 is relatable how to complaint case before the magistrate Chapter 15 is applicable only in cases where cognizance is taken on complaint in this chapter the magistrate is bound to examine the complainant and witnessed in other words Chapter 15 is a second alternate of aggrieved person after the police report.