How To File Criminal Complaint In India

How to file Criminal Complaint in India: A Step-By-Step Process


India has a poor reputation with regards to reporting of criminal activities. Several violations, especially against women, go unreported. This is for an assortment of socio-political reasons, however, someplace among them is likewise a misconstruing of lawful rights. India, in truth, has all the laws in one place and perceiving your rights is vital to expanding detailing criminal components in our general public.

A detailed procedure for filing criminal complaints has been laid down in India, as per the Criminal Procedure Code. The following steps will clear any doubts you may have over filing a criminal complaint in India:

1. Filing an FIR

A First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by police organizations when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offense or by someone on his or her behalf, but anyone can make such a report either orally or in writing to the police.

For more information about FIR –

2. Criminal Complaint: The Plaint

It is a document submitted by the complainant to initiate a criminal complaint against an accused. In layman’s dialect, it is essentially the written charges of the complainant and it contains a rundown of the actualities of the case he tries to show and the alleviation he looks for the equivalent.

If you are filing a plaint, you are the ‘plaintiff’ and the person whom you are filing against, is the ‘defendant’. There are certain regulations set by the ‘Limitation Act, 1963’ for filing of plaints.

For example, there is a period limit inside which the plant ought to be filed, and it differs for various courts.


The Plaint, according to the Act, ought to be documented inside 90 days in High court and inside 30 days from the date of the wrongdoing that is being bid against.


The details required to be mentioned in the plaint are:
A.The name of the court
B.The nature of the complaint
C.The name and addresses of both the parties.

All of this is normally typed in English, with double-line spacing.

It is also essential to keep in mind that it has to be filed within a certain time frame of the occurrence of the act in question as prescribed by the Limitation Act. A plaint filed after an unreasonable delay shall not be entertained in the court of law. It should also contain a verification from the complainant with an assurance that all facts stated in the plaint are correct and true to his knowledge.

As the plaint procedure is simple, and if you have enough proof in hand, you can file them with the help of an expert in no time.

3. Criminal Complaint: Vakalatnama

This report is presented by the complainant authorizing a legal counsel to contend the case on his behalf. Despite the fact that an individual can document their Vakalatnama, the terms used are exceptionally specialized for a layman to comprehend, and react if there should arise an occurrence of inquiries. Thus, a vakalatnama is an archive that gives the backer (who is showing up for your sake) the approval to battle for equity, and handle all court systems for your benefit.

It contains the terms and conditions of this authorization, and lists out the rights of the advocate. The terms and conditions, mentioned in the Vakalatnama include:

  1. The advocate will not be held responsible for any decisions taken by him/her during the course of an investigation, in the best interests of the clients.
    2. The advocate will be paid the requisite fees as well as the fees for the court proceedings.
    3. The advocate can be disengaged at any time during the proceedings, if the client wishes, and so on.

The fundamental thought of a Vakalatnama is to connect with an attorney to battle for the case in the court, and to give him the approval to do it with the authorization of the offended party.

The vakalatnama is appended with the plaint and submitted to the court by the supporter approved to speak to the case.

No charges are paid for accommodation, a few courts request a stamp ‘Advocate Welfare Stamp’ to be glued on it.

4. Criminal Complaint: Court Fees

The plaintiff is required to pay the court charges, according to the rules and regulations set by the ‘Court fees Stamp Act.’


The nominal court charge is then paid by the Complainant as required by the Court Fees Stamp Act. The court expenses, for the most part, add up to a nominal percentage of the value of a claim or the suit being made in the case filed and thus, differs depending upon the case.

The advocate authorized to carry on with the dealings of the case will be able to instruct about the procedures and also the court fees to be paid.

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