Examination Of Complaint Section 200:
A Magistrate with whom complaint filed, shall examine the complainant and also witnesses on oath. The contents in the compliant shall also be 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.
The procedure has been enunciated in Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973. For the purpose of explain the main points in a nutshell for practical use, I’ll state them in bullet points:
- The complaint has to be filed with the magistrate who has the jurisdiction to try the offence complained of. However, in cases where the complaint is accidentally filed with the magistrate not having the jurisdiction, the magistrate is duty bound to return the complaint to be presented to the appropriate magistrate by stating the necessary details thereof.
- The complaint may be made orally or in writing. However, it is always better to furnish it in writing.
- Unlike the filing of the FIR, where after the police straightaway proceed to investigate the offence complained of and arrest the suspects, in case of the complaint the magistrate will not proceed with it without examining the complainant and witnesses (note-only the witnesses who are present at the time of filing such complaint).
- Thereafter the magistrate will make a written report of the examination and sign it himself as well as get it signed by the complainant and the witnesses.
- Thereafter if the magistrate is satisfied that the complaint coupled with the examination discloses an offence, he shall proceed with taking cognizance of the offence (which simply means that he would summon the accused suspects for the purpose of trial)
- However, if the magistrate is not satisfied that the complaint (and examination) discloses any offence, he may take one of the two options available to him: he may either dismiss the complaint or he may order the police to undertake some further investigation under Section 202 of the Code.
- After the police officer reports back to the magistrate his findings the magistrate may proceed with either of the steps stated in point 5 and point 6 (minus the investigation order, of course, which has already been given).