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shyam lal   26 April 2022

Police complaint /fir


01/-What is the difference between a police written complaint and a FIR.?
02/-Why do the police hesitate in filing a FIR.
03/-In what situation does the police asks to file complaint and the FIR.


 2 Replies

Margot Cantrell   26 April 2022

Difference Between FIR & Complaint

Crime is a wrong against the society at large. It creates an alarming situation in the society. Therefore, any person can come up with a complaint or an information before the concerned authority. The motive of both the things is to attract the attention of the authorities and to punish the offender. Informing of a commission of crime is one of the important process in Criminal Justice System.

FIR is not defined in the code. However, it can be said to be an information given to the police first in point of time relating to a cognizable offence.

Complaint is defined u/s 2 (d), which means any allegation made orally or in writing to a magistrate, with a view to his taking action under the code, that some person whether known or unknown has committed an offence. It, does not include a police report dinosaur game

Who may Apply?

First information report may be lodged by any person such as the aggrieved party or an eye witness

Whereas, Complaint can be filed by any person subject to certain exceptions.

Whom to Apply?

First information report is made to the competent police officer

Complaint is made to a magistrate

Nature of Offence

First Information Report must relate to a cognizable offence on the face of it.

A complaint may relate to a cognizable or non-cognizable offence.


When a FIR is lodged, a policer officer starts with investigating the matter.

Whereas, when complaint is filed no investigation is done by the police officer until directed by the competent authority.


At the first instance no cognizance is taken by the Magistrate until particular FIR is reported to him.

A Magistrate takes cognizance on the complaint made to him at the very first stage.


There is prescribed format by law for FIR

No prescribed format is given for filing a complaint. But some essential ingredients are to be satisfied.

1 Like

Divya Vijayan   26 April 2022

Hello sir!

Q1. FIR is defined under section 154 of CrPC. FIR is not defined in the Code but essentially it means a written document prepared by the police upon receiving information about the commission of a cognizable offence. Complaint is defined under section 2(d) of the Code. It means any allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate, 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.

Police officers starts the investigation once the FIR is launched. On the other hand, when a complaint is filed, no investigation is done by the police officer until directed by the competent authority. 


Q2. Main reasons why the police officers refuse to file an FIR are:-

  • The case does not fall within their jurisdiction.
  • Deals with an offense which is non-cognizable in nature or it is outside their legal capacity to take cognizance of such an offense, in such circumstances the refusal to lodge an FIR is legitimate and justified.

Although, if an FIR is refused on the ground of jurisdiction, it is mandatory for the police officer to record information about the commission of a cognizable offense and forward the same to the police station having proper jurisdiction and it is known as Zero FIR


Q3. To file an FIR, the offence must be cognizable. Whereas to file a complaint, an offence can be cognizable or non-cognizable. 

Cognizable offence means that the police can arrest without a warrant whereas non-cognizable offences are those offences in which the police officers cannot arrest without a warrant. Cognizable offences are usually serious in nature.

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