Filing of FIR in India

If you are a tourist or expatriate living outside India, there is a good chance that you have never had to file a criminal complaint in India, let alone understand the process. The good news is that it is not too difficult and can be done quite easily if you are prepared. Here we provide a step-by-step guide to lodge an FIR in India. 


If possible, try to get as much information as possible about the incident before filing a complaint. Knowing the facts helps ensure that your complaint is taken seriously and not dismissed without reason. In addition, take photos or video of the scene if possible (for example, if the crime occurred at night). This can be valuable evidence should your complaint end up in court. 


Assuming you have gathered all the relevant evidence, you will need to contact the police department responsible for investigating the case next. You may need to provide them with some copies of your evidence (photos and videos) as well as contact information for everyone involved in the incident. It is also important to state categorically that this is really a criminal report and not just a trivial matter. The sooner you arrange for your case to be investigated and heard, the better your chance of getting justice for you and your loved one. After all, as they say and do (which can take a long time), you can change your mind about filing criminal charges against the attacker or start a civil action instead. Keep in mind that not all cases are solved as quickly as other situations because the detectives working on them want to make sure they have enough evidence to convict the suspect before filing charges against them. 


Verify the location of the police station where your FIR is to be lodged. The police station locator can be found online or on a map 

Find out the process of filing a criminal complaint in India. The procedure may vary from police station to police station, but generally you will need to go to the police station and present proof of identity such as a passport, driving license or residence card. You should also bring evidence, such as photos or videos, to support your claim 

Fill out the forms provided by the police department and submit them with all the required documents. Remember to keep a copy of all forms for your records 

If your complaint is about an electoral offence, you will need to provide additional documents such as ballot papers or voter cards 

You must also pay any applicable fees that may be levied by the Indian authorities 

Finally, wait for a response 


Filing of FIR in India by resident of India 

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to file a criminal complaint in India, there are specific steps you need to take. Here is the step-by-step procedure to file an FIR in India: 


Gather as much information as possible. Make a list of all parties involved, their addresses and any other relevant information. This may include photographs, police reports or witness statements where appropriate 

Find the local police station closest to where the incident happened and make an appointment to file a complaint 

Present your list of evidence to the officer at the police station and explain your situation 

Sign the complaint form and leave the station with a copy for your records 

Wait for the results of your complaint, which can take up to two weeks. If there are no results, contact the police station to see if they have any new information for you. 

What can you do if your FIR is not registered? 

Option 1: File a complaint with the District Magistrate 

The first step is to file a complaint with the district municipality. This will allow authorities to take further action if deemed necessary. The process is simple and can be done online. The district municipality will require some documents from you, such as your passport and proof of residence. Once you provide them, it will download your complaint and provide instructions on how to proceed. It is important to note that filing a complaint alone will not result in any legal action. You also need to see it through by providing witnesses and evidence. 


Option 2: Continue to litigate 

If the District Judge does not address your concerns, or if you feel that the situation has become complicated or dangerous, you may need to go to court. You may need to hire a lawyer or file several documents on your own behalf. 


What happens after lodging an FIR? 

If you have filed an FIR or complained to the police in India, then your next step is to wait for a response from the authorities. Keep in mind that this process can take some time, so don’t get too discouraged if you don’t get an immediate response. Here are some guidelines to follow: 


Keep an eye on the police website or social media accounts for updates 

If you don’t hear back by a certain date, contact the police department 

Stay calm and patient – this process can be frustrating, but it will eventually lead to justice 

Filing an FIR (First Information Report) is the first step in any criminal investigation in India. However, after lodging an FIR, there are other steps to be followed. If you have filed an FIR and are concerned about the privacy of those involved, don’t worry. The police will only use your identity and contact details to investigate the case. No other information will be shared with the police without your permission. 


After filing a criminal complaint, the police will begin investigating the case. This process can take several days or weeks, depending on the complexity of the case 

During this time, the police may request further information from you or anyone else who may have information about the case. 

Once all the necessary information has been gathered, the police will submit a report to the court describing their findings in the case 

You or anyone else who has relevant information about the case can request that the matter be investigated. You will not be required to make this statement while in police custody, but it is wise and courteous to consult a lawyer before making any statement. 

The investigating authority then prepares an indictment containing substantial sworn statements of witnesses, evidence collected during the investigation of the crime either directly or by way of disclosure pursuant to Section 182(1) of the Criminal Code or Section 164 of the Criminal Code and received during the investigation, i.e. the statement of a third party and the statement of the accused, as well as other data. This charge sheet will be forwarded to the court for inspection and determination and disposal. 

What is Zero FIR and when should it be used? 

A “Zero FIR” is a criminal complaint filed by the police without any evidence or cognizable offence. It is used when the police do not have enough evidence to open an investigation charge anyone with a crime. There are various reasons why the police may decide to file a nil FIR. One reason may be that detectives feel there is not enough evidence to prosecute someone for a crime. Another reason may be that the police have no eyewitnesses or other information that would lead them to believe that someone has committed a crime. In some cases, the police may decide to file a zero FIR to gather more information before deciding whether or not to charge someone with a crime. For example, if during the investigation of a criminal case, the police learns that there may be terrorist or drug-trafficking activities at a particular address, this information could influence their decision to file a zero FIR. If the police have lodged a zero FIR in such situations, they must follow up with further investigation and/or seek warrants for search warrants as required by Constitutional Court decisions and Supreme Court decisions in sensitive information matters. 


What should the complaint contain in a criminal complaint in India 

To file a criminal complaint in India, you will need to gather the following information: 


The name of the person you are accusing of a crime 

Your contact details 

The time and date of the alleged crime 

Description of what happened 

Any physical evidence that may exist in connection with the crime 

Name and contact details of the witness. 

What should Vakalatnama contain in criminal complaint in India 

If you are filing a criminal complaint in India, here are some key things your vakalatnama should include: 


Complainant’s full name and address 

Date of incident 

Description of what happened 

Names and addresses of persons allegedly responsible for the incident 

Identification of any weapons or injuries sustained by the complainant 

A statement that the complainant wishes to make a police report and take legal action against those involved in the incident 

Signature of the complainant. 

What are the court fees for a criminal complaint in India 

The plaintiff(s) are ordered to pay court fees in accordance with the rules set out in the Court Fee Stamp Act. 


Court fees may cost a small percentage of the claimant’s claim. It depends on the case filed and any benefits they are looking for. In the process of hearing the case, the lawyer can advise on the procedures that will occur and what the court fees may be. All citizens must be aware of their rights under the law if they wish to lodge an FIR. If the police refuse to accept your complaint, you may need to go to a judge. 


How to file a criminal complaint with a judge 

If you have been the victim of a crime, the first step is to file a criminal complaint with a judge. A judicial magistrate is an officer who is responsible for handling minor cases such as petty theft, robbery, etc. Judicial magistrates are also responsible for conducting preliminary investigations in cases of murder and rape. 


To file a criminal complaint with a Judicial Magistrate in India, follow these steps: 


Go to the nearest police station and report the crime; 

Ask the police officer to take you to the magistrate’s office; 

Present your passport and fill in the form called “Citizen’s Complaint – Information”; 

pay a fee; 

Let the investigation run its course; 

If necessary, ask the judge to conduct a preliminary investigation. 

If the complaint is not in written form 

The municipality will investigate the complaint. The complaint is written in an honest form and the complainant and the witness(es) must sign it in front of the magistrate 


If the complaint is in writing 

The judge must hear the complainant and the witness if 

The complainant is an official of a government organization performing his duties. 

If the Magistrate’s Court has referred the case to another Magistrate’s Court, it must try or investigate the case under Section 192. 


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