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Survivors > Domestic Violence > Registering a Police Complaint

How to register a police complaint

It is important to register a complaint with the police regarding ones situation. Especially, if youve chosen to leave, you should register a complaint regarding the circumstances that forced you to quit and the things that you have taken along with you.

It is also helpful to know police procedure in these situations. Before contemplating any legal remedies, you need to crate proof of domestic violence. Therefore when you report the problem at the police station, write out the incidents briefly and ensure that they contain the name of the perpetrator/abuser.  You should make two copies and get one endorsed at the police station by the police authority.

When at the police station you may come across these terms : NC's/CO's and FIR's - here's some basic information about these terms and how you can use the following processes when registering your complaint.

NC: Non-cognizable Offence
A non-cognizable offence is an offence in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The police cannot investigate such an offence wihout the court's permission.

CO: Congnizable Offence
A cognizable offence is one in which the police may arrest a person without warrant. They are authorised to start investigation into a congnizable case on their own and do not require any orders from the court to do so.

FIR: First Information Report
First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called the First Information report.

It is generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an FIR.

Why is an FIR important?
An FIR is a very important document as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. It is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police takes up investigation of the case.

Who can register an FIR?
Anyone who knows about the commission of a cognizable offence can file an FIR. It is not necessary that only the victim of the crime should file an FIR. A police officer who comes to know about a cognizable offence can file an FIR
himself/herself.

What is the Procedure for filing an FIR?
The procedure of filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
-When information about the commission of a cognizable offence is given orally, the police must write it down.
-It is your right as a person giving information or making a complaint to demand that the information recorded by the police is read over to you.
-Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by the person giving the information You should sign the report only after verifying that the information recorded by the police is as per the details given by you.
-People who cannot read or write must put their left thumb impression on the document after being satisfied that it is a correct record.
-Always ask for a copy of the FIR, if the police do not give it to you. It is your right to get it free of cost.


What should you mention in your FIR?

-Your name and address;
-Date, time and location of the incident you are reporting;
-The true facts of the incident as they occurred;
-Names and descriptions of the persons involved in the incident;



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