01 February, 2010

Who can make a criminal complaint?

Anyone can set the criminal law in motion by filing a complaint of facts constituting an offence before a Magistrate entitled to take cognizance. However, where any special statute prescribes offences and procedure for taking cognizance of such offences, complainant has to satisfy the Court about its maintainability. For example, in a complaint under section 142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, complainant must be by the payee or the holder in due course.
Complainant must be a person capable of making physical appearance in Court. Where a complainant is made in the name of a company or corporation or society, it is necessary that some person represents such company or corporation in the Court. When the complainant is a body corporate, it must necessarily associate a human being to represent in court proceedings.
Where there is a sole proprietorship concern, complaint has to be filed by or against its proprietor. In case of a company, any person connected with the company, may be its director or manager or any other person so authorised by the company, may represent the company in the legal proceedings.
Courts have held that where the complaint is instituted by Manager or Dy. General Manager of Company, not authorised by the Board of Directors to sign and file the same, the defect can be cured. Accordingly, a company can, at any state, rectify such a defect by sending a person, who is competent to represent the company.
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