Before we see the difference between the First Information Report (FIR)  and complaint let's see what is FIR and complaint.

What is the First Information Report (FIR)

            The first information report (FIR) has not been defined by the Code of Criminal Procedure. The first information is that information which is given to the police first in point of time. It is only in the report is such that investigation could be started on it, that it can be called a first information report. the report first recorded by the police relating to the commission of a cognizable case is the first information report.

What is a Complaint - 

          According to Section 2(d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure,"complaint" 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 offense, but does not include a police report.

Explanation - A report made by a police officer in a case which discloses, after investigation, the commission of a non-cognizable offense shall be deemed to be a complaint; and the police officer by whom such report is made shall be deemed to be the complainant.

Difference/ Distinction between the First Information Report (FIR) and Complaint


First Information Report (FIR)



The First Information Report (FIR) is given to an officer in charge of a police station.

The complaint is an allegation made orally or in writing to a magistrate


The FIR must relate to a cognizable offense on the face of it.

A complaint may relate to a cognizable or non-cognizable offense


A magistrate cannot take FIR directly from any person.

The magistrate can cognizance of an offense on a complaint made to him.


The FIR may be given by anybody to a police officer and he can submit it to the magistrate while filing a case.

A complaint to Magistrate does not include the report of a Police officer.


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