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Meaning – “Complaint” : The Law

Dr. Y.Srinivasa Rao, Prl. Asst. Sessions Judge, Tirupati.

Meaning of the word ’Complaint”

Complaint:—

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, [Section 2(d), Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

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It mesns a complaint, made in such form as may be prescribed, alleging that a public servant has committed an offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, [Section 2(1)(e), Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

It means any allegation in writing made by a complainant that—(i) an unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider. (ii) the goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him suffer from one or more defects. (iii) the services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect. (iv) a trader or the service provider, as the case may be, has charged for the goods or for the services mentioned in the complaint, a price in excess of the price— (a) fixed by or under any law for the time being in force. (b) displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods. (c) displayed on the price list exhibited by him by or under any law for the time being in force. (d) agreed between the parties. (v) goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used are being offered for sale to the public,— (a) in contravention of any standards relating to safety of such goods as required to be complied with, by or under any law for the time being in force. (b) if the trader could have known with due diligence that the goods so offered are unsafe to the public. (vi) services which are hazardous or likely to be hazardous to life and safety of the public when used, are being offered by the service provider which such person could have known with due diligence to be injurious to life and safety, with a view to obtaining any relief provided by or under this Act, [Section 2(c), Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

It means a written expression by a stakeholder alleging contravention of any provision of the Code or rules, regulations, or guidelines made thereunder or circulars or directions issued by the Board by a service provider or any of its associated persons and includes a complaint-cum-grievance, [Regulation 2(e) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Grievance and Complaint Handling Procedure) Regulations, 2017]. 

An 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, but it does not include the report of a police officer. The word “complaint” has a wide meaning since it includes even an oral allegation. It may, therefore, be assumed that no form is prescribed which the complaint must take. It may only be said that there must be an allegation which prima facie discloses the commission of an offence with the necessary facts for the Magistrate to take action, Bhimappa Basappa Bhu Sannavar v. Laxman Shivarayappa Samagouda(1970) 1 SCC 665: 1970 SCC (Cri) 263. 

“Complaint” will include any allegation in writing made by a complainant that “the services mentioned in the complaint suffer from deficiency in any respect”, Om Prakash v. Haryana Agro Industries Corpn. Ltd.(1994) 3 SCC 504

This term is most generally used with reference to Courts of Summary Jurisdiction where proceedings are commenced ‘on information’, but is also sometimes used to describe a claim in an action of a civil or quasi-civil character.

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