I got a call from the Police station stating that there is a Police Complaint filed against me and the Police have asked me to appear before them. I have received a Notice from Police Station to appear before them in relation to a case filed against me. What should I do? 

A very common question which arises to a person So, what to do when a police complaint is filed against you or an FIR is lodged against you? First thing to do when a complaint is filed against you is that you must calm yourself down and call your lawyer, rather than trying to defend a complaint on your own. A lot of times Accused/ parties tend to over react and attempt to tackle it by themselves which results in tussle with the Police. If you go to the police station, the Police has power to arrest you, hence, it is necessary to first ascertain the nature of complaint and the gravity of offence against you prior to appearing before the Police. It is highly recommended that you take assistance of your lawyer to the Police station as there are several chances that the Police may interrogate you and ask you uncomforting questions as part of their duty, due to which several persons feel harassed. A person can avoid the humiliation of arrest by obtaining anticipatory bail.

It is essential to understand some legal jargons before proceeding to the remaining article. A cognizable offence is one which the Police Officer can arrest an accused without a warrant. A non-cognizable offence requires the Police officer to obtain a reasoned Order from Magistrate before investigating the case. The Police has the power to arrest an Accused in cognizable and non bailable offences. Under non-cognizable non-bailable offences, the Police after obtaining permission from the Court can take cognizance and arrest the Accused. A person accused of bailable offences has a right to apply for a bail after furnishing necessary bail bond and surety while a non-bailable offence requires the Accused to approach the Court for Bail which can be done only after the Accused has been arrested.

In criminal cases where it appears that the Police might arrest you, you must forthwith apply for anticipatory Bail before the Sessions Judge/High Court and appear before the Police after the bail has been granted as per the Order of the Court. Anticipatory bail is a direction issued by the court to release a person from police custody even before they are arrested on the condition that the accused shall be released on bail when he has been arrested. Several factors such as the gravity of the offence, the likeness of the accused to flee, standing in the society and reports on previous offences committed by the accused may be considered before granting the bail.

In order to file anticipatory Bail, a copy of the Police Complaint/FIR filed against you, your temporary and permanent Address Proof, proof of employment and any other details showing good conduct and permanent residence must be kept handy. The Supreme Court has held that Anticipatory bail can be granted even when there is no FIR filed against the Accused and mere apprehension of arrest is sufficient to grant Bail. The Court may direct the Accused to surrender before the Police and furnish necessary bail bond and surety in case of arrest. After granting of bail, it is necessary that you co-operate with Police Investigation and comply with the Order thereof.