File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Import of General Diary

A General Diary (GD), also known as a General Diary Entry or simply a Diary Entry, is a record maintained by law enforcement agencies, such as police departments, to document various types of incidents, complaints, or information that may not necessarily lead to immediate criminal investigations but still need to be recorded for administrative purposes or potential future reference. The purpose of a General Diary is to maintain an official record of events and information, ensuring transparency and accountability within law enforcement agencies.

General Diary entries can include a wide range of incidents and information, such as:
  • Lost and found items: Reports of lost property or the discovery of lost items.
  • Non-criminal incidents: Incidents like accidents, fires, or natural disasters that do not involve criminal activity.
  • Public complaints: Reports of disturbances, public nuisances, or other issues that may not result in criminal charges but still require attention from the authorities.
  • Suspicious activities: Information about suspicious individuals or activities that may be relevant for future reference or investigation.
  • Requests for police assistance: When individuals seek police assistance for non-criminal matters, such as escort services or civil disputes.
  • Information gathering: Recording information from informants or the public that may be useful for future law enforcement efforts.

General Diaries are typically maintained in a chronological order, and each entry includes details such as the date, time, location, a brief description of the incident or information, the name and contact information of the reporting party (if applicable), and the action taken by law enforcement authorities, if any.

It's important to note that the specific procedures and practices related to General Diaries may vary from one jurisdiction to another, as different police departments may have their own protocols for maintaining and accessing these records. These records are often used for administrative purposes, internal reviews, and as references for future investigations if necessary.

A General Diary, often referred to as GD, serves as a daily log to document ongoing or potential incidents within a specific police station's jurisdiction around the clock.

This diary functions as a comprehensive record of important events at the police station. This includes actions like the arrival and departure of police personnel, the transfer of responsibilities, arrests, details of law enforcement duties, visits from senior officers, and more. Additionally, the GD summarizes each First Information Report (FIR) registered at the police station, as FIR registration is a significant event there.

The GD is maintained in chronological order, with a new entry starting with number 1 each day. Simultaneously, the GD entry reference is noted in the FIR Book, while the FIR number is mentioned in the GD entry. This parallel documentation ensures that both records are kept up to date.

A huge number of other details of the proceedings of each day at the Police Station is contained in a General Diary. A copy of the General Diary is sent to the immediate Superior Police Officer, but the copy of the same is not sent to the Judicial Magistrate having jurisdiction over the Police Station.

As mandated under Section 154 CrPC, FIR is to be recorded in the FIR Book, and it is not correct to state that information will be registered as FIR, if required, only after preliminary enquiry and that the information will be first recorded in the General Diary.

Who can lodge General Diary?
Any person can lodge a General Diary. It is not necessary that the person lodging General Diary should be the victim or injured or an eyewitness.

When to lodge General Diary?
General Diary can be lodged in connection with any incident/missing case/offence/problem or other matter that happened or likely to happen, for example, loss of ration card, Aadhar card, voter card, passport, certificate, identity card, cheque or other important document, loss of valuable thing, disappearance of any person, snatching, missing person, information on eve teasing and eve teasers, drug addict, vagabond, miscreant, unlawful assembly, engagement or disappearance of servant, night guard, security guard, driver, caretaker, new or old tenant, expatriate problem or complaint, traffic accident or any other incident/problem/complaint.

Procedure for lodging General Diary
A General Diary (GD) is received by the Duty Officer at the police station, overseen by the Officer-in-Charge (OC). Entries are made daily, starting at 8 am and continuing for 24 hours. To submit a GD, follow a specific application format, addressing it to the OC, providing the police station's address, and specifying the subject. Describe the incident in detail in the application, sign it, and include your name, address, and contact number. Make duplicate copies and take them to the police station. Hand both copies over to the Duty Officer, who will add a GD number, date, signature, and seal. One copy is retained by the Duty Officer, and the other is returned to you.

In cases where someone can't draft a GD, they can seek help from the Duty Officer at the police station. Upon receiving a GD application, the Duty Officer or OC will initiate an inquiry to verify the information and take legal steps as necessary.

Court Judgments Regarding General Diary
In the case of CBI v. Tapan Kumar Singh (2003) 6 SCC 175, the Supreme Court ruled that a General Diary Entry may be treated as FIR in an appropriate case, where it discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.

In the judgment (State by Lokayukta Police v. H. Srinivas), a Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices N.V. Ramana and S Abdul Nazeer ruled that the duty of maintaining a General Diary is an inherent part of a police officer's responsibilities. However, the Court emphasized that the absence of this diary typically doesn't affect the validity of a criminal trial, unless it is demonstrated that such absence significantly prejudices the case.

This particular case involved the Supreme Court overturning a decision by the Karnataka High Court to dismiss criminal proceedings in a corruption case (Criminal Appeal No. 776-779/2018 arising out of SLP (Cr1.) 5606 - 5609 of 2017).

The Court clarified that although there exists an obligation for police officers to maintain a General Diary, the mere non-maintenance of this diary does not inherently make the entire prosecution illegal.

It is important to note that recording details of a crime in the General Diary of a police station is not a mandatory requirement for lodging a First Information Report (FIR). Instead, the General Diary primarily serves as a record of significant events and transactions occurring within a police station. This includes documenting the movements of police personnel, the transfer of duties, arrests, and the performance of law-and-order duties.

In summary, the Supreme Court's judgment reaffirmed the importance of a General Diary as a record-keeping tool for police stations while clarifying that its absence does not automatically invalidate criminal proceedings, unless it severely prejudices the case.

Difference Between Case Diary and General Diary
It's essential to distinguish between a Case Diary and a General Diary. The Case Diary is maintained by the investigating officer during the course of an investigation, focusing on a specific case. On the other hand, the General Diary is kept at the Police Station and serves as a comprehensive log of all legal events occurring within a 24-hour period.

In the General Diary, you'll find meticulous records of various activities, including the movements of police personnel, handling of firearms and ammunition, details of arrests, and the registration of criminal cases. These entries are made promptly and accurately, ensuring a complete and up-to-date record of law enforcement activities within the specified time frame.

Police Act 1861: Section 44
Every police station's officer-in-charge must maintain a General Diary, following a format prescribed by the government.

In this diary, they should record all complaints, charges, names of arrested individuals, complainants, the offences they are charged with, any weapons or property seized, and the names of witnesses examined.

The District Magistrate has the authority to request and review this diary.

Section 154, CrPC - Information in Cognizable Cases
When someone orally reports a cognizable offence to a police officer, the officer must write down the information, read it back to the informant, and have them sign it.

The substance of this information is then entered into a book (General Diary) kept by the officer, as prescribed by the government.

Section 155 CrPC - Information in Non-Cognizable Cases
If information about a non-cognizable offence is provided to a police officer within the police station's jurisdiction, the officer records the substance of the information (in the General Diary) and directs the informant to contact the Magistrate.

A police officer cannot investigate a non-cognizable case without an order from a Magistrate who has the authority to try or send the case for trial.

Once the police officer receives this order, they can exercise certain investigative powers, excluding the power to arrest without a warrant, similar to those applicable to cognizable cases.

  • 1. diary
  • 2. diary
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6. Police Regulation of Bengal (PRB) 1943
Written By: Md. Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly