Criminal administration

General Diary at Police Station u/s 44 of Police Act 1861 and difference with FIR

The General Diary is a record of all important transactions/events taking place in a police station, including departure and arrival of police staff, handing over or taking over of charge, arrest of a person, details of law and order duties, visit of senior officers etc. It is in this context that gist or substance of each FIR being registered in the police station is also mentioned in the General Diary since registration of FIR also happens to be a very important event in the police station. Since General Diary is a record that is maintained chronologically on day-to-day basis (on each day, starting with new number 1), the General Diary entry reference is also mentioned simultaneously in the FIR Book, while FIR number is mentioned in the General Diary entry since both of these are prepared simultaneously.

General Diary contains a huge number of other details of the proceedings of each day. Copy of General Diary is not sent to the Judicial Magistrate having jurisdiction over the police station, though its copy is sent to a superior police officer.

Provisions contained in Chapter XII of the Code deal with information to the police and their powers to investigate. The said Chapter sets out the procedure to be followed during investigation. The objective to be achieved by the procedure prescribed in the said Chapter is to set the criminal law in motion and to provide for all procedural safeguards so as to ensure that the investigation is fair and is not mala fide and there is no scope of tampering with the evidence collected during the investigation.

Case Diary

The police is required to maintain several records including Case Diary(Investigation Diary) as provided under Section 172 of the Code, General Diary as provided under Section 44 of the Police Act etc., which helps in documenting every information collected, spot visited and all the actions of the police officers so that their activities can be documented. Moreover, every information received relating to commission of a non-cognizable offence also has to be registered under Section 155 of the Code.

FIR vs GD

The First Information Report is in fact the “information” that is received first in point of time, which is either given in writing or is reduced to writing. It is not the “substance” of it, which is to be entered in the diary prescribed by the State Government. The term ‘General Diary’ (also called as ‘Station Diary’ or ‘Daily Diary’ in some States) is maintained not under Section 154 of the Code but under the provisions of Section 44 of the Police Act, 1861 in the States to which it applies, or under the respective provisions of the Police Act(s) applicable to a State or under the Police Manual of a State, as the case may be. Section 44 of the Police Act, 1861 is reproduced below:-

“44. Police-officers to keep diary.—It shall be the duty of every officer in charge of a police-station to keep a general diary in such form as shall, from time to time, be prescribed by the State Government and to record therein all complaints and charged preferred, the names of all persons arrested, the names of the complainants, the offences charged against them, the weapons or property that shall have been taken from their possession or otherwise, and the names of the witnesses who shall have been examined. The Magistrate of the district shall be at liberty to call for any inspect such diary.”
49) It is pertinent to note that during the year 1861, when the aforesaid Police Act, 1861 was passed, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1861 was also passed. Section 139 of that Code dealt with registration of FIR and this Section is also referred to the word “diary”, as can be seen from the language of this Section, as reproduced below:-

“139. Every complaint or information preferred to an officer in charge of a Police Station, shall be reduced into writing, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a diary to be kept by such officer, in such form as shall be prescribed by the local government.” Thus, Police Act, 1861 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1861, both of which were passed in the same year, used the same word “diary”.
50) However, in the year 1872, a new Code came to be passed which was called the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1872. Section 112 of the Code dealt with the issue of registration of FIR and is reproduced below:-

“112. Every complaint preferred to an officer in charge of a Police station shall be reduced into writing, and shall be signed, sealed, or marked by the person making it; and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in the form prescribed by the Local Government.”

51) It is, thus, clear that in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1872, a departure was made and the word ‘book’ was used in place of ‘diary’. The word ‘book’ clearly referred to FIR book to be maintained under the Code for registration of FIRs.

The signature of the complainant is obtained in the FIR Book as and when the complaint is given to the police station. On the other hand, there is no such requirement of obtaining signature of the complainant in the general diary. Moreover, at times, the complaint given may consist of large number of pages, in which case it is only the gist of the complaint which is to be recorded in the General Diary and not the full complaint. This does not fit in with the suggestion that what is recorded in General Diary should be considered to be the fulfillment/compliance of the requirement of Section 154 of registration of FIR. In fact, the usual practice is to record the complete complaint in the FIR book (or annex it with the FIR form) but record only about one or two paragraphs (gist of the information) in the General Diary.

Whether the FIR is to be registered in the FIR book or in the General Diary?

The provisions of Section 154 of the Code will prevail and the provisions of Section 44 of the Police Act, 1861 (or similar provisions of the respective corresponding Police Act or Rules in other respective States) shall be void to the extent of the repugnancy. Thus, FIR is to be recorded in the FIR Book, as mandated under Section 154 of the Code, and it is not correct to state that information will be first recorded in the General Diary and only after preliminary inquiry, if required, the information will be registered as FIR. However, apex Court in Tapan Kumar Singh , held that a GD entry may be treated as First information in an appropriate case, where it discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.

Regarding Inquiry

‘2(g) – “inquiry” means every inquiry, other than a trial, conducted under this Code by a Magistrate or Court.” Hence, it is clear that inquiry under the Code is relatable to a judicial act and not to the steps taken by the Police which are either investigation after the stage of Section 154 of the Code or termed as ‘Preliminary Inquiry’ and which are prior to the registration of FIR, even though, no entry in the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary has been made. The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence. While ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be made time bound and in any case it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the causes of it must be reflected in the General Diary entry. Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all information received in a police station, Apex Court directed that all information relating to cognizable offences, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and meticulously reflected in the said Diary and the decision to conduct a preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above. [Lalita Kumari vs Govt.Of U.P.& Ors 2013]


When to file a GD

If any person goes to the police station with or without written document inform it to the duty officer, then the duty officer will give an entry to the General Diary.

Procedure to file a GD

Whoever wishes to lodge a GD should come up with three sets of applications and asked the duty officer of police station to lodge a GD. Each GD contains an entry number and date. Duty officer keeps a copy in police station, and delivers a copy to the petitioner with sign and seal of police station and will keep another copy for investigating officer.

What GD Contains

GD is a clear picture of a police station. In the general diary of police station it consists the name of the petitioner, address, name of arrested person, the description of recovered arms, goods, information of accused forwarded to the court, the price of food and its production, communication, environment, natural disaster, political situation and information as to incoming and outgoing superior officer in the police station.


Code of Criminal Procedure, 1861 “139. Every complaint or information preferred to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced into writing and the substance thereof shall be entered in a diary to be kept by such officer, in such form as shall be prescribed by the local government.”

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1872 “112. Every complaint preferred to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced into writing, and shall be signed, sealed or marked by the person making it; and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in the form prescribed by the local government.”

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1882 “154. Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him, or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such form as the government may prescribe in this behalf.”

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 “154. Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the Government may prescribe in this behalf.”

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 “154. Information in cognizable cases: 1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, it given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.


  • FIR is different from GD
  • Case Diary is different from GD
  • GD is a general register or logbook for all activities connected with a police station
  • Prosecution produce file both CD and GD to court
  • GD is called station diary in some Indian states
  • In Madhu Bala vs. Suresh Kumar (1997) 8 SCC 476, Supreme Court has held that FIR must be registered in the FIR Register which shall be a book consisting of 200 pages. It is true that the substance of the information is also to be mentioned in the Daily diary (or the general diary).

The question of drawing an adverse inference against the prosecution for non-production of the Case diary or the general diary would have arisen had the Court passed an order being satisfied that the prosecution intended to suppress some facts which were material for the purposes of arriving at the truth or otherwise of the prosecution case[AIR 2006 SC 2419]

General diary Entry[GD] may be treated as a First Information Report, where it discloses the commission of a cognizable offence. In the instant case, the facts stated in the G.D. Entry are that the respondent was a corrupt official and was in the habit of accepting illegal gratification; that he had demanded and accepted cash to the tune of rupees one lakh approximately; and that he would be carrying with him the said amount while travelling in train. If these assertions are accepted on their face value, clearly an offence of criminal misconduct under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is made out. It cannot be disputed that such offence of criminal misconduct is a cognizable offence having regard to the second item of the last part of Schedule 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure under head “II Classification of Offences Against—Other law.” Therefore, said information received by the police could be treated as First Information Report. Same could not be discarded as vague on the ground that it was not stated from whom the sum of rupees one lakh was demanded and accepted nor was it stated that such demand or acceptance was made as motive or reward for doing or forbearing to do any official act, or for showing or forbearing to show in exercise of his official function, favour or disfavour to any person or for rendering, attempting to render any service or disservice to any person. Thus the investigation and arrest of respondent-accused by police could not be said to be illegal as the allegations stated in the general diary Entry certainly give rise to a suspicion that a cognizable offence may have been committed by the respondent [AIR 2003 SC 4140 ]

Categories: Criminal administration

Tagged as: