General Diary (GD) Vs First Information Report (FIR)

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Source-This post on General Diary (GD) Vs First Information Report (FIR) is based on the article “General Diary Entry Cannot Precede Registration of FIR, Except Where Preliminary Inquiry Is Needed: Supreme Court” published in “Live law” on 27th February 2024.

Why in the News?

The Supreme Court recently ruled that information revealing the occurrence of a cognizable offense must be documented as a First Information Report (“FIR”) in a book format, rather than in the General Diary maintained by the Police under the Police Act, 1861.

What is General Diary (GD)?

Supreme court
Source- Hindustan Times

1. About– The General Diary, also known as Station Diary or Daily Diary in some states, is kept according to Section 44 of the Police Act, 1861, or the relevant provisions of state police acts or manuals.

2. Activities covered– It comprises records of significant transactions and events within a police station, such as the movement of police personnel, the transfer of responsibilities, individual arrests, law enforcement tasks, visits by senior officers, and similar occurrences.

3. Section 44 of the Police Act, 1861:
It mandates that every officer in charge of a police station must maintain a general diary as per the format specified by the State Government.
b. The diary should document all complaints, charges filed, names of arrested individuals, complainants, offenses charged, seized weapons or property, and the names of witnesses examined.

What is a First Information Report (FIR)?

1. About– It is a written document prepared by a police officer following information provided by a victim or any other individual, either in written form or orally, regarding the commission of a cognizable offense.

2. Start of investigation– The investigation commences only after the FIR is filed.

3. Mentioning under IPC and CrPC– The term FIR is not specified in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1973, or any other legislation. However, within police regulations or rules, information documented under Section 154 of the CrPC is referred to as the First Information Report (FIR).

What is the basic difference between FIR and General Diary (GD)?

AspectFirst Information Report (FIR)General Diary (GD)
Transmittal obligationA copy of every FIR is forwarded to the higher-ranking officers and the relevant Judicial Magistrate.GD copy not sent to Magistrate; but sent to higher officer. Magistrate can inspect if necessary.
Signature requirement of complainantThe complainant’s signature is taken in the FIR Book when the complaint is submitted to the police station.Their is no such requirement.
Copy to complainantIn the case of F.I.R., a copy of these will be provided to the complainant.It is an internal police record, not required to be provided to the complainant.

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