The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, confers authority upon the Police through
Section 155 and Section 156 to undertake investigative tasks. Alongside these
investigative powers, certain responsibilities are assigned to Police Officers
by Section 172 of CrPC. This encompasses not only the execution of an unbiased
and impartial investigation but also entails the maintenance of a chronological
record called Case Diary. This record encompasses the daily actions conducted by
the Police during the investigative process, the locations visited in pursuit of
their objectives, and the statements documented from witnesses.
This meticulous diary serves a twofold purpose. Primarily, it substantiates the
manner in which the investigation unfolds, ensuring that a comprehensive account
is preserved. In situations where the Court requires insights or assistance
during the course of a trial, this diary takes on a pivotal role. It serves as a
repository of information, potentially illuminating the investigative process
and contributing to the judicial understanding of the case.
Section 172 (1), 172 (2) and 172 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and
sections 145, 159 and 161 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 cover the use of Case
Diary. As per these provisions, Case Dairy can be used by the accused, the
investigating officer and the criminal court within the permissible limits of
Section 172 of CrPC enjoins an Investigating Officer to maintain a Case Diary
and enter all his proceedings of investigation therein day to day. The Police
Regulations of the various states also enjoin the Case Diary should not only be
written day to day but that it should also be submitted to the superior officer
without any delay.
Even though Section 172 CrPC does not require that the Case
Diary should be written on the spot as the enquiry proceeds, yet to rule out
every possibility of delay and consequent opportunity of manipulation it has
been enjoined in Police Regulations of Bengal, 1943, that Case Diaries shall be
written up as the enquiry progresses, and not at the end of each day. The hour
of each entry and name of place at which it is written shall also be given in
the relevant column. A note shall be made at the end of each diary of the place
from, the hour at and how it is dispatched.
The diary's contents are required to
encompass every lead acquired, even if initially seeming unfruitful, and
chronicle each action undertaken by the Investigating Officer. However, brevity
is encouraged, maintaining conciseness while ensuring comprehensive coverage.
Supplementary Case Diary (SCD)
Each designated investigating officer, entrusted with a distinct segment of a
case's investigation, is also responsible for upholding a dedicated Case Diary,
denoted as the "Supplementary Case Diary" (SCD). These SCDs will be formally
acknowledged by the chief investigating officer, who is mandated to incorporate
the essential substance of significant facts unveiled during this particular
investigation into their own Case Diary. This incorporation is to be executed in
correspondence with the date when the SCD is received by the chief investigating
Timely submission of SCDs is of paramount importance and any undue
delay must be avoided. Notably, the chief investigating officer's submission of
the Case Diary to the superior police officer or court is to consistently
include the attached SCDs that have been received.
Importance of Case Diary
The writing of the Case Diary comes next in importance to the FIR and no court
can look with favor at a diary which displays apathy and carelessness on the
part of the Investigating Officer. No court can be blamed for taking an adverse
view against the prosecution when the time of departure from the police station
and arrival at the spot is not noted; the exact time when the witnesses were
examined is not shown on the margin or at any other place; and no details are
furnished of the important activities of the investigator during the
Case Diaries must be written legibly and carefully to help the
judge and not to give him a headache. The diary should not only be written from
day to day but also it should be dispatched to the higher authorities without
delay. The statements of witnesses shall not be recorded in the diary, but the
names of all witnesses shall be given. If the Investigating Officer has recorded
the statements of the witnesses on separate sheets, the gist of the same should
be mentioned in the Case Diary date wise.
As per sub-section (2) of section 172 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the
Case Diary holds a privileged status. Access to this document is restricted for
the accused, except in instances where a police officer employs it to recall
details while providing testimony, or when the court employs it to challenge the
officer's statements. Prosecution too cannot use it as corroborative evidence.
The police officer who prepared the Case Diary can use the diary to refresh his
Enshrined within Section 145 of the Evidence Act is the provision that permits
the cross-examination of a witness in relation to prior statements they have
made in writing or statements that have been documented. These statements, when
pertinent to the issues at hand, hold significance in the trial's proceedings.
Notably, this provision harmonizes with the discretion vested in the Court by
Section 172(3), enabling the utilization of the case diary to challenge the
assertions made by a Police Officer.
Conversely, Section 161 of the Evidence Act presents a distinct entitlement. It
bestows upon a party the right to refresh their memory by consulting written
records connected to the transaction in question (Section 159). These
statements, crucially, are open to cross-examination.
Evidently, the parameters within which the accused can cross-examine a Police
Officer pertaining to the entries present in the case diary are confined by the
applicability of Sections 145 and 161 of the Evidence Act, 1872.
Making False Entry into Case Diary
Committing the act of falsifying entries within Case Diaries holds legal
consequences. In situations where an investigating officer intentionally
fabricates information and incorporates it into a Case Diary, particularly one
maintained and submitted to a superior as dictated by an official directive that
the public servant is duty-bound to adhere to, an offence under Section 177 of
the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is established. This statute addresses the act of
intentionally and falsely inserting information into such a diary, establishing
culpability for the public servant involved.
Investigation and Case Diary
Investigation means that the police officer proceeds on the spot, ascertain the
facts, records the statement of the persons acquainted with the facts, seizes
the incriminating article, obtains expert opinion, arrests the accused persons
and submits the report to the Magistrate.
To make the process of investigation
authentic and to fix the accountability of the investigating officer, section
172 CrPC provides for maintenance of the Case Diary by the investigating
officer. Whenever a case is entrusted for investigation, the investigator shall
open a Case Diary and maintain it in the following manner:
- The diary shall be maintained on a day-to-day basis and whole day's work must be written.
- He should mention date and time and details of the work he performed in connection with the investigation and at what time he closed the Case Diary after the day's work was over.
- He should state the places he visited and mention the circumstances he ascertained through his investigation.
- While concluding his investigation, he should discuss in the Case Diary all evidence he collected so far and then mention the grounds upon which his opinion is based for submitting a charge sheet or final report.
- When he prepares the site plan on separate paper, it should be copied in the Case Diary.
- When the seizure list is prepared, it should find mention in the Case Diary.
- Care should be taken that the whole investigation is reduced into the Case Diary systematically so that the supervisory officers and courts are able to comprehend the process of investigation.
- The Case Diary must be written in at least three or four copies so that if the original documents are lost or fire takes place where original papers and some copies of the Case Diary are lost, then secondary evidence may be given from any of the available four copies of the Case Diary.
Record of Investigation
A case diary is the record of investigation prescribed by section172 (1) CrPC.
It enables senior officers to guide and supervise the investigation besides
providing a record for the Investigating Officer's own reference. A trial court
has the prerogative to utilize the Case Diary as a resource to facilitate its
proceedings. In accordance with the stipulations of section 172(1) of the
Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), a Case Diary should encompass a comprehensive
- The time at which the information reached the investigating officer.
- The time at which he began and closed his investigation every day.
- The place visited by him, and the steps taken by him every day.
- A statement of the circumstances ascertained through his investigation.
What is Investigation?
Investigation in item means all proceedings for collection of evidence conducted
by a police officer [section 2(h) CrPC] and would include, in particular,
Scene of Offence and Investigation Details
- A description of the scene of offence;
- A statement of witnesses, suspects or accused examined with date and time and proper identification;
- the death caused or injury inflicted and action taken (inquest, post mortem, medical attention etc. as a result);
- A description of property stolen or damaged;
- The searches, seizure and arrests made with date and time and venue and further action taken; and
- The disposal of the case.
- The sending of information, express or ordinary, to the departmental superiors under the rules;
- The requisition of the services of experts;
- The reference made to the crime records;
- The verification of the complicity of the possible criminals;
- The issue of hue and cry notices, enquiry slips, and other steps taken to obtain co-operation or help from whatever quarter;
- The disposal of manpower and equipment in furtherance of the investigation;
- The clues found at the spot and the action taken to preserve develop and submit them to expert examination;
- The verification of the statement made, or alibi claimed during the investigation;
- The theories formed after the investigation and the reason for the discard of any;
- The lines of further investigation proposed;
- The final probabilities or facts of the case as determined on conclusion of investigation.
Use of Case Diary in Court
The Trial Court can, under the provision of section 172 (2) CrPC, call for case
diaries and use them as an aid to inquiry or trial. The defense has no right to
see the case diary even if it is used by the Court. Case diary may also be used
by the court to contradict the police officer who wrote it, but the portion of
it which is so used partially loses its privilege and must be shown to the
defense to enable it to cross examine the police officer within the meaning of
section 145 Indian Evidence Act, 1872. During investigation, the Court can call
for the Case Diary to form an opinion whether the accused person whose bail
application is pending for hearing, should be released on bail. However, the
Court cannot disclose the contents of the Case Diary, at the time of passing
orders of bail during investigation by police.
The Case Diary can be used by court merely as an aid to the trial or enquiry of
the case in question but not as substantive evidence.
Thus the diary may be perused by the court to discover relevant evidence which
it can then bring on to the record by examining necessary witnesses and if need
be even under section 311 CrPC, or to put necessary question to a witness on the
basis of information given in the diary, or to clear up ambiguities in evidence
for the sake of justice, or to see if a witness has turned hostile, or to decide
if a remand in police custody is really necessary, or to determine if bail can
be granted to the accused or to see if there is at all a case against the
accused which guarantees to justified framing of the charge.
In the year 2009, an important amendment was introduced. Section 172(1A) CrPC
was incorporated, establishing a crucial requirement. This amendment mandates
the inclusion of witness statements conducted under Section 161 into the Case
Diary. This addition underscores the significance of maintaining a comprehensive
record of witness testimonies within the context of the Case Diary.
A Case Diary which does not contain any statement from witnesses is a privileged
document. The defense has no right to inspect or get a copy of it unless the
officer who wrote it refreshes his memory in which case the defense can also see
it but not get a copy. The defense can use statements recorded under section 161
CrPC to contradict prosecution witnesses. In that case the prosecution can also
use any portion of the statement in re-examination but only for the purpose of
explaining away any matter referred to in his cross-examination.
Section 162 CrPC permits the prosecution to use any part of the statement with
the permission of the Court to contradiction a hostile witness (Section 145
Indian Evidence Act, 1872).
What not to Write in Case Diary?
A Case Diary is an important legal document that records the chronological
events, actions, and decisions related to a legal case or investigation. It
should be accurate, objective, and focused on relevant information. Here are
some things that generally should not be included in a Case Diary:
Personal Opinions and Speculation: Case Diaries should not include personal
opinions, subjective assessments, or speculative thoughts of the person
maintaining the diary. The diary should stick to factual information and actions
Irrelevant or Sensitive Personal Information:
Personal details that are not
relevant to the case or investigation, such as personal biases, unrelated
medical history, or unrelated personal circumstances, should not be included.
This is to ensure the privacy and dignity of individuals involved. The identity
of victim of sexual offences including those under the POCSO Act should not be
revealed in the Case Diary.
Derogatory or Offensive Language:
The Case Diary should maintain a professional
tone and avoid using derogatory, offensive, or inappropriate language. The
purpose is to maintain the credibility and objectivity of the document.
Confidential or Classified Information:
If a piece of information is classified,
confidential, or sensitive, it should not be included in the Case Diary. Sharing
such information inappropriately could compromise national security, ongoing
investigations, or personal privacy.
Unsubstantiated Allegations or Accusations:
Case Diaries should avoid recording
unsubstantiated allegations or accusations against individuals. Only information
that is supported by evidence or statements should be included.
Information Covered by Attorney-Client Privilege:
If the Case Diary is being
maintained by a lawyer, it should not include information that is protected by
attorney-client privilege. Such information is confidential and should not be
shared without proper authorization.
Avoid including statements that could be considered
inflammatory, discriminatory, or incendiary. The diary should contribute to a
fair and just legal process.
While it's important to document relevant information, the
case diary should avoid unnecessary or excessive detail that doesn't contribute
to the understanding of the case or investigation.
Unrelated Personal Observations:
Personal anecdotes, unrelated to the case or
investigation, should not be included in the diary. The focus should remain on
the legal aspects of the matter.
Information that Compromises Ongoing Operations:
If a case is still under
investigation, the diary should avoid disclosing information that could
compromise the ongoing operations or interfere with law enforcement efforts.
Attempts to Influence the Outcome:
The case diary should be an objective
record-keeping tool and should not be used to manipulate or influence the
outcome of the case or investigation.
Personal and Differing Opinions to be Excluded:
Opinions held by the
Investigating Officer, Supervisory Officers, and Law Officers are to be omitted.
Any disagreements or differences of opinion among individuals such as the
Investigating Officer, Law Officers, SP, DIG, and Head Office are not to be
included. Recommendations put forth in the concluding report by the
Investigating Officer, coupled with the comments of Law Officers and Supervisory
Officers, are to be left out. Facts or circumstances unrelated to the case's
investigation should not be incorporated.
Case Diary and RTI Act
Across various jurisdictions, both the High Courts and the Central Information
Commission have aligned in their stance regarding this matter. They concur that
an individual's entitlement to obtain a copy of the Case Diary through a Right
to Information (RTI) application is contingent upon the conclusion of a trial.
Sanjay Kumar Sahani v. Central Public Information Officer, 2019 SCC Online CIC
This collective perspective is grounded in Section 8(1)(h) of the Right to
Information Act, 2005, which places limitations on the disclosure of information
that could potentially hinder ongoing investigative processes, the apprehension
of suspects, or the prosecution of offenders. Deputy Commissioner of Police v.
D.K. Sharma, 2010 SCC Online Del 4554
Evidentiary Value of Case Diary
The evidentiary value of entries in Case Diary, holds significant weight within
the context of legal proceedings. These entries can provide crucial insights
into the investigative process and the events surrounding a case. Here's how the
evidentiary value of such entries is understood:
Primary Record of Investigation:
The Case Diary chronicles the day-to-day
activities, actions, observations, and interactions of the investigating
officers during the course of an investigation. As a primary source, these
entries document the steps taken, places visited, evidence collected, and
statements recorded. This factual account can be pivotal in corroborating the
Corroboration of Testimonies:
Entries in the Case Diary can serve as
corroboration for the testimonies of both witnesses and investigating officers.
They can validate that specific actions were taken and that certain events
occurred, lending credibility to the version of events presented in court.
Memory Aid for Witnesses:
Entries in the diary can help refresh the memory of
witnesses, including police officers themselves, when they are called upon to
testify in court after a significant time lapse. This ensures that accurate and
consistent information is presented in court.
Contradiction and Cross-Examination:
Entries in the police diary can be used for
cross-examination to challenge the credibility of the statements made by
witnesses or investigating officers. If inconsistencies arise between the
statements made in court and the recorded entries, it can raise questions about
the accuracy of the evidence presented.
Assistance to the Court:
During trial, the court can refer to the Case Diary to
gain a comprehensive understanding of the investigation's progression. This
assists the court in evaluating the case, making informed decisions, and
ensuring a fair trial.
Entries in the Case Diary can provide support for the
charges filed against the accused. They can establish the link between evidence,
suspects, and the events under investigation.
Determining Legality of Actions:
The diary can help assess whether the
investigating officers followed legal procedures and acted within the bounds of
the law. If any irregularities or violations are noted in the entries, they can
impact the credibility of the investigation.
Impeachment of Credibility:
On the other hand, if entries in the police diary
appear inconsistent or manipulated, they can be used to impeach the credibility
of the investigation and cast doubt on the case's integrity.
In case of an appeal, entries in the police diary can be
crucial in reviewing the lower court's decision. Appellate courts can assess
whether proper procedures were followed and whether evidence was handled
Court Judgments on Case Diary
The significance of the Case Diary was underscored by the Supreme Court in the
case of P. Chidambaram v. Directorate of Enforcement, (2019) 9 SCC 24. In this
landmark case, the Court articulated that it possesses the authority to examine
the Case Diary and the evidence amassed during the investigative phase conducted
by the prosecution. This prerogative is not contingent upon the commencement of
the trial. It can be exercised in situations such as:
Ensuring Investigation's Correct Trajectory:
The Court's engagement with the
Case Diary is aimed at validating that the investigation is progressing in the
right direction, thereby ensuring the accuracy and fairness of the inquiry.
Preventing Misuse of Authority:
By examining the Case Diary, the Court acts as a
safeguard against potential misuse of power by investigating agencies, thereby
maintaining the integrity of the investigative process.
Deciding Bail Under Section 438 CrPC:
The Court's perusal of the Case Diary
assists in making informed decisions regarding the granting or denial of bail
under Section 438 of the CrPC.
It's noteworthy that the above-mentioned circumstances are not the only
situations in which the Court can review the Case Diary. They serve as examples,
not an exhaustive list. The Court's jurisdiction to engage with the Case Diary
during the investigative phase serves broader purposes than those illustrated,
ensuring the transparency, fairness, and legality of the proceedings.
In the case of Ravi Kant Sharma v. State of NCT of Delhi
, (2007) 2 SCC 764, the
Supreme Court conveyed that if the essence of statements recorded under Section
161(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 becomes an integral part of the
Case diary, then this "essence" should be furnished to the accused. However,
this provision would come into effect only subsequent to the Court's factual
confirmation, after thorough scrutiny, that the information provided is
genuinely nothing more than the "essence of statements."
In the case of Balakram v. State of Uttarakhand
, (2017) 7 SCC 668, the Supreme
Court ruled that the scope of the accused's right to cross-examine a Police
Officer is notably limited in its extent. Such an opportunity arises primarily
when the Court employs the entries in the Case Diary to counter the statements
of a Police Officer or when said officer refers to these entries to refresh his
memory. Importantly, the Court highlighted that the denial of this right by the
Court itself does not inherently amount to being unreasonable or arbitrary.
In the case of Shamshul Kanwar v. State of U.P.
, (1995) 4 SCC 430, the central
concern presented to the Supreme Court was whether the accused possesses the
entitlement to make use of the Case Diary. In the course of interpreting Section
172(3) CrPC, the Court held that such a right is not inherently vested in the
accused. Rather, the ability to employ a Case Diary arises from the
discretionary authority of the Court or the volition of the Police Officer to
refresh his memory. This privilege, when granted, empowers the accused solely to
use the diary for the specific purpose of cross-examining the statements made by
the Police Officer.
In a judgment presided over by Justices DK Jain and RM Lodha of the Supreme
Court, it was established that the utility of a Case Diary within a criminal
court's proceedings is distinct in nature. The court articulated that while the
Case Diary can be employed by the court to facilitate an inquiry or trial, its
function as evidence is proscribed. This legal perspective finds clarity within
the provisions of Section 172(2) of CrPC.
The purpose behind documenting "Case Diaries" as per section 172 CrPC is to
empower courts to scrutinize the police's investigative procedures. Peary Mohan
Das v. D. Weston, (1911) 16 CWN 145
Entries within a police diary must be promptly recorded, offering adequate
details that encompass all crucial facts presented in a meticulous chronological
sequence and with unwavering objectivity. Neglecting the systematic upkeep of a
police Case Diary not only reflects poorly on those entrusted with its
maintenance but also undermines the very rationale for its existence. Bhagwat
Singh v. Commissioner of Police
, AIR 1983 SC 826: 1983 Cr LJ 1080
The verdict of Zahiruddin v. Emperor, AIR 1947 PC 75, underscores a significant
principle. It affirms that the absence of maintenance of the Case Diary in
accordance with the stipulations of section 172 CrPC does not inherently render
the trial invalid. However, this lapse does open the door for unfavorable
assessment of the evidence presented by the investigating police officer, which
could consequently diminish the credibility and weight of such evidence within
The Case Diary is valuable only as secondary evidence and not as substantive
piece of evidence. When the primary evidence is lost or is not traceable, only
then secondary evidence can be given, as per section 65 of the Indian Evidence
Act, 1872. Bhagwan Singh v. State
, 1981 Cr LJ (NOC) 103
In the case of Balakram v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors
(2017) 7 SCC 668, the
Supreme Court ruled that under circumstances where neither the police officer
has utilized the entries in the Case Diary to refresh his memory nor has the
trial court utilized these entries to contest the statements made by the police
officer, the accused is precluded from introducing certain pages of the Case
Diary. Even if these pages were obtained through the provisions of the Right to
Information Act, they cannot be introduced solely with the purpose of
challenging the statements presented by the police officer.
In the case of State of Kerala v. Babu & Ors
on 4 May, 1999, the Supreme Court
ruled that, it is conceivable that a Case Diary from a different case, not
directly associated with the ongoing trial, can be requisitioned. This action
can be taken if the trial court deems it essential or advantageous for the
effective conduct of the trial, under the provisions of Section 91 of the CrPC.
Case Diary is a crucial tool that ensures a transparent, accountable, and
systematic approach to legal proceedings and investigations. It helps maintain
the integrity of the justice system and facilitates the fair administration of
justice. The key principle when maintaining a Case Diary is to provide an
accurate, objective, and relevant account of the events and actions related to
the legal matter.
It is essential to maintain the integrity of the document and
adhere to legal and ethical standards while recording information. Any obstacle
in the way of implementing different provisions of law in course of an
investigation should be noted and explained in the Case Diary. In summary,
entries in the police diary play a pivotal role in shaping the evidentiary
landscape of a case.
They offer a record of events, actions, and statements that
can aid in establishing facts, corroborating testimonies, and ensuring the
integrity of the investigative and legal process. In essence, the Case Diaries
are to be restricted to factual and pertinent details, ensuring that personal
opinions, disagreements, recommendations, and irrelevant information do not find
their way into the record.
Written By: Md. Imran Wahab
- Andhra Pradesh Police Academy, First Course in Investigation.
- P. Venkatesh, Police Diaries, Statements, Reports and lnvesi1'gations, Premier Publishing Company, Allahabad.
- R. Deb, Principles of Criminology, Criminal Law and Investigation, S.C. Sarkar & Sons, Calcutta.
, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9836576565