Case diary is defined under Section 172 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 as the ‘diary kept by the police officer for maintaining the record of the investigation which includes how the inquiry was carried out, the date on which the investigation began, a place visited by the police officer during an investigation and others’.

A case diary is an official document, but it cannot be given as evidence in court. The court can use the case diary for clearing ambiguous points of the case and to understand the trend of the evidence provided during the trial. Further, it can be used to call persons related to the case and to qualify statements recorded by an officer in the diary as evidence or not.

The court is also allowed to call for a case diary while cross-examining the police officer as a witness in the court regarding particulars of the crime like date of inquiry, place of inquiry, persons called during inquiry and others.

The police officer who investigated the case can use the case diary for refreshing his memory during examination in the court. Such police officers can take the help of the case diary for recalling the facts of the case. The accused is also entitled to inquest such police officer during cross-examination under section 161 of the Indian Evidence Act.

A court should ensure that his/her judgment is not influenced by the case diary. It can be used to aid the proceeding but not as a piece of substantive evidence.

The court could not be influenced by the statement made in the case diary and made to disbelieve the statement made by either party to the proceeding.

Crpc forbids the court to disallow the statement made by the defendant during the trial based on an absence of such statement in the case diary.

An accused person is not entitled to call for the case diary. But section 172 doesn’t prohibit defense counsel from contemplating the case diary with the permission of the court.

The court has discretionary power to allow the defense counsel to view the case diary if it thinks fit.

In Anand Prakash & Anr Vs. State, 2017, the court held that the case diary cannot be produced as evidence by the accused, section 172(3) of CrPc, 1973 clearly prohibits the use of case diary by the accused.

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