What provisions are given in CrPC for compelling appearance in courts?
What do you know about Summons in this context?
Describe the procedure for issue and service of a Summons.
How can a Summons be served on a govt. employee or outside local limits?
Processes for compelling appearance
To meet the ends of justice, it is critical to produce the accused and other witnesses or related parties before the court whenever needed. If the accused is found guilty at the conclusion of the trial, he must be present in-person to receive the sentence. Also, his presence is necessary if imprisonment is to be enforced. Further, the supremacy of the law will be questionable if there is no formal process to bring the required persons before the court. For this reason, Chapter VI (Sections 61 to 90) of CrPC provides three ways for compelling the appearance of any person who is required to be present in the court, in the court
- Warrant, and
- Proclamation for person absconding
While Summons is an order of the court to the person to appear before it, Warrant is an order of the court given to a third person to bring the person who is required to be present in the court, in the court. Which method is to be used in a particular situation depends on the judicial officer, who is guided by the provisions of this code. The third method is used when the person has absconded or is in any other way avoiding arrest, in which case the Court may publish a written proclamation requiring him to appear at a specified place and at a specified time not less than thirty days from the date of publishing such proclamation
The code classifies all criminal cases into summons cases and warrants cases. A case is a warrant case if the offense is punishable by death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for more than two years. A summons case is a case that is not a warranty case. Thus, The basis of classification is the seriousness of the offense. Since a summons case contains a lesser sentence, there is less probability of the accused violating the court order. Therefore, generally, a summons is issued for a summons case and a warrant is issued for a warrant case. However, when a Summons is not productive in making a person appear before the court, the court may issue a warrant to a police officer or any other person to forcibly produce the required person before the court.
A Summons is a process issued by a Court, calling upon a person to appear before a Magistrate. It is used for the purpose of notifying an individual of his legal obligation to appear before the Magistrate as a response to a violation of the law. It is addressed to a defendant in a legal proceeding. Typically, the summons will announce to the person to whom it is directed that a legal proceeding has been started against that person and that a file has been started in the court records. The summons announces a date on which the person must appear in court.
A person who is summoned is legally bound to appear before the court on the given date and time. Willful disobedience is liable to be punished under Section 174 of IPC. It is a ground for contempt of court.
As per Section 61, every summons issued by a Court under this Code shall be in writing and in duplicate. It must be signed by the presiding officer of the Court or by such other officer as the High Court may, from time to time, by rule direct. It must also bear the seal of the Court.
Procedure for issuing a Summons
When a request in an appropriate format is made to the court for compelling the appearance of a person, the court either rejects the request or issues a Summons. As per Section 204, if in the opinion of the magistrate taking cognizance of the offense, there is sufficient ground for proceeding, he shall issue a summons if it is a summons case. If it is the case of a warrant, he may issue a warrant or a summons as he thinks fit.
Further, Section 87, empowers a magistrate to issue a warrant even if the case is a summons case if he has reason to believe that the summons will be disobeyed. He must record his reasons for this action.
The summons should contain adequate particulars such as the date, time, and place, of the offense, charged. It should also contain the date, time, and place where the summoned person is supposed to appear. The standard format of a summons is given in Form 1 of the Second schedule.
As per Section 205, a magistrate issuing the summons may permit the accused to appear by his lawyer if he sees reason to do so.
Procedure for serving a Summons
CrPC describes the procedures for serving a summons on various categories of individuals – a person, a corporate body, a government servant, and a person residing outside the jurisdiction of the court.
Section 62 describes the procedure for serving a Summons on a person as follows –
(1) Every summons shall be served by a police officer, or subject to such rules as the State Government may make on this behalf, by an officer of the Court issuing it or another public servant.
(2) The summons shall, if practicable, be served personally on the person summoned, by delivering or tendering to him one of the duplicates of the summons.
(3) Every person on whom a summons is so served shall if so required by the serving officer, sign a receipt therefor on the back of the other duplicate.
Service of summons on corporate bodies and societies (Section 63) –
Service of a summons on a corporation may be effected by serving it on the secretary, local manager, or another principal officer of the corporation, or by letter sent by registered post, addressed to the chief officer of the corporation in India, in which case the service shall be deemed to have been effected when the letter would arrive in the ordinary course of post. In this section, “corporation” means an incorporated company or other body corporate and includes a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
In the case of Central Bank of India vs Delhi Development Authority, 1981, it was held that a Branch Manager is a local manager, and if he has been served the service shall be deemed to have been affected by the company itself.
Service, when persons summoned, cannot be found (Section 64) –
Where the person summoned cannot, by the exercise of due diligence, be found, the summons may be served by leaving one of the duplicates for him with some adult male member of his family residing with him, and the person with whom the summons is so left shall if so required by the serving officer, sign a receipt therefor on the back of the other duplicate. A servant is not considered to be a member of the family within the meaning of this section.
Procedure when service cannot be effected as before provided (Section 65) –
If service cannot by the exercise of due diligence be effected as provided in section 62, section 63, or section 64, the serving officer shall affix one of the duplicates of the summons to some conspicuous part of the house or homestead in which the person summoned ordinarily resides; and thereupon the Court, after making such inquiries as it thinks fit, may either declare that the summons has been duly served or order fresh service in such manner as it considers proper.
The service of summons on a witness can also be done by post. As per Section 69 –
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the preceding sections of this Chapter, a Court issuing a summons to a witness may, in addition to and simultaneously with the issue of such summons, direct a copy of the summons to be served by registered post addressed to the witness at the place where he ordinarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.
(2) When an acknowledgment purporting to be signed by the witness or an endorsement purporting to be made by a postal employee that the witness refused to take delivery of the summons has been received, the Court issuing the summons may declare that the summons has been duly served.
Service of summons on a Govt. employee (Section 66) –
Section 66 details the procedure for serving a summons on a Government employee as follows –
(1) Where the person summoned is in the active service of the Government, the Court issuing the summons shall ordinarily send it in duplicate to the head of the office in which such person is employed; and such head shall thereupon cause the summons to be served in the manner provided by section 62, and shall return it to the Court under his signature with the endorsement required by that section.
(2) Such signature shall be evidence of due service.
Service of summons outside local limits (Section 67) –
When a Court desires that a summons issued by it shall be served at any place outside its local jurisdiction, it shall ordinarily send such summons in duplicate to a Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction the person summoned resides, or is believed to be there, served.
Keywords: Compelling Appearance, Compelling Appearance Under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Compelling Appearance Definition, Compelling Appearance in India, Compelling Appearance Under CrPC, 1973.
Click here to read the Bare Act of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973