Summons – Section 61 to 69 of CrPC
Generally, summon means to order someone to be present or appear. In a legal sense, summon means to order a person to appear before the Court of Law. Chapter 6 of CrPC is titled “Processes to compel appearance” which talks about the different mechanisms the Court can use to compel the accused to appear before it. One mechanism is the summons contained in Sections 61 to 69. It is a pre-trial process.
Section 61 of CrPC prescribes the form of summons. Every summons issued by the Court under this Code should be in writing, duplicate, signed by the presiding officer of the Court and should bear the seal of the Court.
Section 62 of CrPC prescribes the modes in which a summon can be served. It shall be served by:
- A police officer or;
- An officer of Court or;
- Any other public servant
If practicable, it should be served personally by delivering or tendering to the person summoned, a duplicate of the summon.
The person to whom the summon is served should sign a receipt on the back of the duplicate summon for the convenience of the Court.
Section 63 of CrPC states how summons is served on the corporate bodies and summons. In such a case, the summon can be served on the secretary, local manager or any other principal officer of the Corporation, or sent to its chief officer by means of registered post. The summon would be deemed to have been effected when the post reaches an ordinary course.
The word “corporation” under this section includes any incorporated company or any other corporate body or society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
In case the person for whom the summon has been issued is not found, after exercising due diligence, then such summon can be given to any adult male member of his family. Such member shall sign on the back of the duplicate summon for the purpose of receipt. The servant is not included in the family. (Section 64)
Section 65 of CrPC provides that when summon could not be served in the manner provided under Section 62 or 63 or 64, after exercising due diligence, then the serving officer shall affix one of the duplicate summons to such part of the house or homestead of accused, which is clearly visible and reachable. This act will be deemed to have given effect to summon. After making any inquiries, the Court may declare that summons has been served or order fresh service of summon.
When summon has to be served on a government servant, it will be served in duplicate to the head of the office where such person works. Later, the head of an office will cause the summon to be served in the same manner provided under section 62 and return it to Court with his signature and endorsement. Such signature shall be evidence in due service. (Section 66)
When the summon are to be served at a place outside the local jurisdiction of the Court, it can be served under Section 67 by sending it to the Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction the person summoned resides.
Under Section 68 of CrPC, when the summon was served outside the local jurisdiction of the Court and the serving officer is not present at the time of hearings, an affidavit stating that the summon has been served and duplicate of summon with endorsement shall be admissible in Court as evidence.
The affidavit attached with the duplicate of summon shall be returned to the Court.
Section 69 of CrPC states the procedure for serving to summon a witness. While issuing summons in the above sections, the Court may direct a copy of summon to be served on witness by registered post, at his place where he ordinarily resides or the office, where he works for gain or carries on his business.
The Court may declare that the summon has been duly served if:
- The witnesses sign an acknowledgement
- The endorsement made by the postal employee
shows that the witness has refused to take delivery of summon.