In daily life, we always hear the word 'Summon', for instance, the Enforcement Directorate or the court summoning a prominent person . A Summon is a call by a court or any administrative body of the government, in written, to an individual to appear in court or a concerned office in person, at a specified time and place regarding any investigation or enquiry on any matter or case. A summon may be issued in both criminal and in civil cases.
Following are the essential elements of a summon:-
A summon is served in the following manner:-
Where the persons summoned cannot be found, the summons may be served by leaving one of the duplicates for the person with some adult male member of the family residing with him, and the person with whom the summon is left, shall sign a receipt on the back of the duplicate. A summon cannot be delivered to a servant, because a servant is not a member of the family
A court issuing summons to a witness may simultaneously direct a copy of the summons to be served by registered post addressed to the witness. When an acknowledgment purporting to be signed by the witness or an endorsement is made by the 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.
In case the service of summons is evaded, the court may issue bailable or non-bailable warrants
If any court has reason to believe that any person against whom a warrant has been issued has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed, such court may publish a written proclamation requiring him to appear at a specified place and time within 30 days of publishing such proclamation.
The proclamation shall be published as follows:-
The Court issuing a proclamation may, at any time after the issue of the proclamation, order the attachment of any property, movable or immovable or both, belonging to the proclaimed person. The Court may order the attachment simultaneously with the issue of the proclamation.
Provided, where at the time of issue of the proclamation, the Court is satisfied that the person in relation to whom the proclamation is to be issued
In civil cases, there are ways to exempt from personal appearance as Civil Procedure Code provides some provisions for exemption.
Order V Rule 4 give lays down conditions where a person can be exempted from personal appearance or can send his representative or advocate to the court for appearance by filing an application before the court.
Section 132 of the CPC provides exemptions for certain women , who cannot appear before the public in lieu of any law or personal circumstances.
Section 133 of CPC provides exemption from personal appearance to a person who is holding any constitutional position.
In Criminal matters, there are very few exceptions for exemption from personal appearance.
Section 205 of Criminal Procedure Code, provides discretion to the court to give exemption to an accused from personal appearance at the time of commencement of proceedings.
Section 317 ofCrPC , provides exemption from personal appearance at all stages after the commencement of trial.
Upon receiving the summons, the person summoned has the following obligations:-
A person can answer a summon through his legal representator / advocate. If the person is unable to hire an advocate, then the person can answer the summon to the court by himself. The person can contact the clerk of the concerned court and can submit the answer of summon with the all required documents and fees.
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