A summon can be described as a legal and authoritative order or call to the accused individual or any other individual whose presence in the court is mandatory to answer questions related to the charge of offence.
According to Section 61: Form of summons- Every summons issued by a Court under this Code shall be in writing, in duplicate, signed by the presiding officer of such Court or by such other officer as the High Court may, from time to time, by rule direct, and shall bear the seal of the Court.
The court through which the summon has been issued may allow the accused to be ensure his presence through his lawyer. Section 62-67 deal with the modes for the service of the summons.
Section 62 mentions the following modes for the service of summons:
- The summon must be served by a police officer, or
- The summon must be served by an officer of the Court issuing summons, or
- By any other public servant
It is usually preferred that the summons be served on the person summoned in a personal manner and the individual on whom the summon has been served is required to sign a receipt on the back of the other duplicate, if the officer requires.
Section 63 deals with the service of summons on corporate bodies and societies. According to Section 63, summons can be serviced to a Corporation by personally serving it to the secretary, the local manager or the principal officer or by a sending a letter to the Chief Officer of the Corporation by registered post or by sending a letter to the Chief Officer of the Corporation in India by registered post. In case the branch manager of a Corporation is a local manager then the summon will be considered to be served to the company itself.
If the person summoned cannot be found then the summon may be served to that person by leaving one of the duplicates of the summon for him with an adult member of the person’s family who lives with him. If the officer who is serving the summon requires, then the person with whom the summon for the summoned individual is being left shall sign a receipt on the back of the other duplicate. This is dealt with in Section 64.
There are certain situations where the service of summons is not possible by the exercise of due diligence as has been mentioned under Section 62, 63 or 64. In such a case, the officer serving the summon may affix a duplicate of the summon to a noticeable part of the house of the person being summoned. After making all the required enquiries as the Court sees fit, the summon is either considered to be duly served or an order of fresh service of summon is made.
There are instances where an individual to whom the summon is to be served does not ordinarily reside in India, the court in that case can take assistance of public servants working in Indian embassies abroad.
Where a summon is served outside the local jurisdiction of the Court serving the summon, then the summons shall be sent by the Court, in duplicate to the Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction the person being summoned, lives.
There are certain instances where when the summon issued by a Court is served outside the jurisdictional limit of the Court and when in certain cases where the serving officer is not present at the hearing of the case. In these situations, an affidavit is made before the Magistrate that the summon has been served according to the procedure and a duplicate of the same summon signed by the individual to whom it was served shall be admissible as evidence and the statement that has been made in the affidavit shall be considered to be correct unless the contrary is proved.
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