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Coverage of this Article

KEY TAKEAWAYS

-Summons cases are cases which are non-cognizable, bailable & compoundable in nature.

INTRODUCTION

-The Code of Criminal Procedure divides criminal cases into two types: Summons cases& Warrants cases. Summons cases are defined under Section 2(w) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 

TRIAL IN SUMMONS CASE

-Substance of Accusation (Section 251 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In a summons case, it is not necessary to frame a charge. However, the accused must be explained his charge and asked whether he wants to plead guilty.

LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS

-Manbodh Biswal vs. Samaru Pradhan (1980 Cri LJ 1023): In this case, it was contended that provisions under Section 251 of CrPC are mandatory. 

-S. Rama Krishna vs. S. Rami Reddy [(2008) 5 SCC 535]: In this case, it was held that in reference to Section 256 of CrPC, when the complainant is absent from the trial for a period of time and they do not attend the trial even after issuing repeated summons then the Magistrate can acquit the accused of all charges.

-Driver Mohmed Valli & Ors. Vs. State (1960): In this case, it was held that issuing a summons is different from making an order to issue a summons. 

-Hemedranath Chowdhury vs. Smt. Archana Chowdhury (AIR 1971 Cal 244, 1971 CriLJ 817): In this case, the Court held that as per Section 64 of CrPC it should be proved that to find the summoned person adequate efforts was be made.

CONCLUSION

-The process in which two disputed parties (petitioner& defendant) argue and the decision about the guilt of the accused person is decided by Judge or jury is called a trial. A trial only happens when the accused person pleads that he is not guilty of the offence.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Summons cases are cases which are non-cognizable, bailable & compoundable in nature.
  • Summon cases are triable by the Magistrate.
  • The trial for Summon Case is provided under Section 251-260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure

INTRODUCTION

The Code of Criminal Procedure divides criminal cases into two types: Summons cases& Warrants cases. Summons cases are defined under Section 2(w) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The cases that are not warrant cases are summon cases. The cases which are non-cognizable, bailable & compoundable come under the Summons case. Summon cases are exclusively triable by the Magistrate. Summon in a literal sense means to command someone to appear before the court and answer a complaint made against him. The trial in the summons case is less complex and speedy as the offences are not speedy in nature. Under Section 204(1) (a) of CrPC, a Magistrate issues summon to the accused.

TRIAL IN SUMMONS CASE

1. Substance of Accusation (Section 251 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In a summons case, it is not necessary to frame a charge. However, the accused must be explained his charge and asked whether he wants to plead guilty.

2. Conviction on plea of guilty (Section 252 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In case the accused pleads guilty, i.e., admit his offence then his plea shall be recorded and he will be convicted by the magistrate.

3. Conviction on plea of guilty in absence of accused (Section 253 of Code of Criminal Procedure): According to this section, if the pleader on behalf of the accused pleads guilty the Magistrate as per his discretion can order conviction of the accused.

4. Procedure when not convicted (Section 254 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In case the accused is not convicted under Sections 252 & 253 of CrPC, then the Magistrate proceeds for trial and evidences of prosecution & defence will be recorded.

5. Acquittal or conviction (Section 255 of Code of Criminal Procedure): After examining evidence & witnesses from both sides, the Magistrate on basis of suitable grounds decides on the conviction or acquittal of the accused.

6. Non-appearance or death of complainant (Section 256 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In cases where a summons case is instituted on basis of a complaint and the complainant is absent on the hearing date then the magistrate can acquit the accused or he can adjourn the case till next date. In some cases, the magistrate may proceed further with the trial where the presence of the complainant is not necessary.

7. Withdrawal of complaint (Section 257 o Code of Criminal Procedure): In case a complaint is withdrawn with the permission of the Magistrate before the final order is passed, the accused will be acquitted.

8. Power to stop proceedings in certain cases (section 258 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In summons case instituted otherwise than on a complaint, with prior permission from Chief Judicial Magistrate, the Judicial Magistrate of 1st class or any other Magistrate can stop proceedings of the trial without announcing judgement. However, they must give a justified reason for the same. The effects of stopping proceedings are as follows:

  • In case proceedings are stopped after taking evidence of the main witness, it will have the same effect as of acquittal of the accused.
  • In case proceedings are stopped before taking evidence of the main witness, the effect will be the same as the discharge of the accused.

9. Power of court to convert summon case into warrant case (Section 259 of Code of Criminal Procedure): When a summons case is punishable with imprisonment of more than six months then it can be converted to a warrant case if it is in the best interest of justice,

10. Compensation of accused (Section 250 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In cases where there is no sufficient ground for accusation, then the accused can be acquitted or discharged. The Magistrate can issue an order of compensation to the accused. A show-cause notice needs to be issued before passing the order for compensation. In case, the complainant does not compensate the accused or makes a default in the payment he will be punished with imprisonment of up to 30 days.

LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS

1. Manbodh Biswal vs. Samaru Pradhan (1980 Cri LJ 1023): In this case, it was contended that provisions under Section 251 of CrPC are mandatory. When an accused is presented before Magistrate, he should be well informed about the charges against him and he should be asked whether he wants to plead guilty or resume the trial. Since in this case, the accused was not informed about the charges against him, the trial could not proceed further.

2. S. Rama Krishna vs. S. Rami Reddy [(2008) 5 SCC 535]: In this case, it was held that in reference to Section 256 of CrPC, when the complainant is absent from the trial for a period of time and they do not attend the trial even after issuing repeated summons then the Magistrate can acquit the accused of all charges.

3. Driver Mohmed Valli & Ors. Vs. State (1960): In this case, it was held that issuing a summons is different from making an order to issue a summons. Summons is served by police officers directly to the person for whom it is issued

4. Hemedranath Chowdhury vs. Smt. Archana Chowdhury (AIR 1971 Cal 244, 1971 CriLJ 817): In this case, the Court held that as per Section 64 of CrPC it should be proved that to find the summoned person adequate efforts was be made.

CONCLUSION

The process in which two disputed parties (petitioner& defendant) argue and the decision about the guilt of the accused person is decided by Judge or jury is called a trial. A trial only happens when the accused person pleads that he is not guilty of the offence. Summon case trials are speedy and less complex as they are for less serious offences. There is a substantial difference between summon trial & warrant trial. The basic difference between summons cases & warrant cases lies in the duration of punishment & seriousness of the offence. Both the trial whether summoning trial and warrant trial is decided by the Magistrate.


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