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S. S. Rathi (other)     14 December 2021

Sec 311 crpc


I want to call witness in civil suit and wish to file application u/s 311 CrPC but I want to know whether sec.311 CrPC allowable in civil suit to summons to witness

Pls confirm and help


 2 Replies

Kawmini Liyanage   15 December 2021


The scope of Section 311 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the power;

  • To summon material witnesses
  • Or to conduct examinations of persons who are present at the trial not summoned as a witness,
  • Or recall and reexamine any person already examined.

This section grants power to all Courts, which hear a case where the proceedings are followed under the Criminal Procedure Law. The hearing is not limited to any stage, so applying section 311 at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceedings is possible. 

As mentioned above, the bar set up in section 311 is, it can only be applied to actions filed under the law set out in Criminal Procedure Law. Actions filed under CrPC are mostly criminal suits, but certain civil actions such as maintenance can be filed under this law. 

Therefore, please let us know the area of law which pertains to the action you have filed for a more accurate answer. 


Kawmini Liyanage

Megha   15 December 2021

Hello Sir

As per Section 311 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), “Any Court may, at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this code, summon any person as a witness, …. "

From the above it is clear that summons under section 311 of CrPC are permissible only if the application is filed under CrPC.


Summons can also be issued inn a civil suit under Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) and the same is governed from section 27 to section 32 of CPC. Summons to witness is provided under Section 31 and the same must be issued in accordance with the procedure laid down under section 27, 28 and 29 of CPC.


In conclusion, section 311 of CrPC can be applied to criminal suits filed under the said Code and not in case of a civil.

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