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bbugs   09 July 2021

Summon case

Is an accused arrested in a summon case or he attends the trial without being arrested?


 7 Replies

Paras Dargarh   09 July 2021

Section 2(w) of Criminal Procedure Code 1973 defines a summons case as a case that is not a warrant case. Section 252 to 259 of the Code deals with the procedure which is to be followed by the Magistrate in order to try a summons case. The warrant cases are those punishable by death, imprisonment for life, or for a period exceeding two years whereas a summons case involves a crime that causes less harm to society. In other words, summons cases are those which involve the commission of a non-cognizable offense. 

Summon is a document which is issued by the Magistrate against the accused under Section 204(1)(a) of the Code to order him to appear before the court and answer all charges made against him in the complaint. 

Ideally, a person cannot be taken into custody without the permission of the Magistrate for small offenses. So the accused cannot be arrested before the order of the Magistrate and he is to attend the trial when a summon is issued against him by the competent Magistrate. 

1 Like

Shubham Bhardwaj (Advocate)     09 July 2021

Dear Sir, 

Please understand that a person is not arrested on the basis of whether the case is summons case or a warrant case. A person is arrested on the basis of 'whether the offence is cognizable offence or non-cognizable.  Cognizable cases are those cases where the police can arrest without warrant from magistrate. Non-cognizable cases are those cases whether police needs warrant from magistrate to arrest a person. 

A magistrate is empowered to issue warrant of arrest in any case if he/she is of opinion that arrest is necessary for bringing the person to court i.e. where the person is not coming to court on summons. 



Shubham Bhardwaj (Advocate)

District & Session Court, Chandigarh

Punjab & Haryana High Court, at Chandigarh


Disclaimer:- Opinion is only for guidance.   

2 Like

Paras Dargarh   09 July 2021

Understood sir. Thank you. 

bbugs   09 July 2021

Sir, in  a non cognizable offense, if an accused appears to be co-operative to the court  then a magistrate might not issue warrant of arrest, am I correct?

Shubham Bhardwaj (Advocate)     10 July 2021

Dear Sir, 

Yes you are correct. Rather, even in cognizable cases the police may choose to issue notice u/s 41A Cr PC.  The arrest is not mandatory. 



Shubham Bhardwaj (Advocate)


1 Like

bbugs   10 July 2021

Thank you sir for making me understand Crpc better.

Kevin Moses Paul   20 July 2021

You can understand the concept of the question raised by going through section 205 of Code of Criminal Procedure Act (CrPC), 1973.

The section 205 of the code deals with situations wherein a Magistrate may dispense with personal attendance of accused.

It states that —
(1) Whenever a Magistrate issues a summons, he may, if he sees reason so to do, dispense with the personal attendance of the accused and permit him to appear by his pleader.

(2) But the Magistrate inquiring into or trying the case may, in his discretion, at any stage of the proceedings, direct the personal attendance of the accused, and, if necessary, enforce such attendance in the manner hereinbefore provided.

Go through the above-mentioned section to clear your doubts regarding the query.

Hope It Helps

Kevin M. Paul

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