Concept of Summons under CPC6 min read



A summons is a written notification to a court person authorised to appear before the court personally. The accused and witnesses are summoned in the code of civil proceedings 1908 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘CPC’). The accused are summoned to report the action against them. Whereas witnesses are called upon to ask for evidence, to produce documents.

The concept of the appeal comes from the principle of natural justice of audi alteram partem (hear both sides). The defendants are only made aware of the proceedings against them through such appeals. The parties can prove their case with the assistance of witnesses in the later stage of action. The parties seek the support of the court to bring such witnesses to the court. Through the process laid down in Orden 16 of the CPC, summon are sent to the witnesses. The parties cannot, without convocation, exercise the presence and case of witnesses. The dispute can thus no longer be resolved on merits if such a process is initiated. The attendance of witnesses can’t be achieved.

The following persons may be summoned by the Code of Civil Procedure in 1908:

Summons to defendant – Code of Order 5 and Civil Procedure 1908 Sections 27 to 29

If a party (claimant) filed a suit against another party, i.e. an accused. The accused must be informed that a suit has been brought against him. In order to defend himself in such a situation, it is necessary to appear before the Court to send an intimation document to the accused, claimed to be summoned. The defendant’s summons may be served for two purposes, i.e. for resolving matters or the final solution of the suit.

Who can’t be summoned:

Some people are not called to appear in person according to the CPC. It should therefore be ensured that such people do not receive a call. Under Rule 19 of Order 16, the Court cannot appeal to persons living outside the original competence of the Court. The rule is exempt where a residence of such a person is less than fifty miles from the court hall and even if the residence of the person is less than two hundred miles from the courthouse where public transport is available. Besides that, women who are not appearing in public under certain customs are not summoned or arrested under Section 132 of the CPC to appear before the court in person. Article 133 exempts from personal appearance in court persons who hold constitutional positions. They can therefore also not be summoned by the court.

Aim to issue Summons:

In any civil proceedings two types, namely the defendant against whom an action has to be taken and the testimonies which must be called to make decisions on the matter, are summoned as above. noted above. The aim is to allow him and his response to a defendant’s claims to clarify his case and also to allow him to file a written statement within the statutory period specified. ‘In the case of witnesses, however, a summons is made because, on the request of the parties, the witnesses may refuse to attend the court and refuse to hear. The summons shall therefore be issued to ensure that the witness is aware of and can testify about the proceeding.

Since the CPC allows for the issuance of summons, proceedings should be resolved as quickly as possible. If the summoned person shows up on the scheduled date, the case is not adjourned, and the court has the authority to issue an ex-parte order, which is an award in favour of the party that is present in court if the other party does not show up even after receiving the summons.

Method of calling Summon:

Calls to a witness may be made in various ways, as they are used by an accused according to order 5. Summons may be sent to the person or his authorised agent personally. If the person does not find himself in his home for a reasonable period of time, the invitation may be sent to an adult family member that resides with the witness.

The court may make an official convocation or a postal recognition by its court officer. This is the most preferred method since the confirmation slip is demonstrated and the summons service cannot be reported in error. Where the person deliberately evades the appeal and cannot be reached through any means, the Court Officer may appeal to the door or the other noticeable part of the house where the person resides or the place of business. The Supreme Court recently ruled, in a suo moto, that digital media such as WhatsApp, telegram, and email may be used to send calls for an extension of the limitation period as a result of the lockdown. The blue tick in WhatsApp can also is regarded as the service’s acknowledgment.

Infringement of summons:

If the witness fails to comply, the person will face the consequences of Rule 10 of Order 16. In such cases, a proclamation may appear from the court stating that a person is present for the proof or for the production of the document at a certain date and time, and a copy must be attached to the outside door of the testimony or any noticeable part of the House. In addition, the court may also issue a warrant to arrest the person for failure to appear. At its discretion. Rule 12 stipulates that a fine may be imposed for non-appearance of fewer than 500 rupees. In order to recover the fine if imposed, the court could also attach the person’s property. All this could be avoided if the person provides the court with any legitimate excuse for his absence.


When the issues are settled in a civil dispute, the parties must first classify the witness whom they can and who they can not bring. A list of witnesses composed of testimonies that can only be produced with the assistance of the Court must therefore be drawn up and referred to the court. The summons is therefore issued in accordance with the statute and they are to be communicated to the witnesses. These witnesses are legally responsible for taking part in the proceedings. These witnesses will be penalised if they do not follow the convocation and appear in court. The importance of appeal to witnesses is illustrated by the criminal sanctions for non-obeying the summons. The witnesses are generally not interested in the case in a dispute. If you do not fulfil a witness’s responsibility you have nothing to lose. However, a court appeal creates responsibility for the person to whom the appeal is made. The person is required to attend unless the exceptions are given. The reason for such a coercive process is in the last analysis that a fair decision can be made only on the basis of evidence and documents acquired by the witnesses.