Author : Sweta Upadhyay


This article  is about the Summon, Procedure to deal with summon case provided under “Code of Criminal Procedure 1973”. And a brief discussion of section  2 (w),204 (1)(a), 205,251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, and 259 Code Of Criminal Procedure 1973 .Finally talks about the power of the Court to convert summon case into warrant cases.


To deal with any kind of offences or a crime. A detailed procedure provided by this code of criminal procedure 1973. Police this procedure is known as criminal trial. The trial procedure prescribed for summon cases is mainly content in section 251 to 259.

What is a summon ?

The terms summon is a legal document which is served to a person for the purpose of appearing before The Honourable Court and  to answer the complaint made against him/ her.

What is a summon cases?

The term summon cases has been defined under code of criminal procedure 1973 in section 2(w) are as follow, a case is related to an awful not being a warrant case means he is  which and not serious in nature. Those cases are come under the purview of summon cases in which  punishable will not exceed 2 years of imprisonment.

Under section 204 (1) (a)  of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Summon is issued by the magistrate to the accused.

Procedure of a trial in summon cases under Code of Criminal Procedure 1973:

Initial steps in trial

  1. Explaining the particulars of the offences to the accused person: Under section 251 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, at the time when the accused appear before The Honourable Court. It is mandatory to explain or stated the particulars of the offences under which the accused has been charged by the Magistrate. Under this section it is not compulsory to frame charge against accused person. In the case of Mulkraj Chabra v. Nagpur Corpn[1].,(1965) I Cri LJ 429, the court held that, The record must show the particulars which were explained or stated to the accused by the Magistrate.
  2. Conviction on plea of guilty:  After explaining the allegations of the offence to the accused, if he pleads guilty then the Magistrate can record the precise words of the accused and will convict him for further proceedings. just just in case the accused not accepted the plea of guilty, Magistrate can proceed with Section 254. In Chotu Bhagirath v. State of Gujarat[2] the court stated that The requirements of section 252 are mandatory in character and a violation of these provision vitiates the trail and renders the conviction legally invalid.
  3. Conviction on plea of guilty in absence of accused in petty cases: Section 253 describe the procedure for persons to whom the summon has been issued under section 206 has transmitted to the Magistrate his plea of guilty without appearing before such Magistrate. If the accused before appearing the Magistrate possesses to plead guilty, he can send a letter by post or messenger and thus the letter must contain the plea of the accused also the fine amount laid call at the summons. The Magistrate at his discretion convict the accused and order him to pay the fine, or if a lawyer is presented for the accused before the Magistrate and pleads guilty on behalf of accused, the Magistrate can record the words employed by the lawyer and move to further proceedings.

Procedure if the accused not convicted on plea:

Section 254 provides about both prosecution and defence case if the accused not convicted on plea under section 252 and 253.

Hearing of the prosecution cases:

  1. Hearing the prosecution: Under section 254 (1) the magistrate shall give audience to the prosecution’s and sell allowed it to open it cases by giving the facts and circumstances constituting The offences and stating by the evidence it proposes to prove its case.
  2. Evidence for the prosecution: Under section 254 (1)The Magistrate cell then take all such evidence as may be produce in support of the prosecution.

Under section 254 (2) Magistrate main if he thinks fit on the application of the prosecution is a summon to any witness directing him to attend or produce any document or things.

Under section 254 (3) The Magistrate name before summon any witnesses on such application required the reasonable expression of the witness in curd at attending for the purpose of the Bail to be deposit in court

  1. Record of evidence: the magistrate cell as exam in each of the witnesses proceeds make a memorandum of the substances of his evidence in the language of the court. Search memorandum selfies signed by the magistrate and shall be part of the record. In S. Ramachandra v. State of Karnataka[3] the court held that the Magistrate is under the legal duty to examine witnesses and to make a memorandum of the substance of their evidence in the language of the court.
  2. Argument on behalf of prosecution: 314 enable the prosecutor to submit his argument after the conclusion of the prosecution evidence and before any of other for the state is to be taken in the preceding.

Hearing of the  Defence case:

  1. Hearing the accused and evidence for the defence: After the prosecution evidence under 254 and examination of defence under section 313, within the continuance of this, the court will proceed with the defence hearing under section 254(1). within the hearing of the defence means accused are getting to be asked for accused say against the prosecution evidence. Failure of hearing of the accused in any case will amount to the basic error within the criminal trial and it cannot be cured under section 465.
  2. Record of evidence for defence: the same provisions are applicable in respect of the record of evidence for the prosecution as mention above.
  3. Arguments: After the closure of the defence evidence, the defence  may submit its argument this been provided by the Section 314.

Acquittal or conviction: After recording the evidence under 254 the magistrate will acquit the accused if he finds the accused not guilty. If the accused is guilty than Magistrate shall proceed according to Section 360 or 325 otherwise, sentence him according to the law.

  1. Acquittal:  While taking upon the evidence under section 254, the Magistrate finds that the accused is not guilty, under such circumstances, the Magistrate can record an order of acquittal under section 225 (1).
  2. Conviction and Sentence: if the magistrate convicted the accused he is required to pass the sentence on him according to law.
  3. Accused can be convicted of an offence not “ charged”:

Non- appearance or death of complainants:

If the complainant not appeared before the court on the date fixed for appearance, the Court can acquit the accused unless the Court has reason to adjourn the case to a special day. In sub section(1)of 256, the complainant not appeared before the Court because of the death of complainant, the defendant are often acquitted. In S.Rama Krishna v. Rami Reddy[4] it had been held by the Supreme Court that just  in case the representative of the dead complainant not appeared for 15days then the defendant are often acquitted.

Discharge of Complaint:

The complainant can withdraw the case before the last word judgement by satisfying the Magistrate that there is no ground for continuing the complaint on the accused and if there’s quite one accused, against all, the Magistrate allows the Complainant to withdraw the case


This chapter of The Criminal Procedure Code is framed for the trial of summons cases fulfilled all the requirements of fair trial . Fair Trial is that the guts of criminal jurisprudence. The trial of the summon cases may be a smaller amount formal than other trial procedure just for the speedy remedy



[1] (1965) I Cri LJ 429,

[2] (1972)Cri, LJ 548, (1972) GLR 794

[3] (1997) Cri LJ 240, 241: AIR 1945 Nag 127,129.

[4] (2008) 5 SCC 535: 2008) 2 SCC (Cri) 645,