Section 113 CrPC: Summons or Warrant in Case of Person Not So Present

Understanding the nuances of legal procedures is crucial for anyone involved in the judicial process. Section 113 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, provides a clear framework for issuing a summons or warrant when a person is not present. This article delves into the specifics of Section 113 CrPC, exploring its application, implications, and the legal context within which it operates.

section 113 crpc

Section 113 CrPC plays a pivotal role in ensuring that justice is served even when individuals are not present. This provision is essential for maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of the legal system. In this detailed exploration, we will examine how Section 113 CrPC operates, its significance in legal proceedings, and the broader implications for those involved in the criminal justice system.

Bare Act. Section 113 Cr.P.C.
Summons or warrant in case of person not so present.

If such person is not present in Court, the Magistrate shall issue a summons requiring him to appear, or, when such person is in custody, a warrant directing the officer in whose custody he is to bring him before the Court:
Provided that whenever it appears to such Magistrate, upon the report of a police officer or upon other information (the substance of which report or information shall be recorded by the Magistrate), that there is reason to fear the commission of a breach of the peace, and that such breach of the peace cannot be prevented otherwise than by the immediate arrest of such person, the Magistrate may at any time issue a warrant for his arrest.

Exploring Section 113 CrPC

Section 113 CrPC outlines the procedure for issuing a summons or warrant in cases where a person is not present. This section is a critical component of the Indian legal system, ensuring that individuals who are not available can still be brought before the court. The provision underlines the importance of accessibility and accountability in legal processes.

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Issuance of Summons

A summons is a legal document issued by a court or judicial authority to ensure the presence of an individual in court. Under Section 113 CrPC, the issuance of a summons is the first step in compelling an individual’s appearance. This process involves several key steps:

  • Initiation by Court: The court initiates the process by determining the necessity of the individual’s presence.
  • Documentation: Detailed documentation of the reasons for issuing the summons is prepared.
  • Delivery: The summons is delivered to the individual’s last known address or through other means as prescribed by the court.

Conditions for Issuing a Summons

The issuance of a summons under Section 113 CrPC is subject to specific conditions:

  • Presence Not Mandatory: The individual is not present at the location specified in the summons.
  • Judicial Discretion: The court exercises discretion in deciding whether the person’s presence is necessary.
  • Reasonable Cause: There must be reasonable cause to believe that the individual needs to be present for the legal proceedings.

Issuance of a Warrant

In instances where a summons is insufficient or ineffective, Section 113 CrPC provides for the issuance of a warrant. A warrant is a more stringent measure, ensuring that the individual is compelled to appear before the court. The process includes:

  • Determination of Necessity: The court assesses the necessity of issuing a warrant based on the individual’s non-compliance with the summons.
  • Warrant Documentation: A warrant is documented with specific instructions for law enforcement agencies to apprehend the individual.
  • Execution: Law enforcement agencies are tasked with executing the warrant and bringing the individual to court.

Legal Framework and Interpretation

Section 113 CrPC operates within the broader legal framework of the Indian judicial system. The interpretation and application of this section are influenced by various factors:

  • Judicial Precedents: Previous court rulings and interpretations play a significant role in shaping the application of Section 113 CrPC.
  • Statutory Provisions: The provision must be read in conjunction with other relevant sections of the CrPC and related laws.
  • Constitutional Rights: The issuance of summons or warrants must respect the constitutional rights of individuals, ensuring due process and fairness.
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Practical Implications

The practical implications of Section 113 CrPC are far-reaching:

  • Ensuring Compliance: The provision ensures that individuals comply with judicial orders, maintaining the integrity of the legal system.
  • Access to Justice: It facilitates access to justice by ensuring that individuals who are not present can still be brought before the court.
  • Efficiency in Legal Proceedings: The section helps in expediting legal proceedings by providing mechanisms to address non-compliance.

Challenges and Criticisms

While Section 113 CrPC is integral to the judicial process, it is not without challenges and criticisms:

  • Enforcement Issues: The effectiveness of summons and warrants can be hindered by enforcement challenges, such as locating individuals.
  • Misuse Concerns: There are concerns about the potential misuse of this provision by authorities, leading to unwarranted harassment.
  • Balancing Rights: Ensuring a balance between compelling compliance and respecting individual rights is a delicate task for the judiciary.

Case Studies and Judicial Pronouncements

Examining case studies and judicial pronouncements provides valuable insights into the application of Section 113 CrPC:

  • Landmark Judgments: Analysis of landmark judgments helps in understanding the judicial approach towards this provision.
  • Practical Examples: Real-life examples illustrate how courts have handled situations involving the issuance of summons or warrants.

Impact on the Legal System

Section 113 CrPC significantly impacts the legal system by:

  • Strengthening Legal Processes: It strengthens legal processes by providing mechanisms to ensure the presence of individuals.
  • Enhancing Accountability: The provision enhances accountability by compelling individuals to participate in judicial proceedings.
  • Upholding Justice: It upholds the principles of justice by ensuring that legal processes are not hindered by non-compliance.
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Future Directions

The future application and interpretation of Section 113 CrPC will likely involve:

  • Technological Integration: Incorporating technology to improve the efficiency of issuing and enforcing summons and warrants.
  • Legal Reforms: Potential legal reforms to address challenges and enhance the effectiveness of this provision.
  • Judicial Training: Continuous training for judicial officers to ensure the proper application of this section.


Section 113 CrPC is a cornerstone of the Indian legal system, ensuring that justice is served even in the absence of individuals. Its application and interpretation require careful consideration of legal principles, judicial precedents, and practical realities. By understanding and effectively utilizing this provision, the legal system can uphold justice, maintain accountability, and ensure the efficient functioning of judicial processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

A summons is issued when an individual’s presence is deemed necessary by the court, and the individual is not present at the specified location.

A warrant is issued if a summons is ineffective or insufficient, and the court deems it necessary to compel the individual’s presence.

It provides legal mechanisms to compel individuals to appear before the court, ensuring compliance with judicial orders.

Challenges include enforcement issues, potential misuse, and balancing individual rights with judicial needs.

It strengthens legal processes, enhances accountability, and upholds the principles of justice by ensuring individuals comply with judicial proceedings.