Summons and Discovery (Section 27 – 32)

Section 27: Summons to defendants.—

Where a suit has been duly instituted, a summons may be issued to the defendant to appear and answer the claim and may be served in manner prescribed on such day not beyond thirty days from the date of the institution of the suit.


Section 28: Service of summons where defendant resides in another State.—

(1) A summons may be sent for service in another State to such Court and in such manner as may be prescribed by rules in force in that State.

(2) The Court to which such summons is sent shall, upon receipt thereof, proceed as if it had been issued by such Court and shall then return the summons to the court of issue together with the record (if any) of its proceedings with regard thereto.

(3) Where the language of the summons sent for service in another State is different from the language of the record referred to in sub-section (2), a translation of the record,—

(a) in Hindi, where the language of the Court issuing the summons is Hindi, or

(b) in Hindi or English where the language of such record is other than Hindi or English,

shall also be sent together with the record sent under that sub-section.]


Section 29: Service of foreign summonses.—

Summonses and other processes issued by—

(a) any Civil or Revenue Court established in any part of India to which the provisions of this Code do not extend, or

(b) any Civil or Revenue Court established or continued by the authority of the Central Government outside India, or

(c) any other Civil or Revenue Court outside India to which the Central Government has, by notification in the Official Gazette, declared the provisions of this section to apply,

may be sent to the Courts in the territories to which this Code extends, and served as if they were summonses issued by such Courts.


Section 30: Power to order discovery and the like.—

Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed, the Court may, at any time, either of its own motion or on the application of any party,—

(a) make such orders as may be necessary or reasonable in all matters relating to the delivery and answering of interrogatories, the admission of documents and facts, and the discovery, inspection, production, impounding and return of documents or other material objects producible as evidence;

(b) issue summonses to persons whose attendance is required either to give evidence or to produce documents or such other objects as aforesaid;

(c) order any fact to be proved by affidavit.


Section 31: Summons to witness.—

The provisions in Sections 27, 28 and 29 shall apply to summonses to give evidence or to produce documents or other material objects.


Section 32: Penalty for default.—

The Court may compel the attendance of any person to whom a summons has been issued under Section 30 and for that purpose may—

(a) issue a warrant for his arrest;

(b) attach and sell his property;

(c) impose a fine upon him not exceeding five thousand rupees;

(d) order him to furnish security for his appearance and in default commit him to the civil prison.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Issuance of Summons

Auto Cars v. Trimurti Cargo Movers (P) Ltd., (2018) 15 SCC 166 : Section 27 of the Code deals with issuance of the summons to the defendants. It says that where a suit has been instituted, summons may be issued to the defendant to appear and answer the claim and may be served in the “manner prescribed on such day” not beyond thirty days from the date of the institution of the suit.


2. Power to order discovery

Naren Advertising and Marketing v. State Bank of Saurashtra, AIR 2001 Guj 222: Section 30 empowers the Court to issue summons to witnesses to person whose attendance is required either to give evidence or to produce documents or such other objects or order any fact to be proved by affidavit.


3. Penalty for default of summons

Sangram Singh v. Election Tribunal, AIR 1955 SC 425: There is no penalty for a refusal or an omission to appear in response to a summons under Section 27. It is true certain consequences will follow if a defendant does not appear and, popularly speaking, those consequences may be regarded as the penalty for non-appearance, but they are not penalties in the true sense of the term. They are not punishments which the court is authorised to administer for disregard of its orders. The antithesis that Section 32 draws between Section 27 and Section 30 is that an omission to appear in response to a summons under Section 27 carries no penalty in the strict sense, while disregard of a summons under Section 30 may entail punishment. The spirit of this distinction must be carried over to the First Schedule.


CONNECTED ORDERS

Order V

Order XI


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