What are Summons, Warrants and Proclamation ?

Summons, Warrants and Proclamation are the measures by which court seeks to ensure appearance of parties/accused/witnesses before itself, ranging from commutative to compulsive.

A Summon is an order to appear before the court usually in criminal matters through a police officer.
If summons are not complied with or in extremely serious matters in the first instance only – court may issue a warrant.

A warrant is an order to a police officer usually – to procure a person before the Court. A warrant may be bailable or non bailable – in the former the police officer executing the warrant is empowered to take security for the person’s appearance before the court without taking him in custody, on the other hand – when a warrant is non bailable the police officer arrests the person and produces him before the court, the court then may remand him to custody or grant bail.

However if the person whose appearance is sought, absconds or avoids warrants proclamation can be done. Under proclamation a person is given the final chance to produce himself – this proclamation is pasted at a conspicuous place of his residence or last known address and at the court house (also in national newspapers) giving him 30 days or more to appear in the court as a final chance – if he fails to – he is declared a proclaimed offender – being declared a PO has grave ramifications – a person can be arrested sans warrant by any police officer in the country. His property can be attached and sold. Usually where there is chance of person leaving country – a lookout circular is also issued seeking to rule out chances of leaving the country.

Criminal Law for the Layman by Adv Bharat Chugh

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