Summon occupies an important place in judicial administration. It is well known
word I judicial procedure. Normally, it is a convenient method by which any
party, individual, witness or defendant can be asked to present himself before
the court. The order is issued to any party, individual, witness and defendant
to present himself before the court by means of summon.
Therefore, summon is an order of the court which is issued to any person to
present himself before the court. It is issued to defendant after the case is
filed by the plaintiff.
Normally, summon is issued to defendant to present written statement within a
period of 30 days. But under special circumstances or reasons, this period may
be extended to 90 days by the court (order 5, rule 1).
The copy of plaint should be included with the summon. Without this, the service
of summon is not considered valid (Lakshmi Bai Vs Keshari Mal Jain 1995, MPLJ
The following are the requisites of a valid summons:
- it should be signed by the presiding officer issuing the
summons or by the officer appointed for that purpose;
- the seal of the court should be affixed on it;
- the copy of plaint should be enclosed;
- the date, place and time should be mentioned when any individual and his
advocate is to present in the court;
- the purpose of issuing summons should be mentioned
- if the summon is issued to call any document then full particular of
that document should be given.
The service summons can be effected by means of following methods:
Modes of Service:
- by registered post
- by speed post
- by currier service;
- by message by fax (order 5, Rule 9).
Under Rule 12, order 5 of Civil Procedure Code 1908, various modes of service
of summons have been described.
These modes are as follows:
- Personal Service:
This is the most popular method of service of summons. Under this, the copy of
summons is given to the defendant. The signature of the defendant are taken on
the second copy. Such service may be effected on the authorized agent of the
defendant (Order 5, Rule 15).
- Service by fixing the Summons:
This is the second method of service of summons. When the personal service is
not possible; then the copy of the summons can be affixed on that building; gate
or at such visible places where that person;
When service of summons is effected by above method, then the officer who
effects such service by this mode will submit his report to the court mentioning
the reasons for such service. The names and addresses of those persons will be
written who have identified such house.
- resides; or
- does his business; or
- works himself for profits or gains (order 5, Rule 17).
When summons have been issued on both husband and wife both, and the husband has
refused to take summons; the service of summons on wife could not have been made
because she was inside the house; then the affixing the summons on the visible
portion of the house was considered proper (Meera Rani De Vs Goswami, A.I.R.
1977, Calcutta 372).
- Substituted Service:
The third method of service of summons is substituted service. Its mention has
been made under order 35, Rule 20 of the code. This mode of service is used only
Under such conditions, the summons can be served by using the following methods:
- the defendant tries to avoid taking summons, or
- the summons could not be served by other normal methods.
This type of service has the same effect as the effect of personal service. In
Mrs. Rampyari Devi Vs Additional District Judge (second) Ajamgarh [(A.I.R. 1989,
Allahabad 93] the publishing of summons in newspaper was held as valid service
- by affixing one copy of the summons on the consoecuous place of the court;
- by affixing the conspicuous place of the resident of the defendant at
his place of business or at the place where he works and
- by publishing in the daily newspaper circulating in that area.
- Service of summons by post:
Under Rule 9, order 5 of the code, the service of summons can be also be made by
When a summon is sent by registered post then the acknowledgement si signed by
the defendant or his agent. It is sufficient service of summons. If the
defendant refuses to take this, it is also considered as sufficient service
(Sameer Snigdha Chandra Vs Pranya Bhushna Chandra, A.I.R. 1989, Orissa 185).
- By registered post;
- By speed post;
- By courier service;
- By fax message;
- By electronic mail service.
- Service of Summons on the defendant leaving in the jurisdiction of
If the service of summons is to be effected on the defendant who is detained in
the prison, their for such service, the incharge of such service prison shall be:
The incharge of such prison shall effect the service fo such summons on the
defendant (order 5, Rule 24).
- informed or
- summon shall be sent to him by post; or
- by courier service; or
- by fax message
- by electronic mail service.
- Service of Summons Outside India:
If the service of summon is to be effected on such person who resides outside
India and his representative or agent does not reside in India, then summons
shall be rent to him;
if such defendant resides in Bangladesh or Pakistan, then the summons shall be
sent to any court in that country.
- by post;
- by courier services;
- by fax message;
- by electronic mail service (order 5, Rule 25)
- Service of Summons by Political Agent or Court:
Another mode of service of summon in other countries has been stated under order
5, Rule 26 of the code. According to this, summons shall be sent to the
political agent or court of that country under whose jurisdiction such defendant
resides, does his business or works for profits or gains.
- Service of summons on the Public Officer:
If the service of Summons is to be effected on:
- any public officer
- any employee in service of Railway Company or
- on local officer.
Then summons shall be sent to the Head of such Office under whose subordination
such officer works. The head will effect the service of such summons (order 5,
If the service of summons is to be made on such officer who is engaged in army,
Air Force of Navy, then the summons shall be sent to such commanding officer.
The commanding officer shall effect service of such summons on soldier, soulor
or airman (order 5, Rule 28).