CrPC Section 350: Summary Procedure for Witness Non-Attendance – Explained

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CrPC Section 350: Summary Procedure for Witness Non-Attendance

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 outlines a procedure to be followed when a witness, despite being summoned, fails to appear in court.

1. Code

Section 350: When any person, having been duly summoned to give evidence, fails, without sufficient cause, to attend at the time and place appointed, the Court may, if it thinks fit, proceed summarily to dispose of the case against such person, or may issue a warrant for his arrest.

2. Explanation

This section empowers the court to take action against a witness who fails to attend court despite being summoned. The court has two options:

  • Proceed summarily: This means the court can decide the case without the witness’s testimony. This option is usually exercised in cases where the witness’s testimony is not crucial to the case.
  • Issue a warrant for arrest: The court can issue an arrest warrant for the witness, forcing them to appear in court.

The court must be satisfied that the witness has no sufficient cause for not attending. If the witness has a valid reason, such as illness or an emergency, the court will not take action under Section 350.

3. Illustration

Imagine a case where a witness is summoned to testify in a theft case. Despite receiving the summons, the witness fails to appear in court. The court, upon verifying that the witness has no valid reason for their absence, may decide to proceed summarily with the case. Alternatively, the court may issue a warrant for the witness’s arrest.

Also Read  Section 316 CrPC: No Influence to Induce Disclosure - Code of Criminal Procedure

4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: Can the court proceed summarily without issuing a warrant for arrest?

A: Yes, the court has the discretion to choose either option – proceeding summarily or issuing an arrest warrant.

Q: What if the witness has a valid reason for not attending?

A: If the witness can prove a valid reason, such as illness or an emergency, the court will not take action under Section 350.

Q: What are the consequences of proceeding summarily?

A: The court may decide the case based on the available evidence, which may include the witness’s previous statement or other evidence presented by the parties.

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