Casual Issuance of Summons Unjustified, Requires Thoughtful Consideration


Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

Case name: Shiv Jatia versus Gian Chand Malick.

Criminal Appeal No. 776 of 2024.

Citation: 2024 INSC 142.

Casual Issuance of Summons Unjustified, Requires Thoughtful Consideration

1. Supreme Court's Position

The Supreme Court ruled that a Magistrate cannot issue a summon without a police report under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

2. Overturning High Court's Verdict

The Supreme Court reversed the High Court's decision, emphasizing that the Magistrate should wait for the police report before issuing process against the accused.

3. Oka J.'s Judgment

Justice Oka stated that the Magistrate should have waited for the police report after recording the evidence and reviewing the documents.

4. Preconditions for Summons

The Supreme Court clarified that a summon can only be issued if the Magistrate is satisfied with the material to pass the summoning order.

5. Impact of Issuing Summons

The court noted that issuing a summon has severe consequences and should not be done without careful consideration.

6. Case Background

The observations were made during a criminal appeal by the accused against the High Court's refusal to quash the summon issued by the Magistrate.

7. Involved Parties

The appellant is a Gas Supplier Company, and the respondent is a Distributor Gas Company.

8. Dispute Details

The dispute arose when the Magistrate issued summons to the appellant based on a complaint lodged by the respondent.

9. Appellant's Claims

The appellant argued that the summoning order was illegal as there were no allegations against them about any offence.

10. Contractual Relationship

The appellant argued that there was no contractual relationship between them and the complainant.

11. Commercial Dispute

The Supreme Court agreed with the appellant, stating that the dispute was of a civil nature arising out of a commercial transaction.

12. No Case Against Appellants

The court concluded that no case was made against the appellants based on the complaint and evidence

13. Abuse of Law

The court stated that continuing the complaint would amount to an abuse of the process of law.

14. Quashing of Criminal Case

The Supreme Court quashed the pending criminal case against the appellant, terming the Magistrate's summons order as inappropriate.