When Can Court Issue The Processes To Compel The Production Of Things?


It is necessary to the court for a compulsion to produce the things. It follows the principle of natural justice that the accused of any offence should be given an equal chance to be heard and to defend himself. The law regarding processes to compel the production of documents or things is laid down in section 91 to section 105 of the CrPC,1973. The court when thinks fits or is of opinion that the production of such a thing is necessary then the court may issue summons to produce the same. The police officer or authorized person is required to be work efficiently according to the rules and regulations. This is a broad topic which includes search warrants, production of summons, seizure, the power to impound, etc.

Brief explanation:[1]

1. Issuance of Summons:

  1. When the court is of opinion that it is necessary to produce the things for the purpose of trial, the inquiry then in such case the court may issue a summons for production.
  2. the person who is required to produce a document or thing under this section shall be deemed to have complied with all the requirements if he causes such things to be produced instead of physically attending it personally to produce the same.
  3. In case such things are under the possession of another person then it requires him to attend and produce things on time and place as mentioned in the summons.
  4. That person is not obliged to attend personally, he may send such things or documents through another person.

2. Letters and telegrams:

  1. The documents or things which are important to produce are under the custody of the telegram authority then the court may require the postal telegraph authority to produce the things or documents.
  2. In simple terms, it can be invoked when a document or thing is in the custody of the postal and telegraph authority.

3. Search warrant:

  1. Search warrants are written authority given to a police officer or other person by a competent magistrate or court for the search of any place either generally or for specific things or documents or for a person wrongfully confined.
  2. Search warrant may be issue when the court is of opinion that the person who has received the summons will not produce the documents or things.
  3. Where the document is not known to the court that the possession is with such person.
  4. The court will specify the place to which extend a particular place is to be searched. An only authorized person is entitled to for the execution of search warrant.
  5. Only District magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate have the power to grant a warrant to search for documents or things.
  6. Search warrant must be in writing and contain all the matters that the law requires it to stated therein.

4. Search of suspected places:

  1. If the court is of opinion that the place is used for the deposit of stolen property then the court may authorize any police officer.
  2. To enter such place in the same manner as specified in the warrant.
  3. To take the possession of any property found at the suspicious place
  4. To convey the property before the magistrate
  5. To take into custody such things and carry before the magistrate
  6. Such suspicious or objectionable object includes counterfeit currency notes, counterfeit coins, forged documents, false seals, obscene objects, obscene object etc.

5. Declare the publication forfeited and issue the warrant:

  1. When any matter is published in any document or book whenever printed and contain the forfeited matter then any police officer seizes such documents by issuing a warrant issued by the magistrate.
  2. State Government by its notification declares the documents or things forfeited then only the police officer is empowered to search and seizure.

6. Application to High court to set aside the declaration of forfeiture:

  1. When the forfeiture is made in the newspaper, book or any document then within the date of publication of such declaration in the official gazette then such person apply to the High court to set aside the declaration.
  2. In case of three or more judges then heard and determined by special bench of High Court on the other hand when judges are less than three or more judges such special bench shall be composed of all the judges.
  3. If there is a difference of opinion among the judges, the majority decision will prevail

7. Search of persons wrongfully confined

  1. The magistrate is of opinion that any person is confined under such circumstances that such act amounts to an offense then the magistrate may issue a search warrant.
  2. Search shall be made in accordance therewith and the person on being found shall be instantly taken before the magistrate and shall make such order as in the circumstances of the case seems proper.

8. Restoration of abducted females

When the complaint is made that unlawful detention of woman or female child is made for an unlawful reason then the magistrate of First-class may make an order for immediate restoration of such woman or female child to their parents or guardian.

9. Permission to allow search at close place

  1. Whenever the inspection is of the closed place then in charge of such person on demand of the authorized person and production of warrant search will take place.
  2. In the case of suspected concealing, the search should be made. If the person is a woman then the search shall be made by the other lady.
  3. The occupant of such place searched is permitted to attend during the search and the list of the copies prepared has to be signed by the witness.

10. Disposal of things found in search

When the things are found disposed of in the other jurisdiction, then such things shall be immediately taken before the court who has issued the warrant.

11. Seize certain property

  1. The Police officer has power or authority to search any property which is suspected to be stolen or something or it may show the suspiciousness of an offence.
  2. In case the police officer is subordinate then a report has to be made to the officer by the subordinate officer.
  3. The police officer reports such a seizure to the magistrate who has the jurisdiction on the other hand if it is not possible to secure proper accommodation for the custody of the property in such case the custody will be given to the person to produce the property before the court.
  4. Provided that when seized property is perishable in nature and the person entitled to the possession of such property is unknown or absent, in that situation property having less than 500 rupees value will be sold by auction under the orders of the Superintendent of Police and the provisions of section 457 and 458 will be applicable nearly and also apply to the net proceeds of such sale.

12. Direction by the magistrate:

The magistrate has the power to direct a search to be made in his presence but for such direction, he is competent to issue a search warrant.

13. Power to impound the document:

The meaning of the word impound is to seize. The court if it thinks fit may impound the document or things before the courts.

14. Reciprocal arrangement:

i. The courts can exercise its power where the court extend by issuing following that will be served or will be executed at any place-

A summons to an accused person

A warrant for the arrest of an accused person

A summons to any person requiring him to attend and produce such document or other thing or to produce it

A search warrant etc.

ii. Central government with the Government of any country or place outside India can make arrangement for the service or execution of summons or warrant in relation to criminal matters, it can summons or warrant in duplicate form directed to such Court, Judge or Magistrate and Central Government can also send notification on his behalf to search authority for transmission.

Case laws:

1. S. Kuttan Pillai v. Ramkrishnan [1]

In this case the constitutional validity of the search warrant was arise. It was held by the court that the accused will not be forced or compelled to give the evidence against himself. Thus, search warrant is not violative of the provision of the constitution.

2. Kalinga tubes ltd v. D. Suri [2]

it was held by the court that the search warrant is to be used with proper caution and with due care. The police officer has to work effectively according to the rules and regulations.


It can be concluded that there are 2 processes to compel the production of things i.e. Summons to produce and search warrant. Mere suspicion is no ground for issuing search warrant. While issuing the search warrant for the production of things the court need to be careful. In other words, with due care such action has to be taken by the court. Hence search has to be done legally or according to the law and not unlawfully. The authorized person has to do work effectively according to the rules and regulation. This Criminal Procedure Code lays down general rules that need to be followed in case of search and seizure.

[1] 1980 AIR 185

[2] 1953 Ori 49

This Article is Authored by Snehal Tanaji Shirke, 3rd Year LL.B Student at S.N.D.T. University. 

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