Is there any penalty in case of default of attendance of witness on the issue of summons in India?
(c) Impose a fine upon him not exceeding Rs. 500; or
(d) Order him to furnish security for his appearance and in default commit him to civil prison.
The court may, where a person to whom summons has been issued fails to comply with it without lawful excuse, issue a proclamation requiring him to attend at a time and place named therein before’ inflicting the penalties mentioned above.
No court of small causes shall, however, make an order for the attachment of immovable property. (O. 16, R. 10).
The orders imposing a fine or directing issue of warrant for arrest or detention in the civil prison of any person are appealable under S. 104 (h). The order directing attachment of property was, before the Amendment Act, 1976, appealable under O. 43, R. 1 (g), but R. 1 (g) has since been omitted by the Amendment Act, 1976.
Where the person appears after the attachment of his property and satisfies the court that he did not fail to comply with the summons without lawful excuse or did not intentionally avoid service, or that he had no notice of the proclamation, the court may release the property from the attachment.
If the person, however, does not appear or appears but fails to satisfy the court, the court may impose upon him fine not exceeding Rs. 500, having regard to his condition in life and the circumstances of the case and attach and sell his property for the recovery of the same. (O. 16, Rr. 11 and 12).
When witnesses may depart:
A person so summoned and attending shall, unless the court otherwise directs, attend at each hearing until the suit has been disposed of. (O. 16, R. 16).
No witness shall be ordered to attend in person to give evidence unless he resides—
(a) Within the local limits of the court’s ordinary original jurisdiction, or
(b) without such limits but at a place less than one hundred or (where there is railway or steamer communication or other established public conveyance for five-sixths of the distance between the place where he resides and the place where the court is situate less than 500 kilometers distance from the court house: Provided that where transport by air is available between two places mentioned in this rule and the witness is paid the fair by air, he may be ordered to attend in person. (O. 16, R. 19).
Consequence of refusal of party to give evidence:
Where any party to a suit present in court refuses, without lawful excuse, when required by the court, to give evidence or to produce any document, then and there in his possession or power, the court may pronounce judgment against him or make such order in relation to the suit as it thinks fit. (O. 16, R. 20).