Difference Between Summon and Warrant

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Summon and Warrant

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The trial process is a legal procedure where two parties fight. The judge will always make an action if the accused person is found guilty. If the accused person declares not guilty, there is a trial. Sessions or warrants, Summons, and summary trials are four kinds of criminal trials. When a case is brought to a judge, the court is accountable for ensuring that the court is conducting an impartial trial. It is mandatory that all parties involved in the litigation be present or present. This is achieved by using two processes: Summons and warrants.

A summons is simply an example of a court notice. This official document is sent to the defender team or the observer team who agrees with the decision. It is also known as Summons. It is issued in the form of legal documents that contain information like the name of the person who made the complaint and the name and the designation of the defendant. A summons is issued if an aggrieved person files an action in a court against the suspect. The court orders that a warrant be sent to the defendant, informing them that they are being sued and have to appear in court. The Summons can be issued to anyone involved in the lawsuit, either directly or indirectly.

The warrant allows the police officer to arrest the suspect into custody in addition to conducting a search of the entire area or seizing items, among others, to ensure the law of the land. The warrant allows the officer to carry out a specific action. It is prohibited as it might violate the rights of a citizen fundamental rights. The ruling is in writing and must follow a particular format. It is accompanied by the court seal and bears the signature of the preponderating police officer. It contains information like the full name and address of the police officer. It also includes a complete name but not much information about the person being detained and specifies the kind of offence for the warrant.

Summon vs. Warrant

The primary difference between a summons and a warrant is that the Summons require the defendant to appear in a law-enforcement court or sign a form before an official judge. A warrant is an official authority issued to the police officer by a magistrate or judge.

Difference  Between Summon and Warrant in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison SUMMON WARRANT
What are the meanings of each term? A legally binding instruction given by the court to the person who is accused or an observer in a legal proceeding is referred to as a summons.        The warrant is issued by a court authorization that permits police officials to carry out actions that are not restricted under their authority.
What is it that it has? A request to appear in the courtroom or to present the file or any other item in the court of law. Authorization to law enforcement officers to seize and present the suspect before the judge.
In the name of        In the name of the defendant, or witnesses. The law enforcement officer.
Goal Inform the person of their legal obligation to appear in court. To call those who have not obeyed the summons and have did not appear before the court.
Conversion    A judge can convert a summons case into a warrant. It isn't possible to change a warrant into the form of a Summon.

What Is Summon?

In law, the Summons is a formal notice sent from the courts to people in the suit, which includes an order for appearance or to produce a particular document or another item before a judge. It is an official document handed out to the person involved, i.e., the witness or defendant, in connection with the subject matter of a lawsuit.

When a case is filed by the Plaintiff (the victim) on behalf of the defendant (accused), the Summons is sent. The court must send summons letters to defendants to inform them that they are being sued, thus ensuring an impartial trial. It also is sent out to all other people who are involved directly or indirectly in practice.

A summons must be in writing and is duplicated, properly signed by the judge in charge of the court concerned or by an officer authorized by the court of appeals.

The police officer, the officer of the court, or any other public servant, serves the Summons for the accused person. The Summons given to a witness are performed on them through a registered post in which the witness must complete the acknowledgement letter upon receiving the Summons.

Types of Summons

In the area of Summons, it is Criminal Law.

In the context of Criminal Law, Section 61 to 69 of Chapter 6 in chapter 6 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is primarily concerned with issuing summonses.

Section 2 defined summons cases as a case that relates to an offence and not a warrant case" that is a less severe offence. The form of Summons

Section of code 61 provides, "Every summons given by any Court according to this Code must be written in duplicate, executed by the presiding officer of that Court or by any other officers that are the High Court may, from time to time, rules direct, and will be accompanied by the stamp of the Court."

In other words, Summons must satisfy these conditions for them to be considered valid.

It must be in writing format.

It has to be made by duplicate, i.e., two copies.

The document must be witnessed by the presidency officer, justice of the court, or other person appointed by the High Court.

The court should seal it.

The Summons also identifies the date, time, and the location at which the summoned person must show up. However, if the person fails to show up at all times without notifying the court, the court could issue warrants against the person.

However, the court in Bhushan Kumar vs. State(NCT of Delhi) ruled that it's not required that the magistrate state the reason for the Summons in the sense that it is not a requirement to be valued.

Modes of Service

Sections 62 to 69 outline details on how the Summons will be served and how they will be served to the individual.

As per section 62 of the law, the Summons must be delivered by a police official or any other officer following the guidelines set in the rules of state administration. The court could also allow Summons to be personally served by handing or giving the person the duplicates when required.

Clause (3) further states that the officer serving the person to whom the Summons has been served must make a receipt on the reverse of the duplicate.

The Summons is served on the corporation by doing it to the local manager, secretary, or any other officer who is the chief or by sending a written notice via mail addressed at the head of staff.

If the person summoned is not present, the officer in charge can place one duplicate with a male adult family member.

Suppose the service is not possible using the procedures mentioned earlier. In that case, the officer who is serving applies a duplicate any part of the residence where the individual lives, and, if they inquire the court, it can either declare it served or issue fresh Summons.

Another summons is given directly to the office directly if the person being summoned falls under the government's service. The head of the office must accept it following section 62 and then return this to the judge.

Section 67 allows for the summons service outside of the local boundaries, provided that the Summons is served on the Magistrate in the county where the summonses lives or lives.

Section 68 has a requirement to demonstrate that the Summons's service has been completed.

Section 69 defines the procedure for the service of summoning a witness.

It is usually preferred to be delivered personally by an officer serving, but it is also possible to send via post or E-mail. It is also possible to send it via even WhatsApp.

In Civil Law

In Civil Law, Summons is subject to Order 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. It lays out 30 different rules and rules about the Summons that are served to the defendant and their appearance before the justice court.

Order 5 is split into two sections:

Issue of Summons

Service of Summons

Order 18 in the Code deals with requirements regarding summoning witnesses.

As per the Rule 1 in Order 5. Summons is sent to all defendants in the matter, asking them to appear before the court and make an oral statement. The Summons is sent together with a copy of the complaint filed by the defendant.

Rules 1 through 8 cover the summons issue, whereas Rules 9-30 outline the requirements for delivering Summons.

The statutes specify when the Summons is granted by the courts, and the documents or other information should be included in the summons documents.

The purpose of issuance of Summons

The purpose of these summonses is to guarantee an impartial trial and quick resolution of any case.

Summons give an accused person to show up before the courtroom and present an oral statement in writing pleading their case.

The Summons of witnesses is required; witnesses may not appear in court should they be requested by any of the parties in the matter and might not divulge information or information that is necessary to bring justice.

If one of the parties does not appear on the date of the hearing, the judge has the power to issue an ex-parte order in favour of the party present in front of the court. 

Mode of Service

The Summons may be served on witnesses and defendants via post or by an officer in a position of authority under Rule 9 of Order 5.

Plaintiff may also present a summons signed by the judge, and that bears the seals of the court, with permission from the court following Rule 9-A, in addition to the Summons issued from the court.

What is Warrant?

When we refer to warrants as a formal authorization issued by a magistrate or judge which permits an officer of the police force to carry out a specific action that would otherwise be deemed illegal because it violates the fundamental rights of citizens, the warrant can be utilized to locate an individual or search the premises, take possession of property or to carry out any similar activity that is necessary to oversee justice.

In writing, a warrant will be given in the predetermined format and executed by the presiding officer, and bears an official seal from the court. It carries the name and identification of the police officer who issues it. It includes the name and the description of the person to be detained. It also identifies the offense that was that is being charged.

Type of Warranties

Warrant of Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a magistrate of the judicial court that authorizes a police officer or other individual to detain a person and place them in custody.

A warrant for arrest is issued in the event of a reasonable suspicion that an individual has committed an offense and has the potential to escape.

Criminal law is the subject of this article. Section 70 to 81 of the code addresses the issue of warrants for arrest.

The Warrant for Arrest is also divided into two parts:

  • Bailable Warrant (Section 71)
  • Non-bailable Warrant (Section 76)

Following Section 70, An arrest warrant must be written and executed by the presiding officer at the tribunal and have an official seal from the court that issued it.

Apart from the requirements mentioned above, in addition, there are other requirements to meet in addition:

The document should include the name and the designation of the person who executed the act.

It must provide complete information about the person to be detained so that identification can be made quickly.

It should also mention the charges against you.

A Warrant contains the following information:

  • The name of the judge
  • Name of the police officer who executed the operation.
  • The crime that the accused is being charged with.
  • The place where the offence was committed
  • The seal of the court
  • The signature of the presidential officer
  • Name and address of the suspect
  • The warrant will remain in effect until it is executed or cancelled upon the court's direction that issued it.
  • The code further states that if the person being detained is willing to sign bail bonds to guarantee their presence in court, the officer must let them go in the event of a bailable crime.
  • It should also be remembered that a judge may order anyone, not a police officer, to detain an accused. However, after arrest, the individual must take the person who was arrested to the closest police station to take further action.
  • The officer in charge of the police is also obliged to appear to the person who has been arrested injustice system within 24 hours, without an unreasonable time delay.

Search Warrant

The term "search warrant" refers to a decision of a judge or Magistrate authorizing a police official or any other person with the authority to search the person, their home property, vehicle, or other property and also to seize any object which could be used as a part of the evidence.

Sections 93,94, 95, 97, and 93 from the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 are primarily concerned with the issue of a search warrant.

Section 93 outlines the conditions regarding the circumstances under which a warrant for search can be granted, and Section 94 describes procedures for searching a location that could contain stolen items, counterfeit documents, etc.

In the matter of Kalinga Tubes Ltd. And Ors. In the case of Kalinga Tubes Ltd. And Ors. D. Suri, the judge ruled that police officers must exercise security measures and exercise caution when they execute an order to search and not abuse their authority and power

Main Differences Between Summon Warrant and Warrant in Points

  • The CCP provides two approaches to the examination of warrant cases by Magistrates. One for claims based on the report of police officers, as well as the other one for patients based on different motives. Regardless of the definition of an officer of the law enforcement agency or a complaint, one procedure was used in the trial of the summons case.
  • The process of summoning cases is more straightforward and quicker. Obtaining an officially issued warrant can be more challenging and long-lasting. Warrant cases involve more serious crimes than summons instances.
  • The defendant in any warrant case has numerous chances to check the trial witnesses. There is only one chance to review the trial witnesses in all summons cases.
  • In the Code, Magistrates have the power to change an instance of Summons into a warrant case. A warrant case can not be transformed into a summons matter.
  • In all summons situations, the accused may submit a plea of guilty in writing without being present before the Magistrate following the Summons' release.


Summons and warrants are two legal documents that include an order in writing, which a court issues after the case is registered. The court is required the person listed in it to show up before the court on the agreed date.

In the beginning, the court issues a summons to the individual in connection with an official proceeding, which requires the person to show up before the judge at the specified date and time, or else order will be issued against the person.



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"Difference Between Summon and Warrant." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 16 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-summon-and-warrant-203>.

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