Section 204 in The Code of Criminal Procedure
Title: Issue of process
(1) If in the opinion of a Magistrate taking cognizance of an offence there is sufficient ground for proceeding, and the case appears to be--
(a) a summons-case, he shall issue his summons for the attendance of the accused, or
(b) a warrant-case, he may issue a warrant, or, if he thinks fit, a summons, for causing the accused to be brought or to appear at a certain time before such Magistrate or (if he has no jurisdiction himself) some other Magistrate having jurisdiction.
(2) No summons or warrant shall be issued against the accused under sub-section (1) until a list of the prosecution witnesses has been filed.
(3) In a proceeding instituted upon a complaint made in writing, every summons or warrant issued under sub-section (1) shall be accompanied by a copy of such complaint.
(4) When by any law for the time being in force any process-fees or other fees are payable, no process shall be issued until the fees are paid and, if such fees are not paid within a reasonable time, the Magistrate may dismiss the complaint.
(5) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect the provisions of section 87.
Title: Magistrate may dispense with personal attendance of accused
(1) Whenever a Magistrate issues a summons, he may, if he sees reason so to do, dispense with the personal attendance of the accused and permit him to appear by his pleader.
(2) But the Magistrate inquiring into or trying the case may, in his discretion, at any stage of the proceedings, direct the personal attendance of the accused, and, if necessary, enforce such attendance in the manner hereinbefore provided.
Title: Special summons in cases of petty offence
(1) If, in the opinion of a Magistrate taking cognizance of a petty offence, the case may be summarily disposed of under section 260 1[or section 261], the Magistrate shall, except where he is, for reasons to be recorded in writing of a contrary opinion, issue summons to the accused requiring him either to appear in person or by pleader before the Magistrate on a specified date, or if he desires to plead guilty to the charge without appearing before the Magistrate, to transmit before the specified date, by post or by messenger to the Magistrate, the said plea in writing and the amount of fine specified in the summons or if he desires to appear by pleader and to plead guilty to the charge through such pleader, to authorise, in writing, the pleader to plead guilty to the charge on his behalf and to pay the fine through such pleader:
Provided that the amount of the fine specified in such summons shall not exceed 2 [one thousand rupees].
(2) For the purposes of this section, "petty offence" means any offence punishable only with fine not exceeding one thousand rupees, but does not include any offence so punishable under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (4 of 1939)3 , or under any other law which provides for convicting the accused person in his absence on a plea of guilty.
4[(3) The State Government may, by notification, specially empower any Magistrate to exercise the powers conferred by sub-section (1) in relation to any offence which is compoundable under section 320 or any offence punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or with fine, or with both where the Magistrate is of opinion that, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, the imposition of fine only would meet the ends of justice.]
1. Ins. by Act 25 of 2005, s. 20 (w.e.f. 23-6-2006).
2. Subs. by s. 20, ibid., for "one hundred rupees" (w.e.f. 23-6-2006).
3. Now the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988).
4. Ins. by Act 45 of 1978, s. 18 (w.e.f. 18-12-1978)
Title: Supply to the accused of copy of police report and other documents
In any case where the proceeding has been instituted on a police report, the Magistrate shall without delay furnish to the accused, free of cost, a copy of each of the following:--
(i) the police report;
(ii) the first information report recorded under section 154;
(iii) the statements recorded under sub-section (3) of section 161 of all persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses, excluding therefrom any part in regard to which a request for such exclusion has been made by the police officer under sub-section (6) of section 173;
(iv) the confessions and statements, if any, recorded under section 164;
(v) any other document or relevant extract thereof forwarded to the Magistrate with the police report under sub-section (5) of section 173:
Provided that the Magistrate may, after perusing any such part of a statement as is referred to in clause (iii) and considering the reasons given by the police officer for the request, direct that a copy of that part of the statement or of such portion thereof as the Magistrate thinks proper, shall be furnished to the accused:
Provided further that if the Magistrate is satisfied that any document referred to in clause (v) is voluminous, he shall, instead of furnishing the accused with a copy thereof, direct that he will only be allowed to inspect it either personally or through pleader in Court.
Title: Supply of copies of statements and documents to accused in other cases triable by Court of Session
Where, in a case instituted otherwise than on a police report, it appears to the Magistrate issuing process under section 204 that the offence is triable exclusively by the Court of Session, the Magistrate shall without delay furnish to the accused, free of cost, a copy of each of the following:
(i) the statements recorded under section 200 or section 202, of all persons examined by the Magistrate;
(ii) the statements and confessions, if any, recorded under section 161 or section 164;
(iii) any documents produced before the Magistrate on which the prosecution proposes to rely:
Provided that if the Magistrate is satisfied that any such document is voluminous, he shall, instead of furnishing the accused with a copy thereof, direct that he will only be allowed to inspect it either personally or through pleader in Court.