Responsibility of a witness to respond to Summons by Police

If you are summoned by police to appear for an inquiry against you, can you decline to answer any and all questions asked?

Asked on September 24, 2017 in No Category.
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1 Answer(s)

If the notice to appear before the police offer for an investigation is issued under Section 41 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, you are ought to appear before the police officer otherwise, you would be in contempt of court and this would lead to suspicion or more exaggerating form leading you to be arrested or fine. 


Under Section 41 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, a police officer can issue a notice of appearance before him/her to the person against whom there's a complaint, or who is believed to have a credible information about the inquiry or if heshe is suspected of committed a cognizable offence. You are suggested to comply with the terms of the notice.


If you fail to comply with the terms of the notice, it might be dangerous to you as it will form suspicion in the eyes of the police officer that the person should be arrested. If you comply with the terms of the notice, the police officer shall not arrest you.


Under sub-section 4 of section 41 A of Criminal Procedure Code mentions that if there's non compliance by such person in regards to the terms of the notice or when he/she is unwilling to identify himself/herself, then the police officer may, subject to such orders as may have been passed by a competent court in this behalf, arrest him for offence mentioned in the notice. 


Also, under Section 10 of Criminal Procedure Code, Police Officer has the power to summon witnesses during investigations, and such person is bound to attend. Witness is obliged to assist the police officer with the investigation, and to answer all questions, but the witness cannot be compelled to answer incriminating question. Article 20 (3) of Indian Constitution which says that witness cannot be made witness against himself/herself. Therefore, you are allowed decline to answer those questions which will be self incriminating. 


Hope this response helps you. Please, write to us with further inquiry. 

Thank you

Answered on October 3, 2017.
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