The court may compel the attendance of any person to whom a summons has been issued under section 30 and for that purpose may-
(a) Issue a warrant for his arrest;
(b) Attach and sell his property;
(c) Impose a fine upon him [not exceeding five thousand rupees;]
(d) Order him to furnish security for his appearance and in default commit him to the civil prison.
Consequences on default to attend as Witnesses and coercive methods—S. 32 and Order XVI, Rules 10, 11, 12:
The court has power to enforce the attendance of any person to whom a summons has been issued and for that purpose may: (a) issue a warrant, with or without bail, for his arrest; (b) attach and sell his property; (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 the civil prison.
The court may, where a person to whom a 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.
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No court of small cause shall, however, make an order for the attachment of immovable property. (Order XVI, Rule 10).
Appeals from orders of fine or coercion. S.104 (i) (h), C.P.C.:
Where party failed to appear despite order, Supreme Court issued non-bailable warrants to secure presence of party before the court.
The orders of imposing a fine or directing issue of a warrant for arrest are appealable under section 104(i) (h), C.P.C.
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 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. (Order XVI, Rules 11 and 12).
When witness 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, (Order XVI, Rule 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 miles distance from the court house: provided that where transport by air is available between the two places mentioned in this rule and the witness is paid the fair by air, he may be ordered to attend in person. (Order XVI, Rule 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. (Order XVI, Rule 20).
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