Why do you need to know the difference between Summon and Warrant?
Summons and warrants are differentiated on the basis of seriousness of the offences. Before we delve further, let’s understand the method of procuring or calling the accused at his trial. There are two methods –
Issue of summon
Arrest & detention
The Police can arrest and detain a person without warrant in cognizable Offences and can also arrest with warrant offences. So, the former part can be considered as warrant cases.
So, if we see the difference between them – Summon cases are those cases where the imprisonment for a term exceeding two years. However, Section 2 (w) of Code of Criminal Procedure defines summon case as those cases which are not warrant cases while Section 2 (x) of Code of Criminal Procedure defines warrant case as a case where the punishment is death, life imprisonment or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years.
Second point of difference is Supreme Court are less serious in nature and are issued in less serious crime as a result of which the probability of absconding and disobeying the court is less while Warrant Case are more serious in nature as result of which the probability of absconding and disobeying the court is more.
Thirdly, summons are issued to accused witnesses, etc. Basically, summon is issued in first instances while Warrant is to be issued for the arrest and detention of the accused in general. There is a punishment for disobeying the court in a summons case. So, you can’t escape from the preview of Law. Section 174 of Indian Penal Code states that if someone intentionally commits to attend the court then he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term upto 6 months.