1. The accused were convicted under Section 173, Indian Penal Code, for having refused to receive summonses issued to them by a Village Munsif, and each was sentenced to a fine of Rs. 2, in and, default of payment, to simple imprisonment for five days. The referring officer submits that the act of the accused cannot amount to the offence of having intentionally prevented the service of summons, and cites the judgment of this Court in Revision Case No. 155 of 1881.1
2. Service is usually made by delivering to, and leaving with, the party the summons, though under Section 154,2 Criminal Procedure Code, tender is sufficient. We think that a refusal to receive a summons is not an offence under Section 173; the words 'any manner prevents the service' cannot apply when the summons is tendered and refused, as it is good service. We set aside the conviction, and the fines, if levied, must be refunded.
1 The Queen
The Judgment of the High Court (Innes and Kindersley, JJ.) was as follows:
The Second-class Magistrate convicted the accused under Section 173, Indian Penal Code, for having refused to receive a summons issued to him by a Village Munsif.
The accused cannot be said to have prevented the service of the summons, because it was actually served upon him. His throwing it down is no offence.
We set aside the conviction and sentence and direct the return of the fine.
2 Summons how served.
[Section 154 : The summons shall be served on the accused personally, in any district where he may be, by exhibiting one of the copies and delivering or tendering the other copy to him; or, in case the accused person cannot be found, the copy may be left for him with some adult male member of his family residing with him, and the person summoned or the person with whom the copy is left shall sign a receipt therefor.]