What is Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)?

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What is Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)? Blog Image


Recently, the Supreme Court observed that the courts cannot issue processes under Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) to compel the production of things/documents based on the application made by the accused at the stage of framing of charges.

About Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)

  • Section 91 of the CrPC empowers the court to issue a summons or a written order to produce a document or other material that is necessary for the purpose of any investigation, inquiry, trial, or other legal proceedings.
  • Under this section, if the court considers that the production of any document or material is necessary or desirable for the administration of justice, it can issue a summons or written order to any person in possession of that document or material, directing them to produce it in court.
  • Purpose: To ensure the availability of relevant evidence and materials during legal proceedings. This helps facilitate a fair and just resolution of the case by ensuring that the necessary evidence is presented before the court.
  • Production of documents under Section 91: The document or material can be produced either in its original form or in the form of certified copies, as specified in the summons or written order. 
  • Compliance with the Section 91 order: The person receiving the summons must comply with it and produce the document or thing as required. 
  • Section 91 does not cover the production of the following items:
    • Those listed under Sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), or the Bankers Books Evidence Act, 1891 (13 of 1891), or
    • a letter, postcard, telegram, or other document, or any parcel or thing in the custody of the postal or telegraph authority.
  • The court must be informed of the name of the person in whose possession or power the document is, or else the application for summons will not be entertained.
  • The term ‘person’ mentioned in the Section does not include an accused person in trial.
  • The police officers and courts are required to adhere to specific protocols and precautions while issuing and carrying out summonses under Section 91 CrPC.
    • For instance, they must abide by Sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, (1872), which protects the confidentiality and privilege of specific documents.
    • Additionally, they must offer the person called a fair amount of time and a chance to comply with the request.

Q1) What is the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)?

Enacted in 1973 (came into force on 1 April 1974), CrPC is the main legislation on procedure for administration of substantive criminal law in India.It provides a procedure for the investigation of crime, the collection of evidence, and the determination of guilt or innocence. The CrPC also covers the arrest and detention of suspects, the conduct of trials, and the sentencing of convicted individuals. 

Source: Accused Cannot Invoke S.91 CrPC To Compel Prosecution To Produce Things At The Stage Of Framing Of Charge: Supreme Court