‘Female members of family incapable of accepting summons’: SC issues notice on plea against CrPC’s Sec 64

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Centre on plea challenging Section 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC.) claiming it discriminates against women by treating the female members of the family incapable of accepting the summons on behalf of the person summoned.

The plea, filed by Kush Kalra through advocate Jyotika Kalra, submitted that tnhe dogmatic CrPC. does not consider an adult female member of the family capable and competent to receive summons.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice Hima Kohli, after hearing submissions from counsel, sought response from the Central government.

The plea said Section 64, which excludes female family members to receive summons on behalf of the summoned person clearly violates the women’s right to equality guaranteed to them under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, the right to know guaranteed to them under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and right to dignity guaranteed to them under Article 21 of the Constitution.

“Section 64 CrPC. jeopardises the victim’s right to speedy trial guaranteed to him under Article 21 of the Constitution. Apart from significantly delaying the proceedings, section 64 CrPC creates hardships for all other relevant stakeholders as well,” said the plea.

The plea added that the Section 64 essentially fails to account for the following situations: When the person summoned resides only with the female family members or when the only person available at the time of service of summons is a female.

“The possibility of such a situation is particularly high in light of the stark gender gap in the workforce between the males and the females, i.e., only 22 per cent of the Indian women are at work, which entails that the remaining 78 per cent of women are at home,” added the plea.

20221122-060003

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