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Report No. 24

27. Section 4-Personal attendance of witnesses.-

Section 4 authorises the Commission to summon and enforce the attendance of any person. It does not, however, specify the territorial jurisdiction of the Commission in this behalf, and consequentially, it may be argued that the restriction under Order 16, rule 19 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, would be attracted, since, under section 4, a Commission, in summoning witnesses, has the same powers as a civil court. On this reasoning, a Commission would not be competent to summon a witness residing at a distance longer than 200 miles from its headquarters.

We consider that the limitation imposed on civil courts by this rule should not apply to Commissions appointed under the Act, in view of the different nature of the work assigned to a Commission of Inquiry. We accordingly recommend, that a Commission appointed under the Act should have jurisdiction to summon a witness from any part of the territories to which the Act extends. Rules under the Act1 will secure that necessary travelling and other expenses are paid to witnesses who are summoned under the Act.

1. See App I, section 12(2), as proposed.

Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 Back

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