Under What Circumstances may a Magistrate dispense With the Personal Attendance of an Accused Person? (Section 115, CrPC, 1973, India)

Section 115 lays down that where a person has been called upon to show cause why he should not be ordered to execute a personal bond for keeping the peace, the Magistrate, if he sees sufficient cause, may dispense with the personal attendance and permit him to appear by a pleader.

Sufficient cause may even be made out on the ground that the person against whom proceedings were taken lived at a distance and there were no special circumstances for making his personal attendance necessary.

Section 205 also lays down that where a Magistrate is considering the issue of a summons for the appearance of an accused on the commencement of proceedings before him, he may dispense with the personal attendance of the accused and permit him to appear by his pleader.

Section 205 applies to every case in which a summons is issued. But if a warrant is issued against an accused person, his personal attendance under this section cannot be dispensed with. Where the accused is ill or where the accused is a pardunashin lady, the Magistrate should exercise his discretion to dispense with his or her personal attendance and allow him or her to appear by a pleader until such time as he had before him clear, direct and reliable prima facie proof that the accused had a real charge to answer.

Section 273 of the Code also, by necessary implication, empowers the presiding officer to dispense with the personal attendance of an accused in cases which relate to inquiry into cases triable by the court of session or a High Court, cases which relate to the trial of summons of warrant cases by the Magistrate, summary trials and trial before the High Courts and court of session.