Dasti Summons in CPC


In simple words, Dasti Summon means a personal summon given by a party to the opposite party, without taking the route of the appointment process server given by the court. While serving the dasti summon, one can personally go and make sure that the summon is served by hand. The word "Dasti" comes from Persia which means "by hand". In the legal sense, dasti summon is a service of summon by the petitioner to the respondent through a specific court order and not by any registered post or through a court process server. Previously, the civil courts were the only authority that could send summons to the respondent through an official process, which was slow and time-consuming given the amount of work the courts had and hence, hampered the timely disposal of the cases. Post the recommendation of the Malimath Committee, Order V Rule 9A was inserted in the Code of the Civil Procedure, 1908, through an amendment act in the year 2002. After incorporating this amendment, a petitioner or plaintiff can now serve summons to the respondent or respondents.

Currently, many high courts have given recognition to the dasti summon services to encourage the parties and to promote speedy trials. In Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it is stated that provisions of Order V of the Code of the Civil Procedure, 1908 will apply to the service of notice in all the proceedings given that:

  1. When the party is represented by an Advocate, any notice in regards to the proceedings shall be served by the advocate unless the order states otherwise;
  2. Any notice being served to a person residing in a Presidency town should be sent via a registered post;
  3. Where in some cases, the court specifically orders or directs the notice to be served in a particular manner.

When a plaintiff or petitioner serves any summon as a dasti summon he or she acts as a Service Officer and can perform all the duties as stipulated under the Order V Rule 16 and Order V Rule 18 of the Code of the Civil Procedure, 1908.

Purpose of Dasti Summons

The main purpose of introducing the dasti summons was to reduce the burden of the courts to a certain extent and ensure speedy trial. It also ensures that there exists a burden on the plaintiff or petitioner for timely delivery of the summons to the opposite party. Additionally, it reduces the scope of any undue influence on the process servers by the lawyer involved and avoids any abuse of the procedure of law. Further, a genuine plaintiff is in a better position to serve the summon than the court server and avoid delay in the proceedings.

While dasti summons avoid delay in the initial stage of proceedings it also opens the possibility of manipulation by the plaintiff or petitioner by wilfully defaulting the service and getting the matters for the ex-parte situation. Therefore, the courts should allow dasti summons only in cases where the grant is significant and urgent.

How are Dasti Summons different from regular summons?

The regular modes of service of summons are simple, a copy of the summon is issued to the respondents by the service officer by personal or direct service, or post, fax, message or email service or approved court service, etc, in the jurisdiction where the defendant resides. Whereas, in dasti summon, the court permits the plaintiff on his request to serve the summon to the defendant by hand. The copy of the summons is sealed and signed by the judge or any other officer appointed by the judge and the plaintiff must ensure that the defendant acknowledges the service. In the event, that the defendant refuses to acknowledge the service or summon, the court will re-issue the summons and serve it to the defendant by itself.

Instances Where Dasti Summons are Issued

In the case of Basant Narain Singh vs State of Bihar, the plaintiff made a prayer for issuing dasti summons to the witnesses, and the court allowed the prayer at their entire risk at the date fixed. After paying some fees along with the processes, the subordinate judge passed an order to allow the plaintiff to dasti summons given the shortage of time.

In the murder case of RTI activist, Vinayak Baliga, his father Ramachandra Baliga served a dasti notice to the main accused. He went ahead and served dasti notice to the accused along with his two daughters at the accused’s premises challenging the bail granted by the Karnataka High Court to the accused due to which the murder case has come to a standstill. Mr. Ramachandra Baliga pleaded with the Supreme Court to cancel the bail granted to the accused and avoid his attempt to tamper with the evidence while he was on bail.

Laws governing

Dasti Summons are issued in accordance with the Order 5 Rule 9A of the Code of the Civil Procedure, 1908, in addition to the service summons, on the application of the plaintiff for the appearance of the defendant and provide a permit to such plaintiff to deliver the summon by dasti. This service shall only be effected when the summon personally signed by the judge or such officer of the court as is appointed, delivers to the defendant personally. It is sealed with the seal of the court and the provisions of Rules 16 and 18 shall apply to a summon personally served under this rule on the pretext that the person effecting service was a serving officer.

Grounds for Issuing Dasti Summons

Though there are no specific established procedures or grounds for serving the dasti summon and it varies from court to court. Dasti Summons are given by the officer of the court when:

  1. The court orders the plaintiff to serve the dasti summon.
  2. When the ordinary summons order is served and the plaintiff pays the requisite amount for the dasti summon to the court. In such an event, a dasti summon is issued along with the ordinary summon order. No specific court permission is required for this.


It is not a typical way of serving summons which are generally done through post, fax, message, email service, approved courier service, etc. It is a personal delivery of the summon to the defendant by hand.