- Preamble (Purpose of enacting the law)
Part IX of the Prisoners Act, 1900, previously dealt with the attendance of prisoners and obtaining their evidence in courts. But some of the provisions in this part were cumbersome and resulted in the delay in the trial. This Act simplifies the procedure for securing the attendance of prisoners in courts by repealing Part IX of the Act of 1900 and re-enacting its provisions with suitable modifications as a separate law. The present Act also extends the law to the whole of India.
- The extent of Application (Section 1)
This section deals with the applicability or extension of this Act. It states that it applies to the whole of India. Previously this Act did not apply to Jammu and Kashmir. But after the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India in 2019, this Act is presently applicable to the whole of India.
- Power of Courts to Require Attendance (Section 3)
This section gives power to civil or criminal courts to order the officer-in-charge of prison to present before any prisoner whose evidence is material in any particular case. A civil court cannot make any order under this section to bring any prisoner from any prison situated out of the State in which it is situated. The order of a civil court, subordinate to the District Judge, must be countersigned by the District Judge. Similar is the case for criminal courts. The forms in which the orders are to be made are prescribed in the 1st and 2nd schedule.
- Power of Exemption (Section 4)
Under this section, the State Government is empowered to release an order to restrain any person or class of persons from being removed from the prison in which he is kept given any likelihood of disturbance in public order. So, for the time being, such persons are not to be presented in a court for adducing evidence even after the order of the court.
- The Power to Abstain from Carrying Out Order (Section 6)
This section provides the officer-in-charge of the prison not to adhere to the order of a court made u/s 3, where the court is not a criminal court and where the place of production is not more than 5 miles away from the prison, in case the prisoner is declared to be unfit to remove from the prison because of sickness or infirmity, or is under committal for trial, or is under remand pending trial or preliminary investigation, or in case his custody period will expire before the date of his production in such court making order.
- Commission for Examination (Sec. 7)
Any civil court requiring evidence from any prisoner, whose cannot be produced before the court because of the provisions of section 6 or of an order under section 4 or of the DistrictJudge declining under subsection (3) of section 3 to countersign an order for removal; or where the prison is situated in another state or the prison is at a distance of more than 50 miles of the court; it can issue a commission under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, to examine the prisoner.
- Power to Make Rules (Section 9)
Under this section, the State Government has the power to make rules of followings
- the procedure for obtaining the countersignature under section 3;
- the authority by whom and how a declaration that a prisoner is unfit to be removed ;
- the conditions, including payment of costs and charges, subject to which an order is made under section 3 ;
- the escort of persons confined in prison too and from courts and for their custody during the period of such attendance;
- the amount to be allowed for the costs and charges of such escort.
- Repealing Provision(Section 10)
This section repeals Part IX of the Prisoners Act, 1900. This section also repeals the two schedules attached to the Act of 1900.
Furthermore, before the commencement of this Act, if there is in force in any Part B, State to which this Act extends any law corresponding to the provisions of this Act, that law shall, insofar as it relates to matters dealt with in this Act, stand repealed on such commencement. But if any action has been done under that Act, it is presumed as if it is done according to the present Act.