These provisions have been made in conformity with the Prisoners (Attendance in Courts) Act, 1955, which also contains provisions for production of persons confined or detained in prisons.
If, in the course of any inquiry, trial or other proceedings under the Code, it appears to a Criminal Court,—
(a) That a person who is confined or detained in a prison should be brought before the Court for answering to a charge of an offence, or for the purpose of any proceedings against him; or
(b) That it is necessary for the ends of justice to examine such a person as a witness,—
The Court may make an order requiring the officer-in-charge of the prison to produce such a person before the Court, for answering the charge, or for the purpose of the proceedings, or for giving evidence, as the case may be. (S. 267)
The State Government may, by general or special order, direct that any person or class of persons shall not be removed from the prison in which he or they may be confined or detained, and so long as such an order remains in force, no order made under S. 267 can have effect in respect of such person or class of persons. In such cases, it is immaterial whether the order passed under S. 267 was passed before or after the State Government’s order.
However, before passing any such order, the State Government must have regard to the following four matters, namely,—
(i) The nature of the offence for which the person or class of persons has been ordered to be confined or detained in prison;
(ii) The nature of the ground on which the person or class of persons has been ordered to be confined or detained in prison;
(iii) The likelihood of the disturbance of public order, if the person or class of persons is allowed to be removed from the prison; and.
(iv) The public interest generally.
It is further provided that, in the following four cases, the officer-in- charge of the prison must abstain from carrying out the Court’s orders, and send a statement of reasons for so abstaining to the Court:
(a) If such a person is unfit to be removed from the prison by reason of sickness or infirmity.
(b) If such a person is under committal or trial, or under remand pending trial or pending a preliminary investigation. However, in such cases, if the attendance of such a person is required for giving evidence at a place which is not more than 25 kilometres away from the prison, the officer-in-charge of the prison cannot refuse to send the prisoner.
(c) If such a person is in custody for a period which would expire before the expiry of the time required for complying with the order and for taking him back to the prison where he is confined or detained.
(d) If such a person is a person covered by an order of the State Government (discussed above).
Subject to the above exceptions, the officer-in-charge of the prison must cause the person named in the order to be taken to the Court in which his attendance is required, so as to be present there, at the time mentioned in the order, and must cause him to be kept in custody in or near the Court, until he has been examined, or until the Court has authorised him to be taken back to the prison where he was confined or detained.
It is also provided, that, for the purpose of this Chapter,—
(a) “Detained” includes detained under any law providing for preventive detention; and
(b) “Prison” includes—
(i) Any place which has been declared by the State government to be a subsidiary jail; and
(ii) Any reformatory, Borstal institution, or other institution of a like nature.