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Practice Of Summoning Officers To Court Is Not Proper, Says SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
10 April 2019 12:03 PM GMT
Practice Of Summoning Officers To Court Is Not Proper, Says SC [Read Judgment]
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"The summoning of officers to the court to attend proceedings impinges upon the functioning of the officers and eventually it is the public at large who suffer on account of their absence from the duties assigned to them."
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The Supreme Court has observed that practice of summoning officers to court is not proper and does not serve the purpose of administration of justice in view of the separation of powers of the Executive and the Judiciary.

The bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hemant Gupta observed thus in an appeal, while noticing that numerous orders were passed by the High Court from time to time seeking personal presence of the officers of the State. The High Court had passed such orders in contempt applications filed by some employees against orders declining their claim for regularisation and/or minimum of pay scale.

The bench said that the order was only consider the claim of regularization and/or payment of minimum of pay scale, the only remedy against the denial of claims was to file Writ Petitions. The High Court has exceeded the Contempt Jurisdiction to compel the officers of the State to appear in court, it said. While disposing the appeal, the court said that the High Court was not justified in passing such orders and said:

"The officers of the State discharge public functions and duties. The orders are generally presumed to be passed in good faith unless proved otherwise. The officers pass orders as a custodian of public money. Therefore, merely because an order has been passed, it does not warrant their personal presence."

The court further noted that, with these orders it is the public at large who suffer on account of their absence from the duties assigned to them. Justice Gupta said:

"The summoning of officers to the court to attend proceedings impinges upon the functioning of the officers and eventually it is the public at large who suffer on account of their absence from the duties assigned to them. The practice of summoning officers to court is not proper and does not serve the purpose of administration of justice in view of the separation of powers of the Executive and the Judiciary. If an order is not legal, the Courts have ample jurisdiction to set aside such order and to issue such directions as may be warranted in the facts of the case."

Read Judgment


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