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January 03

State of Uttar Pradesh and ors vs Association of Retired Judges

Supreme Court Establishes Protocol for Summoning Government Officials, Cautioning Against Humiliation

The Supreme Court of India has introduced a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for summoning government officials, discouraging courts from humiliating them or commenting on their attire unnecessarily. The bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, emphasized that all High Courts must adhere to the SOP and avoid arbitrarily summoning officials. While acknowledging the need for officials’ personal appearance in summary proceedings, the court directed that summoning should be avoided if issues can be addressed through affidavits.

The guidelines also stress that officials cannot be summoned solely for having a different view from the court and underscore the importance of advance notice and video conferences for their appearances. The ruling stemmed from a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government against Allahabad High Court’s orders to summon two senior officers. The Supreme Court, in setting aside the orders, asserted that frequent summoning of government officials contradicts the constitutional framework.