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Government draws up SOP for its officials to be summoned to court

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 07-02-2024
Government draws up SOP for its officials to be summoned to court Supreme Court 3 min read

The Central government has drawn up a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)  for the appearance of  government officials before the court for cases relating to the government. 

The SOP is applicable to all court proceedings including contempt of court in all  government-related matters at the Supreme Court, High Courts or in any other courts.

The central government has come out with a SOP at a time when both High Courts and the Supreme Court have been summoning government officials for non-compliance with their orders or to find out details pertaining to a case. Recently, the Supreme Court summoned the Director General of Police ,Manipur to find out what had been done to curtail the violence in the state.  Recently the  Calcutta High Court  suspended the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands over non-compliance with an order.

Main points of the Standard Operating Procedure(SOP)

The SOP lays down five  suggested points of action when a government official is summoned by the court.

  • A government official should be summoned to the court only in exceptional cases and not as a matter of routine. The court should practise necessary restraint while summoning government officials.

  •  The government official must be given advance notice  and sufficient time  before they appear in court.

  • Courts must give the officials an option to appear through virtual hearing links. Such links must be sent to the official at least one day in advance.

  • Summoning a government official in cases where the government is not the contesting party, must be avoided.

  • Comments on the dress/physical appearance/educational and social background of the government official appearing before the court should be refrained.

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure

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