ANI Photo | SC formulates SOP to guide HCs in case of personal appearance of govt officials

The Supreme Court has formulated a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to guide High Courts across the country in directing the personal appearance of government officials in the courts.
The apex court noted courts must refrain from making humiliating remarks against government officers on their appearance, dress etc. unless there is a violation of the dress code.
The Supreme Court said the personal presence of officers may be required in evidence, summary proceedings etc. and apart from this if issues can be sorted out by affidavit then such personal presence may not be called for. It added officers should not be made to stand during the entire proceeding unless needed or asked.
Supreme Court said while summoning government officials, advance notice must be given for adequate preparation and the first option for such appearance must be through video conferencing.
In August 2023, the apex court said that it would lay down guidelines for courts on summoning government officers in pending cases.
The verdict came on an appeal against an Allahabad High Court decision which had summoned two UP government officers who were taken into custody for not complying with its directions.
Earlier, the apex court had stayed the operation of the orders of the High Court. The High Court had taken two officers into custody who were present in the court. It had also issued bailable warrants to the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, and Prashant Trivedi, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance).
The High Court was dealing with the plea of the Association of Retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges and it had observed that the matter pertaining to providing domestic help and other facilities to the former Chief Justices and former Judges of the High Court was kept pending on one pretext or another

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