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Public officers should not be called to court, unnecessarily : SC

“This Court in a judgment reported as Divisional Manager, Aravali Golf Club & Anr. v. Chander Hass & Anr observed that judges must know their limits. They must have modesty and humility, and not behave like emperors…”

SNS | New Delhi |

Emphasising that public officers shouldn’t be called to court unnecessarily, the Supreme Court on Friday observed judges must know their limits and they must have modesty and humility, and not “behave like emperors”.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta said: “A practice has developed in certain High Courts to call officers at the drop of a hat and to exert direct or indirect pressure.”

The bench noted that the line of separation of powers between judiciary and executive is sought to be crossed by summoning the officers and in a way, putting pressure on them to pass an order as per the whims and fancies of the court.

The top court made a strong observation while hearing an appeal, where the Allahabad High Court had summoned UP’s Secretary, Medical Health.

The top court further added that summoning of the officer is against the public interest as many important tasks entrusted to them get delayed, creating an extra burden on them or delaying the decisions awaiting their opinion.

The bench said the public officers of the executive are also performing their duties as the third limb of the governance.

“This Court in a judgment reported as Divisional Manager, Aravali Golf Club & Anr. v. Chander Hass & Anr observed that judges must know their limits. They must have modesty and humility, and not behave like emperors. The legislature, the executive and the judiciary all have their own broad spheres of operation,” said the bench.

“The presence of public officers comes at the cost of other official engagement demanding their attention,” the bench noted.

…With agency inputs