The Supreme Court has slammed the Allahabad High Court saying its frequent summoning of senior state government officials cannot be appreciated.
The divisional bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hemant Gupta said, “The frequent, causal and lackadaisical summoning of high officials by the Court cannot be appreciated.”
The bench noted, “Once the order of which contempt was alleged was stayed, there would be no cause for calling the officers as there was no question of any non-compliance of the order which had been stayed.”
The petition has been filed by Manoj Kumar Sharma challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court and seeking a stay on the contempt proceedings as directed in the order of March 2.
The bench observed, “Once the order of which contempt was alleged was stayed, there would be no cause for calling the officers as there was no question of any non-compliance of the order which had been stayed.”
The Court further pointed out that on various occasions through judicial pronouncements deprecated the practice of unnecessarily calling officers to Court.
“In that context, it has been observed that the trust, faith and confidence of the common man in the judiciary cannot be frittered away by unnecessary and unwarranted show or exercise of power. Greater the power, greater should be the responsibility in exercising such power,” the bench added.
While justifying its contention, the Court mentioned no doubt if the order is not complied with, presence can be directed unless exempted. “That if the operation of the order is stayed, we fail to understand what purpose was being served by calling the officers for the next date as no specific date had been fixed by the Court post the stay having been granted,” the Court added.
Whereas, the bench stayed the contempt proceedings in the contempt petition pending before the Allahabad High Court allowing two weeks time to file counter affidavit listed the matter for further hearing after summer vacations.
Read the Order here;State-of-UP-vs-Manoj-Kumar-Sharma