Supreme Court says summoning of Officers discharging public duties is unwarranted; sets aside Allahabad HC's order directing Prathama UP Gramin Bank's Chairman to appear before it

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The Supreme Court has set aside a direction of the Allahabad High Court by which it had summoned the Charmain of the Prathama UP Gramin Bank to apprise it of the manner in which the officers of the Bank are working.

The High Court had also directed the Regional Manager of the Bank to appear in person and to file affidavit stating the number of staffs working in the Bank as Daily Wager.

These directions were issued by the said High Court while hearing the plea of one Suneel Kumar who had raised industrial dispute regarding termination of his services in violation of provision of Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 .

The reference was answered in favour of the workman on 07.12.2006. The writ petition against the said award was also dismissed on 13.02.2018.

It was found that the workman was reinstated during the pendency of the writ petition before the High Court but after the decision of the writ petition, the services of the workman were terminated on 03.10.2019.

Such termination was challenged before the High Court wherein such summons were issued.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian found no reason for the High Court to summon the Chairman and Regional Manager of the Bank. It said,

"If the High Court was so sure of the order of termination is contrary to law, the High Court would be well within its jurisdiction to pass such an order but summoning of the officers, discharging public duties, is clearly unwarranted."

The bench also relied on a Judgment in ‘The State of Uttar Pradesh vs Manoj Kumar Sharma’ wherein the top court had already commented adversely against the practice of the Officers being summoned to the Court.

In view of the said fact, the appeal filed by the Bank was allowed with a direction to file the said affidavit as directed within four weeks.