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Show Cause Notice

What is Show cause notice meaning & hearing? 

Understand with Show cause notice format & Sample Letter 

Show cause notice means an order issued by a Court, Competent Authorities or an Organization asking an individual or a group of people to explain or to "show cause" in writing as to why the disciplinary action should not be taken against the individual or the group of people involved in certain incidents, misconduct, poor performance and wrongdoing.  Order to show cause is issued by the authority or the Management after reviewing the entire incident and if finds that the person accused or may involved in wrongdoing and it is also to give a fair chance of hearing him and his explanation towards his/her actions and so avoid disciplinary action. Below, we have described the several reasons a person may receive a show cause notice, including how to write and respond to this kind of notice or letter.

Within a legal context, the court can issue a show cause order that requires a party to present before the court for explanation why a certain course of action should not be initiated against that party. For example if due procedure was not followed while filing a complaint, the court may issue a show cause order, to the investigating authority and lawyer regarding the same. The court will then conduct a show cause hearing, where the investigating authority and the lawyer will have to bring the proof and evidence and submit all facts and figure to explain the court that why the due course of action was not followed. If the lawyer fails to appear or if the explanation is weak the court may dismiss that case or issue the order to re-open the case and may ask for further investigation and appeal and bring that into the hearing.

Another example would be in an academic or educational context. If college authorities suspect a student of malpractice or some other gross misconduct or violation of college rules, a show cause letter may be issued asking the student to explain to the concerned college authorities why disciplinary action should not be taken against him/her. When a student receives a show cause notice it means that the college has already decided upon his/her punishment but is giving the student a final opportunity to respond and avoid being punished.

An order to show cause can be used by employers if there are legitimate grounds to dismiss an employee. These may be due to an employee’s ongoing behavioral, negligence at work or poor performance issues. Or because the unsatisfactory conduct was particularly serious in nature, as in the case of assault, harassment or theft. Even after they have received counseling or guidance, if the behavior still continues the same as it was an employer may issue a show cause notice to an employee regarding imminent punishment.

More to Read : Functions of Recruitment Management Software

How to write show cause notice or order to show cause & its Reply?

It is never easy to write Show cause notice because you know it will cause another person a great deal of distress. The show cause notice or a letter should be very simple and brief.  It is important to mention the specific reason why the person is receiving the notice and state clearly what are the consequences of not replying to the notice. The notice should be address to the concern person only and it is better to also add the employee code number as well if any to avoid any kind of duplicity or confusion.  The kind of notice can be given by hand and also sent to their residential address and the receipt should be kept in record for further reference.  


If a person receives an order to show cause it must be given the highest priority and must be taken very seriously, because it may just be the only chance to avoid termination, expulsion or even criminal charges. The show cause notice must be replied with explanation as soon as possible. Keep it brief and assure your employer that you are aware of the gravity of the situation and will respond accordingly.

Find below kinds of Show cause notice & and its replies as sample format and readymade template in doc and pdf for quick uses: 

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                                                                     Show Cause Notice




                                                                                                               Date: __/__/__







It has been reported that you introduced Mr., S/O ________________ R/O ________________ for loan for the purpose of crops  and the loan amount was Rs. __________/- for the season dated________. On your initiations, crop loan of Rs. ___________/- was granted and cheque was given on dated_________. When there was no loan amount paid back by him and the loan amount became outstanding, then one of our field staff after verification found that no cane was cultivated in his area .On further verification it is learnt that the cheque was deposited in the Dist Co-Operative Central Bank Limited, Medak on dated________. It was found that you have endorsed on withdrawal form of
the bank, which was in the name of Mr. and received the amount of Rs. ________/-. It clearly shows that you have acted with an ulterior motive for a wrongful gain. Therefore you have cheated the company and caused loss to the company. You’re above acts amount to misconduct under the Model Standing Orders applicable to you.

Hence you are hereby call upon your explanation within three (3) days from the date of receipt of this notice, why appropriate disciplinary action cannot be taken against you for your misconducts, In case no reply is received within the stipulated time strict action will be taken against you it will be presumed that you have no explanation to submit and further action will be initiated against you.
Dy. General Manager (Process)


Cc: 1. General Manager, Place _______
       2. President, Place ________





Show Cause Notice


Mr. XYZ,
____________________                                                                                                                                                                                                            Date: __/__/__
Mr. XYZ,
Emp. No: _______________
Designation _____________
Department _____________
Organization Name________
Address ___________
Pin Code __________
Sub: II show cause notice of punishment − reg.
Ref: 1. Charge sheet dated _______ issued by M/S Organization Name ________, Place ________
       2. Enquiry report of Shri. _________, Place _________


                    Show Cause Notice To Employee For Misconduct.



                                                                                                 Date: ______________

Manager, ABC Trust, India. 


Subject: misconduct of employee for stealing

Mr. XYZ, 
It has noted to us from various employees that you have been accused of stealing one of the major component of a machine which is an expensive component and has a great value in market.

Because of this our company is really unsatisfied by your misconduct and is suspending you for 3 months. 

You have to write a reply to this show cause letter on which you have to explain why any action should not be taken against you.
If you cannot provide various prove defending yourself then further actions would be taken.



Head of department



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