New Delhi: The Rajasthan High Court has asked judicial officers and court staff to use social media “responsibly” and refrain from commenting against policies of the government or the high court administration in any platform.
In a standing order issued Tuesday, the high court had also asked them to not forward any official communication without authorisation. Doing this, it said, would amount to a “breach of official confidentiality”.
The order, issued by the registrar general, reads: “It is, therefore, enjoined upon all the Judicial Officers and the Court staff of the Hon’ble High Court and the Subordinate Courts/Tribunal/Special Courts, to make use of the internet and social media responsibly and also to desist from forwarding, liking, disliking and commenting upon any posts which are against the policies of the Government/High Court Administration.”
The court further said that judicial officers and court staff have been accessing social media during office hours, which not only affected work but also diminished “dignity and reputation of the entire system”.
‘Stop accessing social media during office hours’
While passing the order, the court had referred to a circular issued by the registrar general in January last year which said that use of social media on smartphones was having an “adverse impact on productivity”.
“Use of social media in Courts by Presiding Officers and Court Staff during office hours not only affects the working but also diminishes the dignity and reputation of the entire system,” the circular had said.
Tuesday’s order claimed that this circular was not being followed by judicial officers and the court staff.
It therefore directed all workers to stop accessing social media during office hours and not use mobile phones in the courtroom.
The high court also said officers and staff had forwarded, liked, disliked and commented on posts that were “not only scandalous and derogatory but sensational also”.
“They express opinions in social media on matters to which they have no concern whatsoever. The policies of the Government and the High Court Administration are also being commented upon,” it said.
The order further asserted that official communications were getting forwarded on social media. This, it said, amounts to “misconduct under the provisions of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1971 and attracts suitable disciplinary action”.