Kerala

Code of conduct for judicial officers introduced

Kerala High Court. File  

The judicial officers in Kerala have been advised by the Kerala High Court not to make “offensive, irresponsible or defamatory statements criticising the policies and actions of the governments and their institutions” on social media.

The advice is part of the code of conduct introduced for the judicial officers, which was drawn up after the Kerala High Court taking note of the “growing trend among judicial officers indulging in social media and often posting messages containing unsavoury and unwanted messages.”

The code was aimed at regulating the involvement and intervention of judicial officers in social media and other public platforms, according to the official memorandum issued by P.G. Ajithkumar, Registrar (District Judiciary).

Violation of etiquette

The High Court has also noted that the many of the judicial officers had violated the “standard and etiquette to be followed by the judicial officers” as laid down by the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, adopted at the 2002 Chief Justices’ Conference.

The officers have also been asked not to make derogatory comments against Ministers, officials, heads of departments, judges, political leaders and social activists.

Earlier, the High Court had directed its staff and the district judiciary also not to use social media for criticising the policies and actions of the government and its institutions.

Social media accounts

The officers have been asked to declare their email address and Internet/social media accounts and not to make and use fake IDs and accounts. The code advises the officers to be “very careful while expressing or propagating any opinion on social media, which may offend any cultural, ethnic, social or religious groups.”

No “derogatory or insulting remarks, comments pertaining to any person, group of persons either official, socio-cultural or political shall be made on the social media platform,” the code suggested.

The code asks officers not to indulge in any social media use, which can cause the “depletion of work time in the office.” It also directed the officers to desist from social media activities, which may affect their “integrity, propriety and discipline of his/her official position.”

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 5:32:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/code-of-conduct-for-judicial-officers-introduced/article34332711.ece

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