Kerala High Court Issues Social Media 'Code of Conduct' for Officers and staff
The Kerala High Court (HC) issued social media Code of Conducts directing its staff and members to restraint themselves from indulging in criticizing case laws and judgments of the Courts, Judges, or judicial system to scandalize.
The HC 'Code of Conduct' specifically tells that no fake email or social media accounts should be there. According to the Code of Conduct, all email addresses and social media accounts maintained by the staff members should be declared and that there shall be no personal exchange of communication on official sites. It further directed to be careful while expressing opinions on social media.
On 22 March 2021, a meeting of the Administrative Committee was held and it has resolved to approve the draft Code of Conduct and to make it applicable to officers and staff members at the HC.
The HC will maintain a Monitoring Cell on regular reporting regarding misuse of social media using computers and electronic gadgets supplied to the office of the courts and staff members of the High Court and District Judiciary.
The code of conduct further provides that the members and staff of the HC would not access prohibited sites during working hours and to not indulge in the exchange of communication of personal matters on official sites.
The HC issued a detailed 'code of conduct' for its staff and members while using social media, some of the guidelines are given below-
• "Staff members of the High Court and the District Judiciary shall not use social media for making offensive, irresponsible or defamatory statements criticizing policies and actions of the Government and its Institutions, Ministers, Officials, Heads of Departments, Judges, Political Leaders, and Social Activists, etc.
• Staff members of the High Court and the District Judiciary shall be very careful in expressing or propagating any opinion on Social Media that may offend any cultural, ethnic, social, or religious group.
• They shall take care that no derogatory or insulting remarks, comments about any person, group of person official, socio-cultural or political, shall be made on Social Media platform.
• Staff members of the High Court and District Judiciary shall not publish any proceedings, official actions, records, or data from the office files in social media or publish blogs on any matters in social media without prior permission of the High Court.
• Staff members of the High Court and District Judiciary shall not use mobile phones, tablets, electronic gadgets, etc., for computing, data hacking, or any other illegal activities.
• Staff members of the High Court and District Judiciary shall not use carping, intemperate, filthy, derogatory insinuating, and discriminatory language in social media."