SC restricts judicial officers’ social media use at office

Dhaka, Sept 22 – The Supreme Court (SC) authority on Sunday issued a circular fixing the criteria of using social media by judicial officers.In its circular, the Supreme Court administration directed the judicial officers to strictly maintain 11-directive in using social media including restraining them from uploading pictures and video clips of Supreme Court judges, publishing and disclosing information and making comments against the national unity and spirit.
It also directed the judicial officers not to use social media during working hours saying: the judicial officers cannot use social media during their working hours from 9:30am to 4:30pm.
The notification, signed by SC Registrar General Dr Md Zakir Hossain, said if the instructions are defied, it will be considered as misconduct and Bangladesh Judicial Services (Discipline) Rules, 2017 and other relevant existing laws will be applicable in this regard.
The directives were issued on recommendations from the Supreme Court Special Committee for Reforms, the notification said.
The special committee for judicial reforms, led by Appellate Division Justice Imman Ali, has earlier finalized the directives for the judicial officers and the SC authority yesterday issued the circular after taking approval from the Chief Justice in this regard.
As the circular, the SC said that a rule is necessary for the judicial officers to use social media following the boom in information technology and its use in the country. It was mentioned in the circular that judicial officers must refrain from releasing some important information through social media.
The judicial officers cannot make any comments against national unity and its sprit. They have to refrain from making any comment that would hurt religious sentiments, any statement that reveals their political ideology, any statement tantamount to insulting the state and its institutions and any statement that causes dissatisfaction among the country’s people.
Apart from the circular said, some criteria for judicial officers on publishing their pictures in the social media have been set. They must be careful in selecting their write-up for social media, selecting pictures, audio and video to publish on social media.
The circular said that the judicial officers must follow the rules and regulations of the country and play a role as responsible and skilled citizens in operating their personal accounts on social media. They must careful in collecting and delivering information through social media.
The judicial officers must be more careful in selecting the Friend list on social media. They cannot add those persons on Facebook or other social media as their friends who are involved in cases pending before their courts. Pictures and videos of the Supreme Court‘s Justices cannot be published without prior permission.
If any judicial officers violate these rules, it would be considered misconduct, according to the circular. – Staff Reporter