JK Govt Issues Fresh Social Media Rules For Its Employees

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has reaffirmed its stance on the usage of social media among government employees, issuing a stringent directive aimed at preventing the criticism of government policies.

This, as per the government order comes as part of an ongoing effort to maintain discipline and ensure adherence to established guidelines within the public service sector

The directive, articulated in a comprehensive circular, underscores the imperative for government employees to strictly adhere to existing guidelines and legal frameworks governing their conduct on social media platforms. Referencing Government Order No. 1646-JK(GAD) of 2017 and provisions within the Jammu and Kashmir Employees Conduct Rules, the circular emphasizes the categorical prohibition on government employees from publicly discussing or criticizing government policies.

Rule 13 of the Employees Conduct Rules unequivocally prohibits government employees from engaging in any form of public criticism of government policies or actions. Moreover, Rule 18 stipulates that government employees must refrain from making statements or expressing opinions that could adversely criticize government policies or actions, potentially jeopardizing relations between the state government and the central government or other states.

In addition to these internal regulations, the circular also highlights the constitutional provision under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution. While it guarantees the right to freedom of speech, Article 19(2) also imposes reasonable restrictions in the interest of sovereignty, integrity, security, public order, and decency.

Instances of government employees contravening these guidelines have regrettably been observed, with some engaging in activities such as disseminating confidential information, airing political or communal views, or participating in discussions critical of government policies on various social media platforms.

To mitigate such breaches, the circular reiterates the key features of the existing guidelines, emphasizing the prohibition on sharing confidential information, engaging in political or anti-secular content, or posting inappropriate comments about colleagues or individuals.

Furthermore, it clarifies that while constructive use of social media for disseminating government policies is permissible, criticism of government policies is strictly prohibited.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines will be considered misconduct and may result in disciplinary action under the relevant rules. Administrative heads are instructed to take prompt action against employees found violating these guidelines, including initiating disciplinary proceedings against both the offenders and administrators of group platforms where violations occur.

“All government employees are instructed to strictly adhere to the outlined guidelines and legal principles, with violations constituting misconduct subject to disciplinary action. Administrative heads are tasked with promptly addressing any breaches within their respective departments, including instances of misconduct on group platforms where administrators may also be held accountable,” the order states.


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