Social Media Use: Restrictions for lower court judges | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:56 AM, September 23, 2019

Social Media Use: Restrictions for lower court judges

The Supreme Court administration yesterday issued a set of directives for the lower court judges on using social media, asking them not to upload images and video clips of SC judges and also not to publish information or make comments that go against the national unity and spirit.

The instructions were issued through a notification that said the lower court judges have to stop using social media during their working hours from 9:30am to 4:30pm. 

The notification, signed by SC Registrar General Md Zakir Hossain, said if the instructions are defied, it will be considered misconduct and Bangladesh Judicial Services (Discipline) Rules-2017 alongside other relevant existing laws and rules will be applicable in this regard. 

The laws and rules will be applied to ensure punishment for those who will ignore the directives, an SC official told The Daily Star.  

The directives were issued on recommendations from the Supreme Court Special Committee for Reforms, the notification said. 

The notification prohibited the lower court judges from publishing information and making comments that can hurt the religious sentiment of any community. 

It asked them not to comment on or share political ideologies and discussions or information related to them on social media.  

Information and comments that can be discriminatory for any person, institution and state cannot be published, the notification said. 

The directives asked the judges not to publish gender discriminatory information and comments. 

Information and comments that can create dissatisfaction and unpleasant feelings in people’s mind cannot be published, the notification said, adding that making negative comments and expressing personal feelings regarding any case were also restricted. 

According to the SC directives, making any negative comments or expressing personal feelings towards decisions of the controlling authority or the proper authority are prohibited. 

The directives asked the judges to refrain from uploading, sharing, tagging, any status update, post, link, and image which are “irrelevant, unnecessary, defamatory, and unethical”. 

The SC administration also made some recommendations for the judges on using social media, saying that they must be careful about “electing and selecting” write-ups, image, audio, and video. 

They must be sure about the authenticity and reliability of information and data to be uploaded on social media. 

They must be cautious and apply the judicial mindset in sharing and publishing personal and family information and they must avoid uploading unnecessary and unimportant status and posts. 

There might be a portal or group where the judges can discuss and share academic discussions on legal issues except pending cases and personal issues. 

The judges must be responsible and judicious while using social media. 

They will have to be careful to the highest level in sharing information and selecting friends and they cannot accept any person as a friend who is involved in the cases pending with their courts. 

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