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20 July, 2019 12:49:48 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 July, 2019 12:13:44 PM
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SC to frame social media rules for judicial officers

MUHAMMAD YEASIN, Dhaka
SC to frame social media 
rules for judicial officers

The Supreme Court (SC) authority has decided to formulate rules governing the use of social media by judicial officers. In the meantime, a special committee for judicial reforms has finalised the draft of the rules, SC sources said. In 2016, the Cabinet Division had formulated guidelines for the use of social media by government officers. Now, the SC authority is formulating the rules for the judicial officers to use social media.

A special committee for judicial reforms, led by Appellate Division Justice Imman Ali, is working to finalise the rules for the judicial officers. After the rules are finalised, the committee will send the draft rules to the Chief Justice for approval. After the Chief Justice’s approval is received, the rules will become effective, according to the sources.

Legal experts opined that there is no controlling system on the use of social media by the judicial officers till now, which has sparked a debate over the use of social media by the judicial officers. It is very important to formulate the rules to govern the use of social media by the judicial officers. The Supreme Court’s initiative is admirable, they opined.

Former law minister Shafique Ahmed said the image and dignity of the judiciary might be hampered if information relating to the judiciary and comments and pictures of the judicial officers are released on social media. “It is a good initiative on the part of the Supreme Court authority that it has been taken a timely step to control the use of social media by judicial officers, considering the importance of the judiciary and its officers,” he added.

According to the draft of the rules, 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 draft rules 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. Also, no judicial officer can give or publish any statement after the court’s order or verdict of cases and have to refrain from making any derogatory remarks on the order made by their controlling authority.

Apart from the draft rules, 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.

They have to ensure that the documents of their information are given in social media from their accounts. They must be careful in publishing their personal and family information on social media. Unnecessary and insignificant information cannot be given on social media by the judicial officers, according to the draft rules.

However, the draft rules mentioned that a separate platform for the judicial officers can be opened to discuss legal issues. No officer can discuss personal issues on that platform. Judicial and legal information can be circulated on the platform that can pave the way

for the officers to conduct judicial functioning smoothly.

The draft rules also 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. Besides, judicial officers have to desist from using social media during their judicial functioning from 9.00am to 4.30pm.

If any judicial officers violate these rules, it would be considered misconduct, according to the draft of the rules.

Special officer of the Supreme Court, Md Saifur Rahman, said the rules have been formulated to govern the use of social media by the judicial officers. “A draft set of rules has been completed in the meantime. The Chief Justice has sent the draft rules to the ‘special committee for judicial reforms’ for its opinion and the finalisation of the draft rules,” he added.

A meeting of the committee, led by Appellate Division Justice Imman Ali, has already been held over the draft rules in the meantime, he added. After completion of all formalities and after finally taking approval from the Chief Justice, the rules will become effective for judicial officers, sources said.


IK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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