Govt Employees can Join Rallies, Post Views on Social Media: Tripura HC
GUWAHATI: The Tripura High Court while dismissing an enquiry against a retired employee said that government employees can take part in political programmes, including meeting and can even post comments on social media platforms.
Chief Justice A Kureshi said that attending political rallies could not be considered as involvement is politics and even government employees should have the liberty to post their opinions.
It is to be mentioned that Lipika Paul was dismissed from service on 25 April, 2018, four days prior to her retirement for participating in a political programme in 2017 and posting opinions against BJP.
The court order stated, “ During election times as is well known, political parties and their leaders as well as nominated candidates take out rallies and address public gatherings. Every person who is present in the audience during such addresses cannot be stated to have participated in the rally.
A student of politics, an enthusiastic young man, a reporter or just a curious bystander all are likely to be present in any political gathering. Even an opponent or a critic of a political party may also attend the gathering. Her mere presence at a gathering, therefore, without any further allegation, would not amount to her participating in such political gathering.”
Meanwhile in Assam, the Sarbananda Sonowal government has told the employees to refrain from criticizing govt policies openly or face disciplinary action.
In a notification by the office of the Director of Higher Education, Assam states that, “A government servant shall not make any statement of fact or opinion criticizing the government. If any government servant is found criticising the Government, he/she will held responsible for violation of Rule 3 and Rule 7 of Assam Civil Service (conduct) Rules, 1965 which will attract the appropriate provision of the Assam Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1964.”