Judges Banned From Using Social Media In Punjab

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

09th Jul, 2021. 03:48 pm
Judges Banned From Using Social Media In Punjab

The High Court in Punjab has issued an order banning the use of social media by all judges of the lower judiciary across the province.

Similarly, all judges have been asked to leave the non-governmental WhatsApp groups immediately.

These orders regarding the Code of Conduct for Judges were recently issued by the Registrar’s Office on the orders of Justice Amir Bhatti, the new Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court.

The order, entitled “Full Enforcement of the Code of Conduct”, states that “the Honorable Authority has taken serious note of how some elements are committing misconduct and the institution’s historical stature and sanctity.” In view of this, a new code of conduct is being issued which will be strictly enforced.

The new eight-point code of conduct hints at disciplinary action in the event of a recommendation or pressure on judges of the judiciary to transfer.

Similarly, judges of the lower judiciary of Punjab have been unnecessarily barred from meeting the Chief Justice or any judge of the Lahore High Court. If a judge wants to meet in an official capacity, he can do so only during office hours as per the legal procedure. In case of voluntarily coming to the High Court and meeting any judge, it will be considered as misconduct.

The new code of conduct also states that “a judge must exercise caution in his or her private social life.” That’s why he has to avoid all social media apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Judges have been completely barred from putting blue lights on their personal or government vehicles while no judge in Punjab will be able to put a green number plate on his personal vehicle.

Under the new order, all judges have been asked to withdraw not only from non-government WhatsApp groups but also from any other type of application, while the use of mobile phones in the judges’ room has also been banned. Judges will only be able to use mobile phones during court breaks. Sending any official document electronically is also prohibited.

Similarly, punctuality has been made mandatory for every judge.

The new order states that “not only will disciplinary action be taken against judges who do not comply with these orders, but their misconduct will also be recorded in their personal file.”

According to Rana Asadullah, former secretary-general of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, the issuance of new rules by the High Court on the strictest code of conduct of its kind is a very good move.

“This is not the first time this code of conduct has been applied to judges. There are already very strict guidelines for social relations, but now that the age of social media has changed and the nature of social relations has changed, I think this new code brings digital sociology within the same rules.”

Rana Asadullah praised the High Court’s move, saying “it was important to adapt the Code of Conduct to the requirements of the new age.”

“The position of a judge is a very responsible one. If a judge stays in social contact, it will be a big obstacle in meeting the demands of his justice. Judges are not allowed to attend weddings like this if they look at the old code of conduct.”

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