Government Servants’ Presence in Political Rallies No Service Rule Violation: Tripura HC

Government Servants’ Presence in Political Rallies No Service Rule Violation: Tripura HC

government government

Agartala, January 10, 2019: 

In a significant judgment, the High Court of Tripura has ruled that the presence of government officials in any political public meeting as audience could not be branded as active political participation.

The Court, on Thursday, also observed that the government could not take action acting upon someone’s social media post as political activity.

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Hearing the petition of one Lipika Pal, an employee of Fisheries department of the state government, Chief Justice of Tripura High Court AA Qureshi directed the state to give her all the job benefits she deserved to get within a stipulated tenure of two months.

Reportedly, Paul was terminated from her job, four days before her retirement, on charges of remaining present in a political rally held at Agartala on December 31 last, 2017 and for taking side of a particular political party in her social media accounts. The government also ordered a departmental inquiry upon her followed by her termination on April 25, 2018.

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In the arguments advanced by her counsel, advocate Purushuttam Roy Barman said, “Any state government employee has the right to be present in any political programme as an audience and it does not indicate any evil intention or conspiracy against the government”. The state government’s move of terminating Lipika could be seen as an arbitrary action from the part of government, he said in the Court and urged the Court to repeal the orders of departmental inquiry.

On the other hand, the government counsel tried to convince the court not to entertain the arguments advanced by the litigant.

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Hearing both the sides, Chief Justice Qureshi, referring to Tripura Service Conduct rules 5 in his orders, said, presence in political rallies cannot be influenced by the services rules. Like other citizens, a government employee also has the right to listen to the speeches being delivered in the political rallies. And, a government employee also has the right to express his views in social platforms.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Jan 11, 2020