Published On : Thu, Jan 5th, 2017

Kiran Bedi cancels Puducherry govt circular on social media use

New Delhi:
In an escalation of the already tense ties between the Raj Niwas and the Congress-led government in Puducherry, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has cancelled an order issued the other day at the behest of Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, prohibiting the use of social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter for official communications, reports.

Though the Government circular had cited security concerns in exchanging official communication over these platforms given that the servers of these applications were located outside the country the move was quickly interpreted as a counter to Bedi suspending a Pondicherry Civil Service cadre officer for posting a lewd video on a WhatsApp group initiated by the her for passing on instructions to officials.

However, the suspension was stayed on Wednesday by the Election Commission of India as the official concerned had been appointed as Electoral Registration Officer for the ongoing electoral roll revision. The ECI had categorically stated that the official, in his capacity as electoral officer, is subject to “control, superintendence and discipline of the Commission under section 13 cc of the Representation of People Act, 1950”, and the LG should have taken the Commission into confidence and consulted the matter before placing the official under suspension.

On Thursday though, the Lt. Governor cancelled the government circular on the use of social media for official work, and further in what is seen as an act of defiance, reproduced the order on her personal Twitter handle.

The terse order declared as null and void with immediate effect the Government circular dated January 2, 2017 with subject Public Services-Use of Social Media-Instruction Issued .

If Puducherry has to be a progressive UT it cannot be retrograde in communications. Hence @CM_Puducherry’s order stands cancelled, Ms. Bedi tweeted.

Her order said the circular of the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms of the Puducherry government was cancelled as it has been issued in contravention of guidelines, rules, and policies etc. in force.