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Govt employees can attend pol. progs, post comments on social media, says HC (1/10/2020) 
In a landmark judgment, Tripura High Courtís chief justice, A.A. Qureshi has ruled that government employees can attend political programmes including meetings and update their posts in social media without incurring any punitive measure under Rule 5 of service conduct rules. In his order, justice Qureshi said that attendance of government employees in political programmes or meetings or posting of comments on social media can not be looked upon as controlled by Rule 5 of service conduct rules. He also dismissed the ongoing inquiry into the social media posts and attendance in a meeting by a retired employee ó Lipika Paul and ordered the state government to withdraw all allegations against her and clear her retirement dues within two months.A writ petition in the high court had been filed in the high court by Lipika Paul of fisheries department following his dismissal from service four days ahead of formal retirement on April 25, 2018. She was alleged against attending a political programme on 31st December 2017 in Swami Vibekananda ground and posting comments on social media. Senior advocate Purushottam Roy Barman had filed her writ petition against the dismissal order, by invoking various legal provisions. Advocate Roy Barman evince that attending a political programme or posting comments in social media is a fundamental right of any employee and for such reasons one cannot be proceeded against. Roy Barman also said that the state government is now on a witch hunt which should be allowed. Chief justice A.A.Qureshi accepted the argument and nullified the contention made by government advocate Debalay Bhattacharjee that Lipika Paul had violated service conduct rule. Chief Justice A.A. Qureshi finally ruled that attending meetings and posting comments in social media do not constitute any violation of social media and while passing that all retirement dues of petitioner Lipika Paul be released within two months.

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