Puducherry Lieutenant Governer Kiran Bedi on Thursday cancelled Chief Minister V Narayanswamy’s order to ban the use of social media for official work. Earlier on January 3, Chief Minister V Narayanswamy had banned te use of social networking sites for official purposes which was in complete contrast to Kiran Bedi’s push to use social media to check if the government schemes were properly implemented. The former IPS officer has recently created a WhatsApp group, according to IE for the exchange of information. The purpose of the group is also to make sure that various schemes of the government were being properly implemented by the government officials. A Special Duty Officer in the Raj Nivas is reported to be the administrator of the group.
Earlier the Puducherry government had issued a circular directing all the government officers and heads of departments to immediately stop using social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. According to the circular, the servers of these companies were based outside the country and hence any foreign country could get access to these official communications and uploaded documents. The circular stated that this was clearly in violation of Official Secrets Act (OSA), and against the Union Information and Technology Ministry guidelines. The circular had further stated the Chief Minister’s instructions of no groups being formed for official communication.
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The CM had also instructed that no officers should be part of any such official groups on social media. The circular stated that no employee should bypass the administrative hierarchy and interact with seniors. The circular had warned of disciplinary action and penal action against those who violated the rules. Earlier Kiran Bedi had suspended a Registrar of Cooperative Societies A S Sivakumar on December 31 after he had allegedly sent an “obscene video clip” in the WhatsApp group that the former was a part of. A case under Information Technology Act had been registered against the PCS officer on a complaint from the OSD.