HC seeks centre’s response on usage of social media by ministries

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday sought an affidavit from the central government on a plea by former BJP leader K.N. Govindacharya objecting to the government officially allowing opening of Twitter and Facebook accounts by PMO and other central government ministries in violation of the law.

A division bench of justices B.D. Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva granted three-week’s time to the central government and asked it to file a response “positively” on the issue and posted the matter for March 13.
Advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for Govindacharya, raised the objection on the use of Facebook and Twitter for the official purpose by several ministries through private e-mail accounts, saying it violates the Public Records Act as per which “no person shall take or cause to be taken out of India any public records without the prior approval of the central government”.
The petitioner argued that servers of these social networking sites are outside India so the nation’s official data is transferred to other countries.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the centre, said the government had called a meeting of social media companies Jan 23 and issue being examined and sought more time to file response.
The court Sep 11 asked the central government to file response on the issue which it failed.
Gupta told the court that “19 ministries are officially on Twitter, five ministries opened their Facebook accounts from private e-mail ids. The prime minister is on Twitter and Facebook. Most of the ministers have their Twitter accounts.”