Public employees should not use their mobile phones for personal purposes during office hours: Madras High Court ordered Gov. to frame regulations

In a recent judgment, the Madras High Court ordered the gov to frame regulations for public servants so they do not engage in mobile phones for personal use during office hours. The matter was between D.S. Radhika v. The State Represented By Secretary to Government & Ors. [W.P.(MD) No.2476 of 2022 and W.M.P.(MD) No.2177 of 2022] and was presided over by Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. M. Subramaniam. 


The petitioner was working as Superintendent in the Regional Workshop (Health), Tiruchirapalli and placed under suspension on the ground that even after continuously being warned not to shoot videos of officers and co-employees by the Workshop Superintendent she kept on shooting videos. Her phone was further taken and handed over to the watchman after which she resorted to violence. A writ of certiorari was thereby filed under Article 226 of the Constitution to quash the suspension order passed by the Director, Tamil Nadu State Health Transport Department. 


The Hon’ble Court was of the view that it was increasingly commonplace for public employees to use their cell phones while on the job. Using a mobile device while recording video within the workplace is a serious violation. It should never be permitted for employees of government departments to use their mobile phones for personal purposes while at work.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam noted that the charges against the petitioner must be immediately probed by adhering to the proper procedure while also denying the petitioner’s request to have the suspension order quashed. The court expressed its opinion that utilising mobile cameras inside of an office disrupts work and bothers other authorities as it considered the plea. The matter at hand was described by the single bench as “a textbook instance” of indiscipline brought on by inappropriate cell phone use during working hours.

Finally, the Court noted that the government must establish rules and require that officials leave their mobile phones in a shared cloakroom when they enter the workplace. The court also said that officials and other public workers might also phone the official numbers posted in their workplaces in case of an emergency.

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