Don’t offer gifts, receive visiting HC judges: CJ to judicial officers

TNN Bureau. Updated: 6/23/2022 1:02:54 AM Front Page

SRINAGAR: In a significant development, the High Court (HC) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Wednesday has restricted judicial officers of the subordinate courts from receiving, seeing off, arranging trips, hotels, food or offering gifts to visiting Chief Justice/High Court Judges.
The High Court (HC) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh o set the model code of conduct in connection with the visits of Judicial Officers to the Chief Justice and Judges of High Courts.
The model code of conduct has been approved as set by the Chief Justice of India for Judicial Officers. Chief Justice High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Pankaj Mithal has issued a circular in this regard.
“In connection with the visits of Chief Justices and the Judges of the High Court on the basis of the Model Code of Conduct as approved by the Chief Justice of India, the following guidelines were laid down for the Subordinate Judicial Officers of the judiciary of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh vide Circular No. I dated 30.05.2010”, the circular reads.
As per the circular, no Judicial Officer shall receive, see-off' or visit, the visiting the Chief Justice/Judge during Court hours. A senior non Judicial Administrative Officer will receive and see-off the Chief Justice/Judge during official visits and provide protocol services to them as per norms.
If the visiting Chief Justice/ Judge want to hold a meeting or address the Judicial Officers, it will be done either before or after Court hours. If the visiting Chief Justice/Judge want to call Judicial Officer for official purposes, he will be called either before or after the Court hours.
No Judicial Officer will visit, the visiting the Chief Justice/ Judge unless called official purposes. No arrangements for private visit of the Chief Justice/Judges shall be made by any Judicial Officer.
If arrangements in connection with an official visit of the Chief Justice/ Judges is required (or be made by the District Judge or the Chief Judicial Magistrate, all the bills shall be raised in the of and the payment shall be made directly by the High Court to the extent permitted and no personal funds will be used by any Judicial Officer for this purpose.
No Judicial Officer shall arrange any private trip, including any excursion trip or visit to a religious place for the visiting Chief Justice/ Judges. No Judicial officer or Court Servant will arrange hotel, food, or transport for the visiting Chief Justice/ Judge, their staff members, and security personnel.
No Judicial or Court Servant will offer or provide any gift or hospitality to the Chief Justice/Judges.
“No function will be organized by the Judicial Officer(s) during the visit of Chief Justice/Judges except official functions organized on the written direction and at the cost of the Government. Any violation of these instructions will be considered as gross misconduct rendering the concerned judicial officer to strict disciplinary action”, the circular reads.
In addition to the above it is further provided that in the event of visit by any Chief Justice and the Judge of the High Court no Judicial shall be assigned duty as Liaison Officer and that only a senior non-judicial Administrative Officer will perform the services of a protocol officer unless such an officer is not available in which case preferably Mobile Magistrate/Traffic Magistrate or Leave Reserve Officers, if any, will be assigned duties as Liaison Officers.
No Judicial Officer or the District Judge shall receive or see off the Chief Justice or other Judges of the Court during court hours at the road-side of the Highways or at any other places.

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