‘Babus can’t use e-mail of external service provider’

Government employees will be given e-mail accounts for ‘mandatory’ use in official communications and use of internet services of ‘external service providers’ will be prohibited, the Centre has told the Delhi High Court.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology, which has repeatedly been rapped by the high court for not coming out with the e-mail policy for government officials, has filed an affidavit saying the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) has met recently and undertaken a wider consultation process among stake-holders in the country.

‘The E-mail Policy of the Government of India lays down the guidelines with respect to use of email services. As per the proposed policies, e-mail accounts will be given to all the employees of the government and it will be mandatory for them to use this e-mail account for all official communications’, the affidavit said.

‘The use of e-mail accounts of external service providers will be prohibited for official communication. The objective of this policy is to ensure secure access and usage of data by the Government employees,’ the affidavit said.

A bench, headed by acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed, is likely to consider the reply of the IT department tomorrow when it will hear the PIL of former BJP leader KN Govindacharya seeking directions on a host of issues relating to websites. The affidavit also said the consultation process undertaken by the CoS included ‘policy issues, ways and means of implementation of policies, enhancement of infrastructure and other related issues.’
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