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Stop use of national emblem on letterheads, HC tells its admin staff Justice Raina Acts After Seeing A Letter

April 16, 2019 07:05 AM

COURTESY TOI APRIL 16

Stop use of national emblem on letterheads, HC tells its admin staff
Justice Raina Acts After Seeing A Letter
Ajay.Sura@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

Senior employees of the Punjab and Haryana high court would not be able to use the national emblem on their letterheads for official communication. Formal instructions in this regard have been conveyed to the high court employees by the high court administration.


After the order, joint registrars serving in the high court would be able to use only the high court’s insignia on their letterheads. These officials are normally promoted to this rank after serving for several years on lower posts of the high court establishment.

As of now, officials serving in the high court of the rank of joint registrar used the national emblem, which normally very highranking bureaucrats or judicial officers or judges can use in official communication.

Taking serious note of the issue, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina has directed the registrar-general of the high court to inform the court in writing, the factual basis of equating joint registrars and registrars (office line) working for court administration with joint secretaries and secretaries to the government and the purpose for doing this. Justice Raina has also asked the court administration to respond on conducting a workshop for sensitizing officers of the high court on senior positions on handling important administrative matters after consulting seniors as per protocol where exchange of correspondence by both official and demi-official (DO) letters, on proper letterheads, is imperative within the offices of the HC and while dealing with other departments/agencies.

“Such correspondence must normally be routed through the chief spokesperson, who is the registrar general or as directed by him and/or as desired by the Chief Justice of the high court,” HC has observed in its order released on Friday. The matter would now come up for hearing on May 20.

The high court passed the order on suggestion of senior advocate Puneet Bali, who was appearing before the HC on behalf of a joint registrar-rank officer of the court.

The practice of using national emblem by HC employees and writing demi-official letters by the joint registrar of the rank of high court staff, surfaced before the bench of Justice Rajiv Narain Raina in February during a hearing on a petition filed by a retired court employee, Ashok Kumar Arora seeking retiral benefits. During the routine hearing of the case, Justice Raina noticed a demi-official letter written by one Dinesh Kumar Gupta, an official working as joint registrar in the high court, addressed to a senior IAS officer of Punjab posted as secretary, home affairs, justice & jails. The letter was written by Gupta as joint registrar (administration) on a letterhead bearing national emblem.

Expressing surprise over the use of emblem by a court official, Justice Raina, in February 26 order asked the HC administration to inform “whether the joint registrar (administration) is empowered and authorized by rule or regulation to correspond directly with the secretary, home affairs justice and jails, Punjab by a demi-official letter on official letterhead with national emblem, seeking clarification from the Punjab government or does such correspondence have to be routed through the registrargeneral or some other registrar/officer.

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