The Uttar Pradesh government has once again warned its officers against any violation of protocol accorded to public representatives, instructing them to invite MPs, MLAs, and MLCs to official events. The officials have been directed to include the names of public representatives in government advertisements as well and failure to do so will be considered serious misconduct.

For Representation Only (HT File Photo)

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“If officers are found to be negligent in implementing these directives in the future, it will be treated as serious misconduct and appropriate action will be taken against them,” said an order issued by Anand Prakash Singh, joint secretary, rural engineering service department.

The state government’s order dated June 13, 2024, has noted that the officers posted at the state headquarter and in the districts were not seriously following the directives to invite public representatives to government programmes and mentioning their names in respective advertisements and the plaques. “This is leading to an adverse situation in the department,” read the government order.

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The state government’s order has referred to the directives of parliamentary protocol implementation section and said the directives in this regard should be appropriately followed. Officials have been specifically instructed to take calls from MPs, MLAs, and MLCs, and if occupied in meetings, they should return the calls promptly afterwards.

Uttar Pradesh BJP vice president and MLC Vijay Pathak, who has worked as the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council’s privilege committee, said there had been complaints that the officers were not following the protocol due to the public representatives. He said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also issued directives in this regard several times. “Violation of protocol amounted to breach of privilege and the state government’s directives should always be followed,” he added.

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This is not the first instance where the state government has issued directives to officials, instructing them to show due courtesy to public representatives. It may be noted that the state government has issued multiple orders and reminders to government officers and employees to show courtesy and follow protocol. Orders were issued in this regard on January 5, 2024, November 11, 2021, May 11, 2022, June 14, 2022, and February 3, 2023.

Additionally, the state legislative assembly took serious action in response to this issue. On March 3, 2023, a retired IAS officer and five policemen were sentenced to one day’s imprisonment for breach of privilege. This action followed a notice given nearly two decades ago by former BJP MLA Salil Vishnoi.