It was completely "unacceptable", tantamount to "gross misconduct" and make court staff liable to "disciplinary action" for leaving work stations without prior permission from the judge, shirking work under false medical pretexts and deliberately keeping mobile phone switched off in the days of suspension of work due to COVID-19 pandemic, said District and Sessions Judge of Karkardooma District Courts complex here.
In a circular issued on June 15, District Judge (north east) Sudhir Kumar Jain said that complaints are being received from some judicial officers that during the days of suspension of work due to COVID-19 lockdown, some of the staff officials, in violation of earlier issued order, were leaving stations without prior permission.
"It has also been reported by some Judicial Officers and Branch Incharges that some of the staff officials are shirking work under false medical pretexts and that some of the staff officials deliberately keep their mobile phone switched off or on flight mode, in order to make themselves inaccessible even at time of urgent official requirement.
"Such conduct is completely unacceptable, as it tantamount to gross misconduct and in subordination, making the erring official liable to disciplinary action," said the circular.
The district judge reiterated the previous guidelines passed for functioning of courts during lockdown. He ordered that during the days of suspension of work due to COVID-19 lockdown also, all staff officers and officials, like all judicial officers, should be on duty and ensure that they are available on call.
"It is again ordered that during these days of suspension of work due to COVID-19 lockdown no officials/ officers shall leave without prior written permission from the judicial officers of the court or the other officer Incharge of the branch where the applicant officer/officials are posted," the circular said.
The judge further ordered all officials to download and install the Aarogya Setu Application in their mobile phone and keep it in running condition always.
It is again directed that in case any official or any member of his/her immediate family tested positive for COVID-19, he/she shall immediately inform in writing to Nodal Officer Dashrath Kumar, the circular said.
It further stated that in case any official was advised by some doctor or himself considered necessary to go on quarantine for the reason that he/she tested positive for COVID-19 or came in direct contact with someone who was found to be COVID-19 positive, the concerned officer should seek prior quarantine permission from District Judge Sudhir Kumar Jain by submitting through WhatsApp a written request along with soft copies of the necessary supporting documents.
"Violation of these directions shall entail serious consequences," the circular said and added that the order applied to all judicial officers, administrative officers and staff officials posted in Karkardooma Court (north east district) complex.
All the six district courts in the national capital have been working in a restricted manner and mostly through video conferencing due to the lockdown.