The J&K Government recently passed an order curbing the use of social media by its employees. This order was accompanied with an elaborate “Social Media Policy” which the employees are required to abide by while posting anything on social media. For our inquiry, this raised the larger question of a government employee’s legitimate exercise of his free speech rights, and the government’s right to impose conditions restricting this right. Two broad questions were addressed: a) Is the right to free speech compatible with public services? (Meaning, whether there is an extinguishment of any right upon one’s entry into public services). b) Many scholars have differentiated between the government’s role as the employer in imposing conditions of employment and its role as the state having a duty to uphold fundamental freedoms. The question here would become, whether the ‘government as the employer’ can impose such conditions so as to directly affect the duty of the ‘government as the state’ to protect fundamental rights? To answer these, an analysis of foreign courts’ decisions particularly from USA, EU and South Africa was done.
Research Project on Enforcing Fundamental Rights against Citizens: