The Delhi High Court was on Friday informed by the central government that it has issued an advisory on national e-mail policy for official communications of government employees, with an objective of ensuring "secure access and usage of data" by them.
A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul was informed by the central government that the e-mail policy was notified on February 18.
The department of electronics and information technology and ministry of communication and information technology said the use of e-mail accounts of external service providers will be "prohibited for official communication" by government employees.
"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," said the government counsel.
Earlier,the court had asked the central government to bring in an e-mail policy for government officials in consonance with the Public Records Act in order to bar transfer of data to a server outside the country.
The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K.N. Govindacharya, said that the use of e-mail accounts whose servers were outside India and transfer of nation's official data using this medium violated the Public Records Act.
Advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for Govindacharya, alleged that officials were using social networking sites and other e-mail accounts with service providers, whose servers were outside India, for official communications instead of the government server of the National Informatics Centre (nic.in).