Public office holders barred from using photographs on govt documents

Pakistan neither monarchy, principality nor fiefdom where people were subject to rulers, court

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Supreme Court has declared the affixation of photographs of public office holders on public and government documents as a violation of their oath. Public officeholders including politicians have been barred from using their photographs.

While contesting the affixing of the portrait of former chief minister Chaudhary Pervez Elahi on the certificates of properties located in a katchi abadi of Rawalpindi, Justice Qazi Faiz Isa penned a five-page ruling.

According to the decision affixing one’s own photograph on a public/government document reflected personal interest which was not permitted because it violated the oath. It is also forbidden to manoeuvre or honour oneself through subordinates, political acquaintances or in a way that might imply reciprocal favours.

“State employees, constitutional office holders and politicians must not utilize their positions for personal, political or financial benefit. It is self-glorification if someone names a public/government place or property after themselves or affixes their own name or picture to a public/government document and if this is done by others it is obedience, flattery, nepotism and/or corruption,” the order stated.

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Isa and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah further added that the obvious reason for portraying the image of the chief minister could only be to present him to the recipients of the certificates as their benefactor. In addition the court stated that Pakistan was neither a monarchy, principality nor fiefdom in which the people were subject to their rulers.


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