SC bars public office holders from using their photographs on govt documents

Thursday, Nov 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has barred public office holders, including politicians, from affixing their photographs on the government documents, terming it a violation of their oath.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa authored a five-page judgment while questioning affixing the photograph of then chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on the certificates of properties situated in a Rawalpindi katchi abadi.

According to the order, affixing one’s own photograph on a government document projects personal interest, therefore, this is not permissible as it would violate one’s oath of office. It is also not permissible to manoeuvre or honour oneself through one’s subordinates, political associates or in a manner that may call for reciprocal favours.

Paid servants of the state’s constitutional office holders and politicians in government must not use their positions for personal partisan or pecuniary gain. If someone names a public government place or property after themselves or affixes their own name or image on a public government document, it is self glorification and if this is done by others, it would constitute obedience, flattery, nepotism and/or corruption, added the order.

A division bench of the apex court comprising Justice Isa and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah further noted that the apparent reason to portray the image of the chief minister, who is a politician, could only be to present him to the recipients of certificates as their benefactor and thus cultivate in them a feeling of being beholden to him.