Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra and Central Government counsel Sumeet Pushkarna on Wednesday submitted an affidavit in the Delhi High Court providing information about the same.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul took into note the submissions of Additional Solicitor General and asked the Centre to issue advisory prohibiting government employees, who already have official e-mail account, from using external services.

The Additional Solicitor General told the court that 4.5 lakh government employees have already been allotted official email accounts, that have their servers in India, and they have started using them.

Mehra further told the court that setting up of such e-mail accounts would require some time and infrastructure.

Taking note of the submissions, the court asked the government to give final shape to the national e-mail policy for official communication of government employees and enforce it within a month.

The court has also asked the Centre to ensure that the server pertaining to the official e-mail account should be housed in India itself.

Earlier, the bench 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 KN Govindacharya, said the use of e-mail accounts whose servers were outside India and transfer of the nation's official data using this medium violated the Public Records Act.

The court will hear the case on April 30.

JPN/Bureau

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