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Mastering Case 2: Upright officer faced with irregularities in land transactions
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Do you know what should be the action of an upright officer when faced with high level political corruption in his department?. Check out here

Athul Vijayakumar
Appeared for Mains exam in 2013,2014,2015&2016. Teaching Polity, Ethics, current affairs, Governance and Environment for past 2 years

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  1. MASTERING ETHICS CASE STUDIES


  2. ABOUT ME Athul Vijayakumar Btech in Marine engineering (CUSAT) Written mains 2013,14,15 &16 Topped Philosophy optional Consistently scored above 125 for GS 1 prelims " GS faculty - Ethics, Polity, current affairs, governance and social justice Other course in UNACADEMY- PRELIMS ROUND UP- Daily current affairs initiative please RATE, REVIEW AND SHARE


  3. QUESTION Abhinav Mishra an upright officer with a promising track record is the Director of State Land Revenue Department. He is spearheading an e governance initiative for land records modernization, which also is his dream project. While scrutinizing old records of his department, he tound serious irregularities in some land transactions. Upon enquiry he found the involvement of high-profile political family with this particular case. He ordered for due legal action. His superiors asked him to leave the matter. His political boss also asked him to overlook the matter or face the consequences if he pursued the matter further. Only seven years into service, the officer has been already transferred 13 times. The prospect of a new transfer will upset the officer's personal life. This includes his children's education and wife's profession. The wife who was supportive for all his previous professional stances, requested him to be "practical at least once" as a transfer at this point would upset their personal life. Abhinav is in a serious dilemma. What are the options available for him?


  4. STRUCTURE . Crux of the issue . Who are the stakeholders? . What are the ethical dilemmas? Intro Options available - pros and cons Body Best option and reason for choosing it Conclusion


  5. ANALYSING FRAMEWORK Relation with ministers Family and friends Superiors and juniors Public servant &profession al ethics Public & stakehold ers Media Legal system & Judiciary


  6. INTRODUCTION . Crux of the case - difficulties faced by an upright officer in doing the right thing, while working with the system Stakeholders: Abihnav, the Director of State Land Revenue Department The political family who's involvement is evident in the case - Abhinav's superiors Abhinav's political boss Abhinav's family - wife and children


  7. INTRODUCTION Ethical dilemma: Objective decision making and action vs. Obeying orders from superiors Upholding public interest vs. Protecting personal career prospects Maintaining professional ethics and personal integrity at the expense of personal life


  8. BODY Option 1: Do not pursue with the case - Pros: . He can earn the trust of his superiors and ministers due to him following their orders, resulting in smoother workplace conduct There wouldn't be an embarrassment to his department being in the limelight His political boss wouldn't punish him His family would be better off: interests of children and wife are taken care of - Cons: He would have compromised public interest and professional integrity Dereliction of duty- compromising his duty as a public servant His future decisions would be affected possibility of being blackmailed by superiors and becoming a "yes man" Displays poor ethical leadership -lose the confidence and trust placed by his juniors on him Not upholding Rule of law- the high profile political family may escape the law, if they had committed a crime


  9. BODY Option 2: Pursue with the case - Pros: Setting a good precedent by following due process - the mighty cannot escape the law Valuing of public interest above all other interests Maintaining his professional integrity and being upright in all circumstances Can help deliver justice if the involved high-profile political family is prosecuteo - Cons: The political boss may transfer him to another department he wouldn't be able to complete his dream project Interpersonal relationships affected-Superiors may not be happy at his decision, as they had told him not to pursue the case Well being and interest of family compromised-His family would be upset with the decision as he could face transfers


  10. Option 3: To go public by reporting the instance to the media - Pros: The public pressure created through media can help in ensuring that the case would be enquired into - Cons: Breach of confidentiality between Abhinav and his superiors / political boss this could affect his future career prospects Violation of bureaucratic principle of anonymity


  11. CONCLUSION Option 4 would be the best option As a civil servant, Abhinav is expected to be objective, and should maintain his integrity and honesty. In case of conflict between his personal and professional ethics, he should give priority to his professional commitments. Also, he should not bow down to political pressures which would be frequent at most of his postings