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Day 71- Ques Ans

Is it always difficult to reconcile ethics and law? Examine by giving suitable examples.

Ethics are common guidelines which society evolves to govern individual conduct. It may or may not have legal backing but important for society. Laws are codified by an institutional system based on certain principles which are important to maintain law and order in society. Major different between ethics and law is ethics are self governed while laws are imposed.

Ethics and law may seen sometime contradictory like few cases like

  • Surrogacy for needy couple seen ethical but it may not be legal as per country law.
  • Right of privacy may be ethical and legal but at time it sidelined as per legal need.
  • Breaking traffic rule to help someone may be ethical but not legal.
  • Tribal use the forest as per their ethics but may not be legal under state laws.

In most cases ethical practices and law are parallel to each other because every country form law based on certain values and belief system which are primarily reason for ethics also. So it is wrong to say that ethics and law will always contradict as

  • It is ethical to help ensure child education and same under RTE act.
  • Forest and nature conservation is ethical duty and same supported by environmental act also.
  • Euthanasia largely is not a legal practice so out law also does not accept it.

Ethical practice may be universal in nature but laws designed as per need of state and this is the root cause for contradiction sometime between two. But it is a exceptional rather normal condition.

Lack of high pay packages and perks is often given as a justification for illegal gratification. Is it against the very concept of public service? Examine. How do you convince a constable to remain honest in a salary that might be grossly inadequate to fulfill even his basic needs?

Corruption and wrong practices in civil service largely justified on the basis of poor salary and service conditions. But it cannot be use as justification for illegal gratification because

  • Individual choose a job by his choice and not by force so need to follow its principles, if feels any challenge can leave it for better opportunities.
  • Package and perks are one aspect of public service which largely compensated by other means like respect, fame, and authority to bring change in society.
  • Human greed will never satisfy so justifying it by any name will not serve the purpose.

To motivate a police constable I will discuss on following points-

  • The Present job may be right with his education qualification and ability; if he feels he is more qualified than will motivate him for higher post in the police department.
  • Will make him realize the importance of his job and what change he can make by his honestly in service.
  • Examples of other honest officials who started like him and did wonderful in their life in terms of social respect.
  • I will try to understand his expenditure and if will find any income drainage than will guide him on financial saving and investment.

Although money importance cannot be deny for materialistic life but making money as purpose of life cannot be justified in civil services by any mean. The prime reason for civil service is public service and rest all follows it.

An officer takes money from rich industrialists and distributes it among destitute and orphans. Is his act unethical? Critically examine.

Indian civil service is bound to follow the constitutional values, and civil service code of conduct. None of these allows such conduct where officials can take money from rich and distributing to poor. This is part of government system and for that constitutional mechanism has been set in form of taxation system. Officer act is unethical because

  • It is not as per constitutional values
  • By doing this, Officer is violating law so he is not qualified for the role.
  • This act proves that officer has emotions but not emotional intelligence.
  • Ethics do not justify and it may seen as passive corruption
  • Also it proves that officer is lacking creativity and innovation to involve poor people in livelihood activities.

Officer act can be justified on only one ground that his intentions are pure to help the neediest section of society. Rather doing it directly officer can follow alternate path

  • Ask Rich industrialist money in the form of CSR and use it for livelihood promotion and skill development.
  • Orphans and children can push for education and quality life.
  • Money under CSR can be used to build the old age home where old and different able people can live with dignity.

Such steps will have long run effect and same time officer act will be also as per law. Civil servant has lot of responsibility so that he need to fulfill while always follow the constitutional values,


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