UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (13-10-2022)

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Case Study 1
You are a District Magistrate and had to struggle financially to qualify the services. You also have some debt due to agricultural background and lack of resources. You are married and have a daughter but your husband was recently treated after an accident in a government hospital.

Few months after treatment, your husband developed complications and had spinal issues making him bed ridden. Second opinion suggests that treatment in government hospitals was problematic which resulted in post surgical complications.

On top of that, your only daughter is now diagnosed with blood cancer and your husband wants only private hospital treatment because of past horror. But due to high costs and past debts, it is impossible to get treated in a private hospital.

The private hospital which diagnosed cancer contacts you and wants a quid pro quo. They offer free service but want a favor. Under Eklavya Model residential school scheme, the government plans a school in your district and the land earmarked partially includes some unused land of the hospital.

The demands of hospital are don’t give a no-objection certificate (NOC) to construct a school and after few months, sell the earmarked land to the hospital at throwaway prices

a. What will be your decision considering the competing values involved?

b. What are the reasons which push civil servants in these circumstances? (20 marks)

Case Study 2

Mr Ashok is a judge of the High Court, is about to retire and is hearing a corruption case involving the Chief Minister of a State. The CM was earlier convicted by the trial court but then appealed to the High Court.
Mr Ashok is inclined to the religious ideology of the accused CM and also believes that the CM has developed his State on socio economic parameters. Elections are due in a couple of months and upholding conviction by trial court will only dim the chances of the CM's party.
Me Ashok has already made up his mind to acquit the CM which will ensure his victory in elections. Accordingly, he revoked the trial court order and acquitted the CM. While passing the verdict, Mr Ashok thought that upholding conviction might have affected people’s welfare and minor violations of law are allowed for their welfare. Also, ethical laws can be violated at times for ethical conscience.
Is the decision of Mr Ashok ethically right? Elaborately explain by analyzing its merits and demerits.         (20 marks)


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Model Solutions

Case Study 1
You are a District Magistrate and had to struggle financially to qualify the services. You also have some debt due to agricultural background and lack of resources. You are married and have a daughter but your husband was recently treated after an accident in a government hospital.
Few months after treatment, your husband developed complications and had spinal issues making him bed ridden. Second opinion suggests that treatment in government hospitals was problematic which resulted in post surgical complications.
On top of that, your only daughter is now diagnosed with blood cancer and your husband wants only private hospital treatment because of past horror. But due to high costs and past debts, it is impossible to get treated in a private hospital.
The private hospital which diagnosed cancer contacts you and wants a quid pro quo. They offer free service but want a favor. Under Eklavya Model residential school scheme, the government plans a school in your district and the land earmarked partially includes some unused land of the hospital.
The demands of hospital are don’t give a no-objection certificate (NOC) to construct a school and after few months, sell the earmarked land to the hospital at throwaway prices
a. What will be your decision considering the competing values involved?
b. What are the reasons which push civil servants in these circumstances? (20 marks)

Model Structure

Introduction

  • Rules and laws related to civil services like All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 prohibits civil servants from any financial obligation. But when the situation as mentioned above arises, it puts them in a conflict of interest situation.

Main body

A)

  • This case involves the ethical dilemma of whether to perform the role of responsible mother or honest IAS officer. Options available include-
    • Accepting the hospital’s offer which will help save my son. This will compromise values like integrity, honesty and probity.
    • Partially accepting hospital’s offer but ensuring they purchase land at reasonable prices.
    • Request the hospital to treat my son and give some time for payment without asking for any favour in return.
    • Convince husband for opting government hospital treatment.
  • I will go for the last option which will uphold the interests of all stakeholders. Husband will be convinced by telling him that-
    • Compromising my integrity will violate Conduct Rules and can have long term repercussions. Also, one bad experience must not negate government hospital treatment in perpetuity. And bowing before private hospital by selling land at throwaway prices for personal gain is violation of public trust and transparency.

B)

  • Civil services is a service of vocation and they are expected to put public interest above private interest. But at times, the officers are in a situation of dilemma due to reasons like-
    • less income when compared to similar skills and work in the private sector and insufficient income has potential to misuse of power.
    • No incentives like rewarding honest officers and at times they have to face isolation in their own organization by subordinates and superiors alike.
    • Quality and trust issues when it comes to government services whether education or health.
    • Honest bureaucrats are often prone to death threats or victimization by frequent transfers.
    • Lack of value education and fragile ethics pushes even the honest officers into this vicious cycle.
    • Nexus between politicians and bureaucrats which has its roots in criminalization of politics.

Conclusion

  • Mission karmayogi is a program rolled out for overall development of officers whether skill wise or values and ethics wise. Option of amending socio-economic questionnaire in the Detailed Application Form can be explored to verify details and ensure that background of officers is not such that could cause potential conflicts.

Case Study 2
Mr Ashok is a judge of the High Court, is about to retire and is hearing a corruption case involving the Chief Minister of a State. The CM was earlier convicted by the trial court but then appealed to the High Court.
Mr Ashok is inclined to the religious ideology of the accused CM and also believes that the CM has developed his State on socio economic parameters. Elections are due in a couple of months and upholding conviction by trial court will only dim the chances of the CM's party.
Me Ashok has already made up his mind to acquit the CM which will ensure his victory in elections. Accordingly, he revoked the trial court order and acquitted the CM. While passing the verdict, Mr Ashok thought that upholding conviction might have affected people’s welfare and minor violations of law are allowed for their welfare. Also, ethical laws can be violated at times for ethical conscience.
Is the decision of Mr Ashok ethically right? Elaborately explain by analyzing its merits and demerits. (20 marks)

Model Structure

Introduction

  • The responsibility of any judge is to adjudicate law in an impartial and objective manner and guarantee justice without fear or favour. Humans live a civilized life which is based on laws and if judges show partiality and subjectivity, there will be chaos in justice delivery.

Main Body

  • Merits-
    • Values like compassion and empathy towards weaker sections will be upheld. This is in line with the utilitarian perspective which calls for greater good for a greater number of people.
    • There will be personal satisfaction that power is used for public welfare, especially in a developing country like India.
    • He heeded his conscience thus eliminating any cognitive dissonance.
  • Demerits-
    • Though compassion is shown but it is poorly managed which will have long term ramifications. This is against the categorical imperative theory of Immanuel Kant.
    • Objectivity and impartiality are indispensable values of a judge and must be upheld in even worst case scenarios.
    • Sets a bad precedent for other judges and affects public trust in the judiciary.
    • There will be no level playing field in politics as one party is favoured. Thus the idea of democracy and free will while voting is violated.
    • The assumption that the CM will ensure welfare when re-elected is subjective and unsubstantiated.

Corruption in any form is unsustainable as it unjustly leads to misuse of public money and leads to administrative inefficiency. Corruption is a vicious cycle which further incentivises corruption and involves more and more people. It also erodes our trust in public services and institutions which have a mandate to serve public interest.

Rule of law is the essence of democracy and it can’t be violated at any cost. When a law is unethical, it may come in conflict with conscience. Thus any judge must reconcile ethics of conscience with the ethical law which will help uphold procedural and substantial justice both. This should be the way forward in cases like these which otherwise sets a wrong precedent and there is potential of post retirement benefits attached to such actions.

Conclusion

  • The concern of the judge for marginalized people is thoughtful but it can be counterproductive in the long run. Thus the judiciary should be impartial, emotionally-neutral, objective and visionary.

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