Bribe – UPSC Case Study Ethics

You are serving as Superintendent of Police of a district. You were in charge of conducting violence-free general elections in your jurisdiction and also you were responsible to stop distribution of illegal money, liquor and other freebies during campaigning by the candidates. During one night two police personnel at check post seize rupees one crore unaccounted money from a car. The money was meant to be distributed among voters to lure them to vote to a particular party. One of the policemen pockets rupees ten lakhs as he badly needed that money to pay for the treatment of his wife who was battling a life and death situation due to cancer. The other policeman

knowing this truth supports his friend, but he too pockets rupees ten lakhs. They let the driver escape from the scene warning him not to show up in the district. Later they send their money to their homes and the report at the station that they have seized rupees eighty lakhs from an unknown vehicle whose driver ran away abandoning the vehicle.
After the elections, the driver turns up with an influential local politician who has just won the election and narrates the incidence to you and registers a complaint against the two policemen.
a) What will you do in this situation? Justify. (150 Words)
b) The police man who took money to pay for the treatment of his wife requests you to not to take any action against him. You know that what he is saying is true. Will you treat him leniently? Justify. (100
(a) The actors involved in this scenario – 2 policemen, driver and politician are all at fault.
  • Policemen, for accepting bribe and letting the culprit go scot free – that perhaps in the form of money and muscle power the victory of the candidate.
  • Driver, for illegally carrying cash during election time.
  • Politician, for using that money that illicitly brighten the prospects of his electoral gain.
So I will register a case against the driver and politician as well and investigate so that criminalisation of politics gets discouraged. This may antagonize some political interests, but law cannot be held hostage by a privileged few.
(b) Firstly, cancer to the police man’s wife and corruption involved are 2 different issues. Secondly, all the government employees and their families are provided with the insurance facilities which cover the costs of treatment. So the claim that the police man resorted to the corrupt practice for treatment may not be completely true.
So there is no question of treating the police man leniently. Further, an opportunity will be extended to both the police man, to deposit back the appropriated money and accept their mistake. In case they come forward to do so, a lighter punishment will be recommended against both and necessary action will be initiated.



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