Civil Services Neutrality – UPSC Ethics Case Study

Please carefully read the following case and answer the questions within the specified word limit.

One of your colleagues and also a close friend who is working as Assistant Commissioner in the department of Income Tax is actively involving in political activities. He is a son-in-law of a prominent politician. He has ignored many warnings given by his senior officers in the department, and in few instances, he has used his political connections to intimidate some his seniors too. On several occasions he has told you that he wants to pursue politics after making lots of
money in the department. You keep telling him that it is wrong for a civil servant to indulge in political activities and have affiliation with a political party. He has ignored your friendly advises too.
a) Why is it wrong for a civil servant to indulge in politics? Justify with examples. (150 Words)
b) Is it ethical for a newly appointed civil servant to marry a daughter of active politician? Justify. (100 Words)
Civil Servants are part of Executive side of government while Politicians are part of Legislature. Our Constitution tried it best to compartmentalise and make all three branches of democracy independent so that, they can work independently without any encroachment of power and influence.
Hence, Civil Servant indulgence in Politics is not as per the spirit of Constitution, Democracy and also unethical because of following reasons:
(1.) Civil servant primary work is to ensure proper functioning of policy, collection of taxes/revenues and collecting data‘s from ground for policy making. In a way, it is about provide crucial information to legislatures and implement their policy. But if Bureaucrats indulges in politics they can‘t do justice of check and balance duty of theirs. For ex. if a bureaucrat provides false data and doesn‘t implement policy properly to save funds so that it can be diverted toward election campaigning, it is very bad for democracy as public are losing from both side.
(2.) Civil Servant job is constitutional and he has fixed tenure while politicians are based on election result they keep changing. If there is bureaucracy indulgence in politics then, once the political party in power changes, it may invite unfavourable situation for bureaucrat and it will difficult to deliver her duties under new political regime. Hence, Civil Servant must maintain neutrality toward political parties and refrain from making any political comments, moves and favoritism.
Answer (b): Marriage is personal affair while delivering the duty of civil servant is public affair. If marriage is done purely as personal affair it is fine, provided the newly appointed civil servant is able to maintaining probity and rectitude in his service. Also, with such family relationship between Civil Servant and politician there will be questions in future about integrity. This must be kept in mind and extra caution is needed to maintain the respect of Civil servant position.



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