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1 Ethics - Mrunal

GS4: Mains Syllabus for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude


This paper will include questions to test the candidates attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public
life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise
the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.


Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics;
ethics in private and public relationships.


Human Values lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and
educational institutions in inculcating values.


Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes;
social influence and persuasion.


Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to
public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.


Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.


Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.


Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in
government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and
ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;


Ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

10. Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information
11. sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizens
12. Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
13. Case Studies on above issues.

You already know about my RTI (mis)adventure with UPSC. One of its purpose was that if I could get official answerkey for
CSAT 2012, then we could extrapolate what type of Decision Making answers does UPSC like. (using the official answer keys of
both 2011 and 12s papers)

This article contains the first half (CSAT 2011) based on answerkeys recieved in earlier RTI.

The second half (CSAT 2012s Decision Making question) given in separate article click me, based on official answerkeys
uploaded on UPSCs official site.
Decisions Decisions

If we go by the official answer key of UPSC (for CSAT 2011) (click me), we can see a trend of what are desirable answers for
Decision Making questions?

Ultimately the aim to asking Decision Making question is to judge your character / personality / mindset.

Thats why UPSC doesnt have negative marking for Decision Making question to seduce you into ticking the answers so they
can judge your character.

2 Ethics - Mrunal

Bad answers

Good answers


Waiting (Committee mindset/ bolbachchan mindset)


Not doing anything (Status Quo, Take no decision, policy

paralysis type)




Highhandedness, arrogance




Pliable (easily scared or seduced)


Atleast trying to do something good.=action guy /

non-status quo guy.


Evasive (runs away from responsibility)


Implausible / impractical / filmy

^Confused? Lets go through actual questions from CSAT 2011 (along with its official answerkeys released by UPSC) and youll see.
CSAT 2011: Decision Making Qs
Boss did not inform you about meeting
Q1. You have been asked to give an explanation for not attending an important official meeting. Your immediate boss who has not
informed you about the meeting is now putting pressure on you not to place an allegation against him/her. You would

send a written reply explaining the fact.


seek an appointment with the top boss to explain the situation.


admit your fault to save the situation.


put the responsibility on the coordinator of the meeting for not informing.
Official answerkey says A and B.

Meaning C and D are bad responses.

C means you take blame on yourself, to save your boss. That means youre pliable. Youre easily intimidated by other

D=You put blame on others to save yourself. It shows youre an evasive guy= bad.
Local thug

Q2. A local thug (bad element) has started illegal construction on your vacant plot. He has refused your request to vacate and threatened
you of dire consequences in case you do not sell the property at a cheap price to him. You would

sell the property at a cheap price to him.


Go to the police for necessary action.


Ask for help from your neighbours.


Negotiate with the goon to get a higher price.

3 Ethics - Mrunal
Official answerkey says : B or D

A: sell property @cheap rate= youre pliable. Youre easily intimidated by pressure tactics.=bad.

B: upright.

C: is downright ridiculous. Neighbors cant / wont help you in most cases, this is also evasive.

D: lolz although legit answer by UPSC.

Cant finish project

You have to accomplish a very important task for your Headquarters within the next two days. Suddenly you meet with an accident.
Your office insists that you complete the task. You would

Ask for an extension of deadline.


Inform headquarters of your inability to finish on time.


Suggest alternate person to headquarters who may do the needful.


Stay away till you recover.

Official answerkey says :A or C

upright, willing to get the work finished.

doesnt help finishing the project as such. While youre contacting HQ, better to do A or C because itd lead to project

C=upright, willing to get the work finished.

D=status quo/take no action type.=bad

Earthquake corruption

Q4. You are an officer-in-charge for providing basic medical facilities to the survivors of an earthquake affected area. Despite your best
possible effort, people put allegations against you for making money out of the funds given for relief. You would

Let an enquiry be set up to look into the matter.


Ask your senior to appoint some other person in your place.


Not pay attention to allegations.


Stop undertaking any initiative till the matter is resolved.

Official answerkey says : A or C

A= shows youre upright officer, not afraid of inquiry =legit answer.

B= evasive/pliable. This is Bad idea because in Government service there are always some jholachhap NGOs, local cooperators,
MLAs and power brokers wholl keep making baseless charges against you, IF you dont play by their rules. If you are so
sensitive or afraid, you cant work in public/private sector. Besides this is earthquake, there will be staff shortage. Therefore
asking for replacement = implausible.=bad answer.

C= is also good because upright officer neednot pay attention to bogus allegations.=legit answer.

D is bad Status Quo guy = policy paralysis = bad.

4 Ethics - Mrunal
Boat hire blackmail
Q5. You have been made responsible to hire boats at a short notice to be used for an area under flood. On seeing the price mentioned by
the boat owners you found that the lowest price was approximately three times more than the approved rate of the Government. You

reject the proposal and call for a fresh price.


accept the lowest price.


refer the matter to the Government and wait.


threaten the boat owners about a possible cancellation of the licence.

Official answerkey says : B or D

Call for new price= again waiting=bad in the given situation (floods). Besides new prices will be high in most cases (boatmen
will always try to make money out of emergency): so (A) is also a bad idea.

B= atleast trying to do good for the larger interest.= legit answer

C= status quo / take no action type guy=bad. There is flooding so you cant wait for Government to solve matter therefore
answer (C) is bad idea.

D= upright officer= legit answer.

Vaccine for Gram Pradhan

You are the officer-in-charge of a village administering distribution of vaccine in an isolated epidemic hit village, and you are left with
only one vaccine. There is a requirement of that vaccine from the Gram Pradhan and also a poor villager. You are being pressurized by
the Gram Pradhan to issue the vaccine to him. You would

initiate the procedure to expedite the next supply without issuing the vaccine to either.


arrange vaccine for the poor villager from the distributor of another area.


ask both to approach a doctor and get an input about the urgency


arrange vaccine for the Gram Pradhan from the distributor of another area.
Official answerkey says : B or D

It means you must give vaccine to atleast one party (Pradhan or Villager) and try to get vaccine for another party from a
different distributor. (Take some action).

Not giving vaccine to either party= waste of the precious resource that could save atleast one life. So (A) is bad idea. besides
thats same like not taking action

Doctor would be busy already attending other patient, and this is another wait approach =bad idea. (just like wait approach
for Government to look into high prices of boat, in previous question.)
Homeless Thieves

You have taken up a project to create night-shelters for homeless people during the winter season. Within a week of establishing the
shelters, you have received complaints from the residents of the area about the increase in theft cases with a demand to remove the
shelters. You would

ask them to lodge a written complaint in the police station.


assure residents of an enquiry into the matter.

5 Ethics - Mrunal

ask residents to consider the humanitarian effort made.


continue with the project and ignore their complaint.

Official answerkey says : B or C

A and D sounds irresponsible, highhanded.

B) and C) atleast shows some humane face of an officer.


You, as an administrative authority, have been approached, by the daughter-in-law of an influential person regarding harassment by her
in-laws on account of insufficient dowry. Her parents are not able to approach you because of social pressures. You would

Call the in-laws for an explanation.


Counsel the lady to adjust, given such a circumstance.


Take action after her parents approach you.


Ask her to lodge a complaint with the police.

Official answerkey says : A or D

If the situation was comprisable / adjustable she wouldnt have come to you in the first place. (B) is bad idea.

Waiting for her parents to approach you= sound some sort of nepotism or again wait approach. (wait approach is bad, as
previous official answers have shown us e.g. like waiting for Government to take action in boat price, like waiting for doctor
to give report on who deserves vaccine more urgently etc.)

(A) shows humane face. (not wanting to blow things out of proportion since it is delicate family matter.) and (D) shows
upright officer. Both are valid.

CSAT 2012s Decision Making Questions in a separate article soon.


[Decision Making] Official Answers for CSAT 2012s Decision Making Questions
Subordinates report

You have differences of the opinion regarding the final report prepared by your subordinate that is to be submitted urgently. The
subordinate is justifying the information given in the report. You would

Convince the subordinate that he is wrong


Tell him to reconsider the results


Revise the report on your own


Tell him not to justify the mistake

Official answerkey says A or C

Since this report is to be submitted urgently.

B or C will only lead to more talking. A or C deliver result.

6 Ethics - Mrunal
You are competing with your batch-mate for the prestigious award to be decided based on an oral presentation. You have been asked by
the committee to finish on time. Your friend however, is allowed more than the stipulated time period.
a) Lodge a complaint to chairperson against the discrimination.
b) Not listen to any justification from the committee
c) Ask for withdrawal of your name
d) Protest and leave the place
Official answer says A or D
B= arrogance or hot tempered person.
C= withdrawal= shying away= not upright guy.
Project review
You are handling a time bound project. During the project review meeting, you find that project is likely to get delayed due to lack of
cooperation of the team members. You would,

Warn the team members for their non-cooperation


Look into the reasons for non-cooperation


Ask for the replacement of the team members


Ask for the extension of time citing reasons

Official answer says A or B

Just like 1st question (subordinates report), this too contains the time/urgency element.

C= Asking for replacement= bad because time bound project.

D= asking for extension of time= bad because time bound project.

Thus we are left with A or B.

Sports chairman

You are a chairperson of a state sports committee. You have received a complaint and later it was found that an athlete in junior age
category who has won a medal has crossed the age criteria by 5 days. You would

Ask the screening committee for a clarification


Ask the athlete to return the medal


Ask the athlete to get an affidavit from the court declaring his/her age.

D. Ask the members of the committee for their views

official answer key says A or D

A and D=Committee mindset. But then again youre chairman of the Committee.

Asking athlete to return medal or file affidavit is like you running the act solo.

(although looking at the phrase received a complaint and later it was found.seems the investigation part is over and now it
calls for some action= B or C, but official answerkey is A or D)

7 Ethics - Mrunal
Project Deadline
You are handling a priority project and have been meeting all the deadlines and planning your leave during the project. Your immediate
boss does not grant leave citing the urgency of the project. You would

Proceed on leave without waiting for the sanction


Pretend to be sick and take leave


Approach higher authority to reconsider the leave application.

D. Tell the boss that it is not justified.

Official answerkey says C or D
B= liar = pliable
C or D=upright guy.
Water supply
You are involved in setting up a water supply project in remote area. Full recovery of cost is impossible in any case. The income levels in
the area are low and 25% of the population is below poverty line (BPL). When a decision has to be taken on pricing you would.

Recommended that the supply of water be free of charge in all respects


Recommended that the users pay a onetime fixed sum for installation of taps and the usage of water be free


Recommended that a fixed monthly charges be levied on the non-BPL families and for BPL families water should be free


Recommended that the users pay a charge based on the consumption of water with differentiated charges for Non-BPL and
BPL families.
Official answer key says C or D

A= implausible/impractical, and more importantly unsuitable given the fiscal deficit issue.

B= fixed installation charges= difficult for BPL. And later free for everyone = impractical, fiscal deficit.

C or D=humane, upright because BPL are getting either water free or at a differentiated =lower cost while remaining junta has
to pay.

As a citizen you have some work with a government department. The official calls you again and again; and without directly asking you,
sends out feelers for a bribe. You want to get your work done. You would

Give a bribe


Behave as if you have not understood the feelers and persist with your application


Go to the higher officer for help verbally complaining about feelers.

D. Send in a formal complaint

Official answerkey says B or C

A =pliable = bad.

8 Ethics - Mrunal

B= under the assumption that he will do your work for free when you dont reponsd to his bribe tactic.=legit answer
(Although doesnt feel right, because bribe seeker doesnt quit that easily in real life!)

C= good enough.

D= formal complaint wont help much because he is not directly asking you. (although again doesnt feel right, ACB will
never get any cases if people did not come up with formal complaints. And what is the guarantee that higher officer in option
C will listen to your complaint! May be he too gets a share from this bribe! but then again #officialanswerkeysayso)

Anyways, this ends the Decision Making questions in CSAT 2012, what do we get from this?

Bad answer


Good answer

Implausible/ impractical (e.g. free water to



Pliable (bribe giver)




liar (like office leave case)


The guy maintains the time schedules (e.g. in subordinate report

and non-cooperating team)


Upright guy


Humane (BPL water)


[Ethics] UPSC uploads sample questions for General Studies (GS) Mains Paper 4 (Ethics, Integrity AND Aptitude)

Finally, UPSC has uploaded a sample paper for GS4 (Ethics) for mains exam:
They gave total six sample questions:

Three questions on theory /definition/Essay type


Three case studies (basically extension of what youve faced under Decision making MCQ questions in Prelim CSAT paper II)

Candidates may please note that the sample questions below are indicative but not exhaustive. The range and depth of questions that
would be asked may differ.
Three Questions on Theory/Definition/Essay
1. Ethical human conduct
What do you understand by Ethical Human Conduct? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally
2. Definitions
What do you understand by the following terms? Point out their specific relevance in public service;

Intellectual integrity

9 Ethics - Mrunal



Spirit of service



Indicate two more attributes which you consider very important for public servants. Justify your answer.
3. Inspiration
Which great Indian personality has inspired you the most as a role model and how have you been able to benefit in your own life by such
an inspiration?
Three Case studies
Case study#1: sexual harassment
You have been working with your team for almost a year. One of your subordinates Mr. A is very effective and hard working, he takes
responsibility and gets things done. However, you have heard that Mr. A makes loose comments about women. Mrs X who is working
under A, comes to you, she is visibly disturbed. She tells you that Mr. A has been making undue advances towards her and has even
asked her to go out for dinner with him. She wants to give a written complaint seeking action against Mr. A. wha twould you do and why
Case Study#2: Cheater friend
You have grown up with X, who has been your best friend since childhood. You have shared your joysand sorrows and have been each
other`s confidante. Both of you are in your final year graduation and writing your final exams. In the exam you notice that your friend
is copying and cheating a lot. What would you do and why?
Case Study#3: Bogus Sarkari hospital
You are posted as the Medical Superintendent of a District level Govt. Hospital which caters to the need of poor patients from
surrounding rural areas along with the local people from the district town.
As such the hospital has very good infrastructure and adequate equipment to cater to this need. It also receives sufficient funds to meet
the recurring expenditure. Inspire of this there have been repeated complaints particularly from the patients which include the

Very poor maintenance and un-hygienic conditions in hospital premises.

The hospital staff frequently demanding bribes from the patients for the services rendered.


The negligent attitude of the Doctors resulting in times of casualties.


Siphoning of a substantial stock of medicine by the staff and selling it out.



Strong nexus between the senior Doctors of the hospital and the owners of local private nursing homes and testing labs as a
result of which the patients are strongly misled and dissuaded from availing the hospital facilities and rather compelled to
purchase costly medicines from market and get medical tests and even operations done from private medical houses.
There also exist a notorious employee union which puts undue pressure and resents any reformative step by the

Ponder over the situation and suggest effective ways to tackle each of the above mentioned problem.

Samples questions based on ethics courses of San Diego and Texas University

10 Ethics - Mrunal
Essay-ish / abstract

Do you agree with following statements? Justify your stand.


According to Aristotle, a flourishing human life consists of courage, honor, goodness, generosity, growth, and
resilience. But in the modern times, it not possible or practical to lead to such a flourishing life.


Virtues are acquired by habituation. We are not born virtuous, we acquire them from our parents, teachers, friends
and interactions with society. Therefore it is not correct to blame a corrupt cop, Rapist sadhu or fraud businessman
entirely for their lack of virtues.


Private vices produce public benefits. Can you think of a situation in which this works? If so, is it exceptional, or can we
make it the rule?


Was Gandhi courageous? If so, what does that suggest about the relationship between courage and violence? How does this
contrast with the picture of the relationship between courage and violence during American war of independence? Is the
willingness to fight necessarily a sign of courage?


In recent years in countries where it is not illegal, poor people have begun to sell some of their own body parts such as eyes or
kidneys to rich people in need of a transplant. Do people own their own bodies? If they do, are they entitled to sell parts of
them if they wish to do so? Why or why not?


There are typically some gender differences in our society in regard to virtues such as courage and compassion. Based on your
own experience, do you think this is true? Are there any other virtues in our society that exhibit gender differences? Are there
any vices that are valued differently in men and women? Are there reasons why virtues and vices should be different for
women and for men?


Studies have suggested that girls, especially from poorer neighborhoods, do better in classrooms without boys, at least in part
because of social pressure not to appear smarter than the boys. Do single-sex schools have any legitimate place in our society?
What does your answer to that question reveal about your views on the place of gender in the ideal society?


Is it always right to tell the truth, even if it hurts or destroys someone else? What matters more, the life of an individual or the
majesty of the moral law?


From an evolutionary standpoint, is survival of the fittest selfish or selfless? Is self-preservation a moral imperative or just a
fact? Are there situations in which self-preservation is not the highest value? Is it selfish to prefer (saving) ones own life to that
of others?


What are your own deepest moral values? What moral qualities do you look for in other people as well as in yourself? Are these
values that you think everyone shares, or are some of your values ones that you feel are not always observed by our culture as a
whole? How have your values changed, if at all? What influenced their development?

10. When (under what circumstances) is it right to tell a lie? Give some examples from everyday life. What does your answer reveal
about the scope (or relevance) of morality in general?
11. What is the moral issue that you are most undecided about? Describe the pros and cons in regard to this issue. How do you go
about arriving at a decision when it is unavoidable?
Role Playing/ SRT
Now some role playing / Situation Reaction test (SRT) type questions. The answer is not difficult to guess e.g. ofcouse DevAnand
shouldnt help his friend evade sales tax but the challenge is how will you put that eloquently in a formal language, in 50100-200 words as the question requires. Think about that, while you solve these questions.
Gender Bias (job)
Dev Anand, a Senior Manager with SAIL, has just learned that in two weeks HQ will be sending a new lady project engineer Miss
Vaijanthi Mala to his division. The HQ is anxious to move more women into all levels of the company and has targeted Devs
engineering division as a good place for Miss Mala. She will be the first woman engineer in this division. Upon learning this news,
several of Devs employees opined that they dont like the idea of a woman supervising their work and Dev should use his connections in
the HQ to prevent Miss Malas posting here.

What should Dev Anand do to prepare for Miss.Malas arrival?

11 Ethics - Mrunal
Continuing further with the same case:
Miss Mala has been with Devs division for several months now. Although Dev has not found any employees under Miss Malas
supervision refusing to work outrightly, but they do seem to be dragging their feet in small ways so they miss the project deadlines. The
other groups under male supervisors, also show reluctance to cooperate with this group under Miss. Mala. Sometimes they even mock
this group and pass cheap jokes and emails, leading to verbal fights in the office among the employees.
Mr.Pran, Devs second in command and rival, keeps instigating junior staff not to cooperate with Miss Mala. At the same time, Pran
informally keeps telling HQ that Devs own incompetence is responsible for not meeting project deadlines.
Dev is increasingly becoming worried that Malas presence is having negative effect on his entire divisions ability to meet deadlines and
this might even affect his own career.

What do you think Dev Anand should do? What are the ethical issues involved and how should they be
Gender Bias (Parenting)

With the development of new reproductive technologies, it is now possible for old women to become pregnant even after menopause
even in their 50s and 60s.
Dr.Pran: this is perfectly fine, after all many old men marry young girls to get a son to carry their familys name, then why shouldnt
an old lady be allowed become mother again. Besides this is also good for hospitals business.
Dr.Dev disagrees, Statistically, those mothers conceiving in their late sixties will die before their children reach adulthood. Then such
parent-less children will be without financial and emotional support. Theyll be at an increased risk of stress, depression, drug addiction
and suicide. Therefore it is unethical for old people to use science to become parents again.

Which side do you agree to and why?


Should there be any restrictions on the age at which people can become parents?


Should these restrictions be gender-neutral?

hazardous fumes

Dev Anand is employed at one of the steel factories of SAIL and preparing for UPSC exam. He doesnt work with hot metal or furnace
himself but one day, several workers complaint respiratory problems because of the fumes coming out of that furnace. Dev brings this
matter to his head of department, Mr.Pran. But Pran says, Our factory is in full compliance with international XAXA guidelines for
steel manufacturing. So if workers are sick- that is only because of weather change. You cannot blame the furnace. Still if there is
problem, ask those workers to wear masks.

Dev goes to the company archive room to find any record that would show XAXA guidelines vs the furnace/technology used in
his factory. But the clerk tells him Mr.Pran left with some file just an hour ago. After 15 days, Dev again inquires and clerk
again tells that Mr.Pran hasnt returned any file. Dev confronts Mr. Pran but Pran denies knowledge of any file and instead
threatens Dev, if you continue disrespecting my authority, Ill not give you NOC to appear in UPSC exam. What should Dev


(ignore information given in previous question) Dev digs internet, only to find out that XAXA guidelines dont address the
particular type of steel furnace or smelting technology used in his factory. Should Dev do anything further or should he simply
drop the matter? Why?

12 Ethics - Mrunal

Statistical Juggling part-I

Dev Anand is working in Kakrapar Nuclear plant. An NGO starts a campaign alleging that plant is dumping radioactive waste in nearby
river. Devs boss Mr.Pran asks him to file a report. The summary of Devs report is:

A few dead fishes were found in the river.


Radiation level is little higher than normal.


But the given radiation level is not high enough to cause death of marine organisms.


There is no evidence of any leakage or dumping or negligence by our nuclear plant.

But Mr. Pran is fears jholacchhap NGO will selectively highlight only line #1 and #2 from Devs report to create more fear-mongering
among the villagers. Itll lead to more protests and whole incident will turn into a political controversy. Therefore Mr.Pran orders Dev
Anand: Do some statistical juggling to show that radiation level is normal in that river, and delete the first line that states Dead
fishes were found.
What should DevAnand do? and Why?
Statistical Juggling part-II
Dr. Dev Anand working on a cryogenics engine project in ISRO, for years. His theory is correct but the tests done according to that
theory, are not coming positive. As the deadline approaches, his friend cum colleague Dr.Pran says do the maths backward and make
the results appear positive, because your theory is correct anyway. When project reaches next stage, more people will work and
theyll find whatever error is present. Dont worry about it
What should Dr.Dev do? and Why?
destabilizing government (Part I)
Colonel Dev Anand is the head of a secret intelligence unit operating in a state affected by terrorism for a long time. The Chief Minister
of this state, has been advocating for removal of Armed forces special Powers Act (AFSPA).
General Pran requests the Union defense minister not to pay attention to such demands, stating that without AFSPA, we (army) cannot
function efficiently in this troubled region. But Defense Minister doesnt seem very convinced. Gen.Pran grows impatient and asks Col.

13 Ethics - Mrunal
Dev Anand to withdraw a large sum of money from secret service fund and use it to buy off independent MLAs and opposition parties
and get a no-confidence motion against this Chief Minister in state assembly. What should Col.DevAnand do?
destabilizing government (Part II)
Same case like previous one but just slight modifications:
State ministers are colluding with Naxalites for doing illegal mining while policemen are getting killed during ambushes.
DGP Pran thinks that any FIR against state ministers, wont lead to any result. So, he asks DSP DevAnand to withdraw money from
secret service fund and destabilize this government via no-confidence motion. What should Dev do?
toxic waste (Part I)
DevAnand is working part time with PSU Fertilizer Company. This job enables him to attend evening college without having to take
student loans. Devs supervisor Mr.Pran tells him to dump a half used chemical-drum in the drain.
Dev: Isnt that against the law?
Pran: Weve been dumping this chemical for last 30 years and people in this part of India are still alive. If I spent my time worrying
about every little regulation, then factory will shut down. Get it done, full stop.
Pran leaves the room, fully expecting Dev to dump that toxic chemical. What do you think he should do?
toxic waste (Part II)
Upon inspecting a warehouse of Sindri Chemicals ltd., Supervisor Dev Anand notices several leaking drums. He calls up Pran, the
section officer who deals with chemical drums.
Pran requests him Ill get it cleaned up but please dont file this officially in your weekly report, because my promotion is due next
month. Dev has known Pran for many years, as a sincere, hardworking employee of the company. But Dev also fears that if anything
goes wrong, the CEO or the pollution control board wont be happy with his informal way of dealing with this problem. What should
Dev do at this point?
good business
BHEL has received an order from a state government to manufacture 5 lakh tablets for students. BHEL demanded Rs.5000 for each
tablet stating that their own unit cost of production is Rs.4900 per tablet. After the deal is signed, BHELs engineers design a new alloy,
electric-circuit and thus manufacture tablets at just Rs.500 each. Dev Anand from accounting department brings this to the notice of
Mr. Pran, the main boss of BHEL.
Pran: dont worry, no one will know the price difference unless they made fair amount of testing with rival tablet companies.
Dev: But I feel that customer (State government) is not getting what was promised. Even if theyre satisfied with a different type of
tablet, shouldnt they be given an opportunity to decide whether new tablet is acceptable and to benefit from lowered cost?
Pran: The basic idea is to satisfy the customer with good quality parts and we are doing that. So whats the problem?
Should Dev press the matter further? or do you agree that Pran is just doing good business?
Tax evasion
Pran asks his best friend DevAnand to transport some merchandise across state border so that he can avoid paying taxes on it.
Pran argues, Ill donate an equivalent sum of money to a reputed NGO working for child-laborers, but dont want my tax-money get
wasted in the hands of corrupt government.
Should Dev support him or not? and why?

14 Ethics - Mrunal
DevAnands Diwali
Two days before Diwali, DevAnand the District Education officer gets call from Mr.Pran, Secretary of state education department.
Pran: Dev, I know this is really bad timing but Ive to tell you that Ive received call from finance ministry, and we wont renew the
contracts of those temporary primary teachers. I want you to let them know as soon as possible-this afternoon. So they can start
looking for alternative arrangements and jobs.
Dev doesnt want to spoil everyones Diwali, thinks about releasing this bad news after Diwali is over. What should he do?
Chinese circuit
Dev Anand is a quality control engineer at DRDO. DRDO has contracted a Saudi firm to supply certain electronics for a tank for the
Indian Army. At last minute, Dev finds out that two special parts inside the Saudi electronic circuit were actually made by China.
There is extremely low chance that even during repairs, anyone will find out these were from China. But If Dev reports this discrepancy,
there tank delivery will be stalled for months, and he himself might be punished by seniors for notifying this at last minute- And the
unnecessary hue and cry in media might even cost his job. What should Dev do?
free golf membership
Dev Anand and Pran are college batchmates. After graduation, Dev joins PWD as civil engineer while Pran becomes a building
contractor. Once at a marriage reception, Dev mentions that he always wanted to play golf at the Kingfisher club but its fees were too
high. Pran says his uncle has connections with the owner of the said golf club and he could easily arrange membership at a discounted
price. Should Dev accept his offer?
Rapist Bapu
Dev Anand has been appointed as the public prosecutor against a baba who is accused of raping a minor girl. Although Devs own
parents happen to be long time devotees of that baba, Dev himself was never associated with this babas cult.
But, Mr.Pran, a lawyer of dubious standards, who was also eyeing for the same public-prosecutor job, starts a media-campaign to
malign DevAnand, by showing his familys connections with that baba. Should Dev leave this case? Yes/No/Why?
real estate mafia
Dev Anand is an accountant with ILF real estate. Dev is also associated with an NGO that successfully spearheaded a campaign against
illegal encroachment by a particular real estate mafia in a nearby village. Now through his office work, Dev has learned that the CEO of
ILF, Mr.Pran himself was the real brain behind that illegal land grabbing. Should Dev notify this to his NGO friend? If the case goes to
court, ILF might shut down and Dev might lose his job. What should Dev do?
Million Dollar Baby (euthanasia)
In the Oscar winning movie Million Dollar Baby, the boxer-girl gets paralyzed below neck during a match. Doctors say there is no hope
of her recovery. Before this accident, she had taken health insurance policy and hence there is no issue of money but she is disowned by
her family, doesnt want to live such life of disability and depression, and therefore asks her boxing coach to perform euthanasia by
mixing a poison in her glucose drip.

If you were the CEO of a health insurance company, will you develop a policy detailing the point at which your insurance
company will cease to support efforts to keep such patient alive who are never going to recover? Specify the rationale for your


If you were that paralyzed-boxer, will you seek euthanasia?


If you were that coach, will you perform euthanasia?


If you were the doctor, will you accept that (boxer) patients right to refuse therapy?


If you were a judge and this matter was brought under your notice, what will be your judgment? and why?

15 Ethics - Mrunal

Do you think there is a difference between murdering someone and letting someone die on his/her own wish. Justify your
Cheater book

Mr. Pran has authored a book to help students learn how to cheat during university exam. What will you do under following
circumstances and why?

As a publisher, will you publish this book? yes/no/why?


As a bookstore owner, will you sell this book? yes/no/why?


As a newspaper editor, will you accept advertisement contract for this book? yes/no/why?


As a college student, will you use this book? yes/no/why?


As a college student, youve to face a particular paper during semester exam. You feel this paper/course has no relevance what
so ever with your graduation or real life, but still you need to pass it, to get the final degree. Will you use above cheating book,
to clear this irrelevant paper? yes/no/why?

Sample Questions, Case studies for UPSC General studies paper 4 based on Donald Menzels book
So far in the [Ethics] mock-question series

UPSCs sample paper for GS4


Samples questions based on ethics courses of San Diego and Texas University

Now this this articles contains case-studies/questions are based on Donald C. Menzels book Ethics Moments in Government:Cases and

For the Essay-ish questions Ive merely lifted statements from the book. Because UPSC seems to be doing similar thing for
Public Administration (lift sentences from some book and ask the candidate to comment on it).

for the case-studies questions, Ive given Indian flavor to those American cases and included a few answer key points but by no
means theyre sacred/official/final/marksworthy- theyre only meant to serve as lighthouse for the utterly confused.
Essay-ish / Abstract Questions

Answer following questions 12 marks/120 words each:


What do you understand by ethics audit? How is it different from financial audit?


Are ethics practices and behaviors in the business world different than those found in public service? If so, why?


Describe an ethical issue you have had to address in your school or college life and the way you handled it. If confronted with
the same issue today, would you handle it in the same way?


Are ethical standards in business organizations higher or lower than those in public service organizations?


Is there more unethical behavior in government than in business?


Do you believe the ethical performance of an employee can be evaluated fairly and accurately? Yes/No/Why?


Is a professional code of ethics that is not enforceable a satisfactory code? Yes/No/Why?


How does corrupt behavior resemble or differ from unethical behavior?

16 Ethics - Mrunal

Should we hold appointed officials, such as collectors and tehsildaars, to a higher standard of behavior than elected officials
such as municipal councilors? Yes/No/Why?

10. Gandhi always advocated the purity of means- with respect to that, do you think it is unethical for a military officer to mislead
the enemy? Yes/No/Why?
Comment on following statements (12 marks/120 words each)

Ethics are less a goal than a pathway, less a destination than a trip, less an inoculation than a process.


Righteous disobedience is better than Moral muteness.


Exemplary leadership is critical to encouraging ethical behavior in government organizations.


Openness and transparency are critical safeguards that keep our democracy alive and well.


Ethical codes are merely veneers. Shiny on the outside but hollow on the inside.


Living up to the public trust is much more than just an act of compliance.


Ethics is the cornerstone of effective, efficient, democratic governance.


Ethics may be only instrumental, it may be only a means to an end, but it is a necessary means to an end.


The relationships between ethics, service, and trust are mutually reinforcing.

10. Ignorance is not an excuse for misconduct.

11. Those who commit misconduct out of ignorance should be treated less harshly.
12. If men were angels, no government would be necessary
13. Humans roam the earth, not the heavens, so ethics are indispensable.
14. Honesty and truthfulness have to be practiced and balanced with delicate diplomacy on some occasions.
15. List the reforms necessary to encourage ethical behavior and prevent misconduct in public organizations of India.
Case Studies / Role playing Questions
Disobeying an informal order
DevAnand is working as a clerk in Collectors office. Due to staff shortage, Dev also performs the task of raising flag over the office
building every morning and taking it down every evening, although it is not part of his official job description.
One day a criminal turned politician Madan Puri dies. Years ago, Devanands best friend was murdered during a riot allegedly
orchestrated by Madan Puri.
Nonetheless, State secretariat passes an order to all District collectors, to keep National flag at half-mast over their offices, to mourn
the death of the Mr.Madan Puri.
DevAnand sees this news on TV, gets angry with such mockery of our national flag. He decides not to goto office next morning and
keeps the door key of rooftop with himself. He is confident, no formal punishment can be given to me, because this was not part of
my official duty. At most Collector sahib will reprimand me informally but I dont care because Madan Puri killed my best friend.
Do you think DevAnand has made the right decision? Yes/No/Why?
Answer keypoints
DevAnand made a wrong decision because:

17 Ethics - Mrunal

It prevents other staff members from carrying out the official order from StateHQ.


It puts his boss in an embarrassing position in front of the StateHQ.


If Devs conscience doesnt permit him carrying out a task, he should inform his boss. But running away with keys, without
informing anyone = irresponsible.


Such behavior is not expected from a good team player / a public servant.
Returning unspent money

DevAnand is running an NGO to help street children. He receives government grant of Rs.2 lakh rupees for a project to teach the out of
school children, who work at tea-stalls, do boot-polishing etc. A year passes, but Dev managed to utilize only 50,000 rupees from the
grant. Despite his best efforts, he couldnt convince many poor children or their families to join his NGOs program.
As per the grant rules, Dev has to return all the unspent money back to government by the end of March 31 st. But his colleague Pran
suggests following:

If we honestly return Rs.1.5 lakh back, then government officials will think we are amateur, ineffective NGOs and theyll
substantially reduce our grant for next year or even worse- theyll not give us any project next time!


We should take help of CA Prem Chopra to manipulate our account books and show majority of the grant was utilized for


Many other NGOs do the same thing- there is no problem nobody will raise any objection, as long as we give 20% of the
grant to SDM in charge of this project.


Although it sounds unethical but we wont use this money for personal needs, well use it on street children only. Hence our act
is fully ethical and moral.

What should DevAnand do with the money?

Answer keypoints:

Because others are also doing it is never the valid justification to commit an unethical or criminal act.


Two wrongs dont make a right:


Manipulating account books to keep the grant money.


Bribing SDM to keep the grant money.


The shelf life of lie and deception is very low- especially when manipulating the account books ask Ramalinga Raju, ex-chief
of Satyam.


DevAnand was unable to use 75% of the grant money, it implies


Dev didnt try hard enough OR


Government had exaggerated the amount of money required to educate the out of school children OR



In anycase, If Dev keeps the unspent grant, government will continue pumping more money- other NGOs and the SDM will keep
amassing wealth. Therefore, DevAnand should return the unspent grant back to the government.
Misleading for good purpose
DevAnand is the inspector in charge of Rampur Police station. The police station building is in dire need of repairs, but hasnt received
any grants for years. One day, a cyclone hits a nearby area, damaging most of the houses and shops. Although Devs police station gets

18 Ethics - Mrunal
partially damaged, but most of the building remain intact . Government sends a disaster assessment team to ascertain the level of
damage and pay relief money. The DSP Mr. Pran, orders DevAnand to do following:

Hire some laborers and destroy the remaining parts of your police station building.


When disaster assessment team comes, you tell them building collapsed by the cyclone, and ask them to give priority in
funding after all police station is one the most important public offices in a town.

Should DevAnand obey his bosss order?

Answer keypoints
The shelf life of lie and deception is very low. Especially when many people are involved. In this case: laborers and any bystanders.
Both Dev and Pran are risking themselves to an unnecessary negative publicity and possible departmental inquiry and punishment for
professional misconduct. Indeed police building needed repairs and should have been given a grant months ago, but three wrongs dont
make a right:

Wanton destruction of a public building.


Misleading the disaster assessment team.


Police officer DevAnand spending his time and energy in such activity rather than doing rescue-relief-patrolling duty after the
Private matter of Public employee?

DevAnand is working as an under Secretary in the pension department. One day, his friend GuruDutt, an SBI PO, narrates following

For last two years, a retired Government employee Mr.Ashok Kumar is giving away 30% of his monthly pension to Mrs.Bindu
Chopra every month through cheque.


I found Mrs.Bindu Chopra happens to be the wife of Mr.Prem Chopra, a section officer in the pension office under you


I feel something is fishy- may be this is part of a large bribe scam where senior citizens are forced to pay money to clear their
pension files from Prem Chopra, and have to submit bribes in his wifes account.

DevAnand visits Mr.Ashok Kumars house but he is suffering from Alzheimers disease, unable to give coherent answers. Frustrated
DevAnand directly confronts Prem Chopra. But Prem says Mr.Ashok Kumar was a friend of my father. He has no relatives or
children and my wife Bindu has been taking care of him like daughter since a long time. Therefore, Mr.Ashok Kumar gives us money
out of good will, so we can send our son to an expensive IIT coaching class @Kota, Rajasthan. Besides this is a personal family matter
and none of your damn business.
Do you think DevAnand made a blunder or was he merely performing an ethical duty?
Answer keypoints
Here, both GuruDutt and DevAnand has failed to act in responsible manner. Because:

A banker must keep his clients data confidential, unless required by the law to disclose it.


GuruDutt didnt even wait to cross verify who else is giving money to Mrs.Bindu Chopras account. Because if there was a large
scale bribe scam then lot other senior citizens would be making payment to Bindus account, and not just Mr.Ashok Kumar


Even in that situation, Gurudutt had to consult his boss within his own bank first. He cannot go around giving informal tips to
outsiders. This is an unethical act for a banker.


DevAnand too acted in hasty manner. First, he starts investigation based on an informal tip from a banker who is not
supposed to tip him in the first place. He should have consulted the vigilance department before moving further.

19 Ethics - Mrunal

Second, Dev Anand confronts Prem Chopra, without any hardcore evidence. When youre holding a public office, you cant go
around accusing people in such haste. It breaks the office discipline, destroys the staff morale and allows the guilty person to
cover his tracks.
Political neutrality

Prem Chopra, a civil society activist, has launched a mass-movement to change Prime-ministerial form of government to presidential
form of government. Dev Anand is an undersecretary in the PMO. Before joining civil service, he had done Ph.D on the demerits of
presidential form of government. He is invited by a news channel for prime-time debate. The newschannel anchor, Mr.Arnab Goswami
assures DevAnand following:

Itll be only an educational-intellectual debate among scholars.


No politicians from ruling or opposition party are invited in our show.


Youre invited in your capacity as a scholar in political science and not as a bureaucrat.

Should DevAnand accept Arnab Goswamis invitation for news-debate?

Answerkey point:
No. Because bureaucrats should not voice their opinion about political matters on public platform. Even if no politician is invited, some
other scholar/participant/anchor might raise points in favour or against the ruling party during the debate, and Dev will find himself in
a political minefield.
Political neutrality Part.2
To curtail the mounting fiscal deficit, Finance Minister Pran Chindu decides to merge agriculture ministry with forest ministry; coal
ministry with oil ministry and reduce personnel in the central services by 30%. But opposition party is hardly raising any objection
they are occupied with onion price rise issue. Media is too busy covering MS Dhonis new hairstyle.
DevAnand, an employee in the Cabinet secretariat feels both Opposition party and media have failed to perform their ethical duty to
inform citizens about matters of public interest. Therefore, he starts writing anonymous blogs and tweets to inform public about the
negative consequences of Chindus austerity measures. Is DevAnand doing the right thing?
Answer key points:

No. DevAnand is not doing the right thing.

Role of public servant is to obey the will of the community- articulated through the elected members including the said Finance

Public servant has to remain politically neutral. Dev is crossing that Laxman-Rekha by his anonymous blogs.
Salary hike vs Team spirit

DevAnand has been serving as the Chief fire officer in city for over 3 years. Because of his efficient management, there were very few fire
incidents, no lives were lost and property damage was minimum. He enjoys almost a celebrity like status in local media and city
dwellers. As the election year comes, Mayor Pran, with an aim to garner goodwill among voters, frames a budget with 10% pay raise to
fire bridge staff and 25% pay raise for the Chief fire Officer. Should DevAnand accept it or not/Why?
Answer key points:

Firefighting is a team work. Team leader must display fairness and equity.


If Dev accepts 25% raise, it could promote his image as an aloof, insensitive, self-serving boss. Staff may not follow his lead
with same enthusiasm afterwards.


Exemplary leadership is critical to encouraging ethical behavior in government organizations.

20 Ethics - Mrunal

Therefore, Dev should not accept more than what is being offered to other employees of Fire brigade. (10%).
Holding Charity Auctions in the Office

Pran, the bank employee, approaches Bank Manager DevAnand and says following:

My child is suffering from blood cancer. I dont have health insurance policy and my salary is insufficient to meet these medical


But over the years, Ive been collecting autographed bats and balls of various cricketers.


I seek your permission to hold a charity auction in the office. Ill also send fliers to clients of our bank. Everyone is welcome to
bid for these bats and balls, so I can raise money for the medical treatment of my child.

Three other bank employees-Prem Chopra, Madan Puri and Ranjith overhear this conversation. They also inform DevAnand indeed
Prans financial situation is very bad and his child will die if the treatment is not done on time, therefore permission should be given to
hold this charity auction.
Should Dev give permission or not?
Answer keypoints:

No. Because some members may informally feel pressured to give money -Especially Prans juniors and subordinates.


It might create a feeling of alienation between employees who bid and those who dont.


Next time another employee will try to do the same, may be with a trivial reason e.g. Im willing to auction t-shirts autographed
by filmstars to repay the last EMI of my home loan, allow me to hold auction in the office. And if Dev says no that time, it
might create an impression Dev is biased towards certain employees- staff morale goes down.


Therefore, it is best to keep auctions and other money raising activities out of the workplace irrespective of their noble aims.
Spouse in the same office

DCP DevAnand marries Sub inspector Rosie. In the office, Rosie doesnt directly report to DevAnad but Dev has responsibility for
signing off on her annual evaluation. Although Dev doesnt give any preferential treatment to Rosie but one of her colleague, Prem
Chopra, complained several times to the DIG Pran: Dev saab always gives highest ratings to his wife and Im always given average
ratings despite my best performance in criminal investigations.
DIG conducts inquiry, doesnt find anything against DevAnand. Later Dev officially reprimands Prem Chopra for this unprofessional
Frustrated Prem Chopra narrates this incident to his wife Bindu. Bindu decides to take matters in her own hands, writes an anonymous
email to the local press, informing how Rosie hasnt legally divorced her first husband Marco, yet she is staying with DCP DevAnand
and gives vivid details of their adulterous live-in relationship.
Rita reporter, an expert on such masala news, starts giving ball by ball commentary in her newspaper about Rosies past by interviewing
her college friends, neighbors, relatives etc. Everybody in the town starts gossiping about this. Dev asks his IT expert friend GuruDutt to
investigate. GuruDutt digs out that email originated from Prem Chopras home computer.What should DevAnand do: Reprimand Prem
Chopra once more? Suspend him for indiscipline? Sue him for defamation? Is doing nothing an option?
Answer key points:

Doing nothing is not a viable option since situations like this only fester and become more problematic.


It is never a good practice for a public official to have a relative in a subordinate position. Despite efforts to avoid perceived acts
of favoritism, sooner or later the official will find himself being accused of an inappropriate action. Therefore, Police and
Military organizations often have anti-fraternization policies. (e.g. As per the US Air Force rules, one of the couple has to quit
from the service.)

21 Ethics - Mrunal

This situation is all about the perception of favoritism. The perception may or may not be true whether DevAnand is giving
preferential treatment to Rosie during annual performance evaluation.


To prevent this from happening, DevAnand needs to stop chasing Prem Chopra and take steps to get his wife posted in another
office, or seek his own transfer to another office.


Last but not least, the DevAnand should put to rest the question of the legality of his marriage to avoid future accusations.
Private endorsement by Public Official

Prem Chopra runs a company that offers private security guards, CCTV, burglary alarm and other security devices.
DCP DevAnand learns that everytime after a theft or robbery takes place, Police Inspector Pran advices the victim and bystanders to
install security devices from Prem Chopras company to make their home and shops secure from criminals. Pran even tells them When
you goto Prem Chopras office, tell him Ive sent you, hell give you special discount.
Dev confronts Pran about this matter. Pran justifies his action by saying:

Yes, I take money for Prem Chopra to endorse his security products for homes and offices.


No, Im not doing anything unethical because



I use this money to pay my informers and keep a check on criminal elements. I dont spent this money on myself or
my family.


Even municipal buses and railway-wagons have advertisements, then why is an endorsement by a city official
unethical or illegal?

Besides, Prem Chopras security devices are very effective at preventing burglary.

Should DevAnand permit Pran to continue this endorsement activity? Yes/No/Why?

Answer keypoints

Advertisement on bus / railway wagon is not same as a public official promoting a brand. Because those bus/railway ads dont
interfere with vehicles primary function of transporting persons from one place to another. But when a public official
promotes a brand, he is spending part of his office time and energy for private gain rather than serving the citizen.


If Dev permits Pran, then other staff members will also start similar marketing. Thus part of the office-time will diverted to
selling products rather than solving crime


Might even lead to internal rivalries about who is earning more commissions.


Citizens may feel informal pressure to buy such products fearing their file / matter will not be cleared by the public officials


Endorsements of commercial products by public officials can easily result in an unethical situation: sharing financial gain
through bribes, kickbacks, or postemployment opportunities for government officials.

In short, it will open a Pandoras box. Therefore, DevAnand should order Pran to stop this activity at once.
Man of Word or Man of Money?
DevAnand is a brilliant maths teacher in a private English medium school in Ahmedabad and gets yearly package of Rs.3 lakhs. Another
school at Baroda offers him package of Rs. 3.5 lakhs. Dev makes a verbal commitment to the Baroda school principle, Sure,Ill join your
school from next month.
But when Dev submits his resignation to Abad school, its Principle Mr.Pran requests him to stay and offers new package of Rs.3.8
lakhs. Should Dev take back his resignation? yes/no/why?
Answer keypoints

22 Ethics - Mrunal

from ethical perspective, even verbal acceptance = contract. And contract must be honored.

Even if Prans counteroffer is higher, Dev has a moral obligation to remain consistent with his original intention (of joining
Baroda school).
Courage with a price tag

(Copy pasting a news report from TheHindu)

December 7, 2012, Chandigarh.
Robanjit Kaur, 23-year-old daughter of ASI Ravinderpal Singh was returning home after her IELTS coaching class when Shiromani
Akali Dal leader Ranjit Singh Rana and his goons started teasing her. She called up her father Mr.Ravinderpal Singh, an ASI with
Punjab Police.
When her father arrived and confronted the group, a heated argument followed and Rana pulled out his pistol and began firing at both
father and daughter. Both received bullet injuries and father collapsed.
Even as Ms. Kaur struggled to shift her father into a vehicle to take him to hospital, Rana and his gang returned with a rifle and shot
Ravinderpal Singh again in full public view.
Ms. Kaur said to media, Rana kept kicking and hitting us in full public glare. I cried and pleaded for help but everyone ran away. Even
when the ambulance came, I had to lift my father into it as no one came to help me.
End of news.
A Sociologist remarks: Our government has not set up a system to encourage civilians to fight against criminal acts. Why should
someone risk injury or their life to save another if ones life or livelihood is endangered? Government needs to enact a new scheme
named after you know who, to reward any civilian with Rs.10 lakh, a government job and a 3 BHK flat, if he prevents a crime in a public
Do you believe announcing big financial rewards to pedestrians who standup against a criminal, will change the situation? Does or can
courage have a price tag? Yes/No/Why?
Answer keypoints

Indeed an act of courage should be rewarded and applauded.


But running a scheme with Rs.10 lakh and a government job, might lead to vigilante mobs of unemployed youth, roaming
around with hokey sticks and baseball bats looking for a crime to happen (or orchestrating a crime by themselves) in order to
get the money and the job.


In the given case, goons were armed with pistols and rifles. No unarmed civilian can be expected to fight with them. In future,
might lead to a situation where a poor man intentionally jumps in the fight, knowing fully well that hell be killed- but only
doing so his family can get Rs.10 lakh.


Maintenance of law and order is states responsibility not civilians. Money is better spent on recruiting more policemen and

Conduct rules: Meaning, implication, examples, misconduct vs.crime and case studies
Following vigilance/corruption related topics in this article series + a few case studies in each:

conduct rules

23 Ethics - Mrunal

types of enquiries, prevention of corruption act


traps in bribery cases


disproportionate assets




Art.311, departmental inquiry/proceedings


various penalties

Anyways, Lets start with conduct rules.

Conduct rules

Conduct Rules lay down clear principles as to what the Government expects from its employees.

Conduct rules apply to both official AND personal life of the government servant.

If an official violates conduct rules, he may face warning/disciplinary action/departmental proceedings. They are very different
from regular Criminal court proceedings. How?
Difference: Court vs Departmental Proceedings

Court proceedings / Criminal trial

Departmental proceedings / inquiry/Misconduct

Judge hears both sides

Inquiry officer hears both sides.

Inquiry officer doesnt give punishment. He merely sends his

findings to the disciplinary authority (e.g. Secretary of the

Then disciplinary authority decides punishment against the


Judge gives punishment.

Double jeopardy doesnt apply. e.g


court case is going on- yet department can start its own

Article 20: Protection against Double

Jeopardy applies.


court acquits the accused employee- yet department can continue

its proceedings/inquiry.

No person can be prosecuted-punished for

same offense twice.


Officer files bogus bill to get LTC/Travelling allowance.

Department finds him guilty- orders him to repay from salary,
matter is considered over. (Punishment #1). But Five years
hence, department refuses to give him promotion citing earlier
misconduct. (punishment #2)

Principles of natural Justice apply in every


Art.311: central-service/state-service/all India service member

cannot be dismissed/removed/reduced in rank, except after an
inquiry with reasonable opportunity to defend himself.

Every accused is given the opportunity to

defend himself- even in the cases of national

24 Ethics - Mrunal

BUT this doesnt always apply.

For example President can remove an All India service officer, in

the interest of national security -without holding any inquiry,
without giving reasonable opportunity to defend himself, crossexamine witnesses etc.

security (e.g. Kasab, Afzal Guru)

Well see more about Art. 311 in separate article later.

Jurisdiction is territorial in nature.

e.g. Hunting bear/deer is legal in certain

states of USA. Indian citizen goes there,
hunts wild animals. Indian court cant
punish, when he comes back.

Department can still take action for conduct unbecoming of a

government employee.

e.g. Indian officer is sent abroad for training and involves in those
type of activities.

Doesnt apply to minor cases.

e.g. Boss himself witnesses that employee has come late in the
office/did not wear uniform/ was sleeping on job etc. He can cut

same for smoking marijuana in Netherlands

and shooting pornography in California.

Judge cannot hear the matter if he himself is a

witness / complainant in that crime.

guilty employee gets

guilty person gets jail/fine/both

Major penalty: dismiss, remove, rank reduction, compulsory


Minor Penalty: censure, withholding promotion/ increment,

recovering loss.

by the way warning, displeasure, suspension=doesnt count as punishment.

Well see more about types of penalties in later article.

Police/Sarkaari Vakil will have to prove the

case beyond all reasonable doubts that
accused person indeed committed the crime.

Burden of Proof in establishing a case lies

on the prosecution.

Benefit of doubt goes to the accused.

Evidence Act applies

Criminal Procedure code applies

Hear-say evidence is not admissible e.g. Witness

Not necessary to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubts.

If inquiry officer finds there is good chance that employee did the
mischief=> can declare him guilty.

Decision is taken based on preponderance of probability.

Doesnt apply. Inquiry Officer can even rely on evidences that are
not admissible in courts. Examples in following points:

Hear-say evidence may be accepted in a departmental inquiry provided it

25 Ethics - Mrunal
claims someone told me that Accused person had
affair with that dead woman.

has reasonable nexus and credibility.

Sting operations may be admissible subject to

certain criteria, such as the court being satisfied
about the authenticity of the evidence and the
identity of the persons depicted.

Inquiry officer may accept Sting operation as evidence without such caveats.
He may even hold the government servant guilty- even if there is reasonable
doubt e.g. video is not showing his clear face.

Tape recorded conversations are admissible in

court. But there has to be strong corroborative
evidences, otherwise termed as weak evidences.

Tape-recorded evidence can be freely admitted without such caveats.

Document cannot be accepted as evidence IF the

person who wrote the document, is not available for

Can be accepted, even if document maker is not available for crossexamination.

Evidence of accomplice needs corroboration.

Evidence of accomplice may be accepted without corroboration.

Circumstantial evidences enough for conviction- but

must complete the chain of events.

Can be accepted without completing chain of events.

Conduct rules: Examples

Conduct rules differ from service to service. example All India services have their own conduct rules, central services have their
own rules and state services have their own rules.

Here goes the list of some conduct rules (not-exhaustive), that should help you write the case studies related answer in a right

Ive classified them in four types: conduct rules affecting your


office life


public life


financial life


personal life
#1: Conduct Rules4 Office Life
Respecting the hierarchy


Should apply his best judgment- except when acting under the direction of his superior officer. He shall obtain such direction
in writing. If impracticable to get written order on spot, then get the written order as soon thereafter as possible.


Should not evade the responsibility by asking written instruction of superior, where it is not necessary in the scheme of work
distribution. (see the first case study at bottom)


Must not bring outside influence upon any superior authority for transfer, posting, promotion etc.


Ensure his subordinates show integrity and devotion to duty.


For office matters, he must not directly approach court/tribunals for grievance redressal before exhausting remedies in the
departmental hierarchy. (i.e. Complaining to his boss=>his boss=>his boss..if none of them helps, then approach

26 Ethics - Mrunal
Work related

Must not engage a private person to perform his official duties. (see case study at bottom)


Unauthorized absence from duty=misconduct. (see case study at bottom)


Cannot do social / charitable service during office hours. (see case study at bottom)


Must finish his assignments within time and quality limits.


Must not to adopt dilatory tactics or wilfully cause delays in official work.


Needs to show respect, courtesy, cooperation to everyone.

Sexual harassment

Must not discriminate agains working woman. Must not indulge in sexual harassment- including

physical contact and advances


a demand or request for sexual favours


sexually coloured remarks


showing pornography


any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature



Must not join any employee union/ labour union without government permission.


Must not threaten to go on strike to meet his demand / demand of any other Government servant


hunger strike, refusal to accept salary, non-cooperation with superior officer and other satyagraha type activities also


maintain absolute integrity


maintain devotion to duty


Avoid conduct unbecoming of a Government servant. It is not possible to have an exhaustive list of actions which would be
unbecoming of a Government servant- but overall, any conduct that goes against the general norms of morality, decency,
decorum and propriety = conduct unbecoming of a government servant.
Misconduct in previous job


Action can be taken against a Government servant in respect of misconduct committed by him in his previous employment- IF
it has rational connection with his present job that renders him unfit and unsuitable.


e.g. Person working as accountant. but later court declared him guilty of forgery in an old case related to his previous job.=>
present department can take action. (And double jeopardy doesnt apply).
#2: Conduct Rules4 Public Life
Public honor

Without government permission, he must not accept any honor, ceremony, meeting, rally held in his honor (or in honor of
another employee).

27 Ethics - Mrunal

Farewell party during retirement/transfer=permitted.

Simple and inexpensive entertainments arranged by public bodies or institutions=permitted.

Vindication of official acts

Suppose public/press has made some remarks against him for his official conduct. He cannot file defamation suit against them or make
press statements, without government permission.
Freedom of Speech

Shall not divulge information he got during his official capacity-to a third party- except under good faith or when required by
the law / departmental rules.

shall guard the official secrets. (Except where RTI applies.)

Shall not make any public utterance that would embarrass relations between

union vs state

state vs state

India vs foreign country


Criticizing any policy of union / state government.

Needs government permission before publishing book / writing in newspaper / appearing on TV radio EXCEPT literary,
artistic or scientific character.

He shall not do above things even anonymously or pseudonymously.


must not take part in politics

must not give election fund/ assistance to any political party

Can vote. But must not tell his preference to other people.

Must not display any election symbols on his person, vehicle or home.

Must not participate in rally, dharna-pradarshan, and demonstration without government permission.
#3: Conduct rules4 Financial Life


Must show diligence and probity in spending public money.


Cannot demand funds from anyone without government permission- even for good / charitable cause. (see the case study at


Must not make speculative investment in share market. Frequent purchase or sale of bonds/equity=counts as speculation.
Because speculative=risky=can make him indebted. and indebted employee= more likely to accept bribes.

28 Ethics - Mrunal

Must not buy shares/bonds from people he has official dealings with. because this opens pandoras box for bribe transfer. e.g
contractor sells his shares worth 1 lakh (at current market rate) to engineer at a throwaway price of just Rs.10000.


An occasional investment in Mutual funds/ ULIP etc. permitted. But has to notify government about such movable assets.
Private trade


Must not take any Private trade or employment without government permission.


Must not accept any fees from any public / private authority without government permission. (e.g. can write scientific article in
magazine without government permission but IF magazine editor gives him money for the article=> must get governments
permission before taking that money).


Must not involve in management of any cooperative society, bank, and company without government permission.


If he is an officer bearer in any Co-operative Societies, Institutions, clubs, gym etc. must maintain its finances with full


Must not promote his family members insurance/commission agency.

Loans related


Must not lend money to any person at interest rate.


Must not borrow/lend money to any person he has official dealings with. (same for his family members)


Can borrow/lend money to a friend/relative but only small amount, temporary period, interest free.


Must avoid Insolvency and habitual indebtedness.

Property related

Must furnish details about movable or immovable property bought/sold by him or his family. (including purchase, sale, renting, leasing,
mortgage, gift.)

employee rank

furnish asset details to

class 3, class 4

head of the office

class 2, class 1

head of the department.

must not rent/lease his government quarter (house) to a third party

must avoid habitual indebtedness or insolvency

Must not make any investment/renting/leasing that is likely to embarrass or influence him in the discharge of his official
duties. (same for his family member)
#4: Conduct Rules4 Personal life

family=any person bound to him by blood / marriage, and wholly dependent on him.

Bigamy prohibited. Even if bigamy permitted under his religions personal law- he needs to get government permission.


Must not give dowry, take dowry or demand dowry.

29 Ethics - Mrunal

Must not neglect his parents, wife and children.


Must not employ child labor


Observe age limit in marriage. Must not marry off his underage children, must not attend such ceremonies of other relatives.


Must not involve in adultery, moral turpitude etc. Moral turpitude is not limited to sex and unnatural relationship. It implies
depravity and wickedness of character anything that could shock the moral conscience of society in general.


protect environment, wild life and cultural heritage and other fundamental duties;
Public life of family members


Shall not use his position or influence to get job for his family member in a public/private office.


needs government permission before his son / daughter to gets job in any private undertaking that has official dealings with


make all attempts to deter his family member from joining any organization that is involved in subversive/ criminal activities.


must inform his departmental authority, if he is working with/under a government servant who happens to be his relative.


Must not accept gifts, free transport, boarding, lodging, lavish hospitality or frequent hospitality etc. from anyone he has
official dealings with.


Must not allow his family member/ middlemen to accept ^such gifts/hospitality either.


A casual/occasional meal, lift or other social hospitality = doesnt count as gift.


Can accept gifts during weddings, anniversaries or religious functions. As long as theyre within reasonable limits and social


Must declare expensive gifts received by him / his family member.

Arrest and detention


If arrested, he must inform the details to his superiors.


If spends more than 48 hours in police custody=automatically deemded suspended.

and ofcourse Desi Liquor


Avoid consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs- even in areas where it is legally permitted.


Must not come to duty while under influence of liquor/drugs.


Must not appear drunk in public places even during off-duty hours.

anyways, enough of conduct rules, lets check some case studies:

Cases studies
Seeking written order where unnecessary

(Suppose) an SDM is allowed to clear NGO project grants worth upto Rs.5 lakh on his own discretion. SDM Prem Chopra
cleared a file in good faith, but NGO had played some mischief. Yet, Department held Prem guilty and transferred him to a
non-focal punishment post. New SDM DevAnand gets the charge. Another NGO comes up with new project file. Cautious
DevAnand forwards the application to DM Pran and seeks his written instructions.

30 Ethics - Mrunal
hint: Yes, Evading responsibility- seeking written instructions of superior, where it is unnecessary in the scheme of work distribution.
Same thing is happening post 2G, CWG and Coalgate. Officers dont take decision on any project, keep forwardning files upward.
Projects are stalled, affects HDI, GDP, Foreign investment.
Disobeying written order

Honest employee GuruDutt is suspended by his corrupt Head of Department Prem Chopra. Prem also sends written
instruction to Accounts officer DevAnand to stop Gurus salary with immediate effect and pay him subsistence allowance only.
Guru is filing writ petition and expects that court will give him favorable verdict within a week. Dev decides to delay on Prems
instruction and sanctions full salary to GuruDutt.

hint: Yes, Suspended employee is not entitled to full salary- he gets subsistence allowance only. Therefore Prems written order is valid,
irrespective of how corrupt Prem Chopra himself is. Dev must not apply his best judgment in such situation. Devs decision of giving
full salary to suspended employee= insubordination and causing loss to public exchequer.
Hiring private citizen for public duty

Collector DevAnand is overburdened with work related to land records and RTIs. He has requested the revenue department to
give him an additional clerk but department refused citing budgetary constraints. Vivek Mushraan is a fresh graduate
preparing for UPSC exam from his home. He offers to help part-time, for just 1500 per month. Dev hires him and gives salary
from his own pocket.

hint: Dev must not engage a private citizen to perform official duties. Because such private citizen is not bound by the conduct rules, he
can play mischief and bring disrepute to DevAnands office.
Unauthorized absence #1

Dev recently cleared UPSC exam and got allotted to Revenue service. In his first posting itself, He is shocked by the level of
corruption in the department. His juniors and superiors are stonewalling all of his attempt to provide honest administration.
Dev is frustrated, decides to re-appear in UPSC exam again to become an IAS/IPS/IFS hoping hell have more freedom there.
He stops reporting on duty. Boss Prem Chopra is happy that headache employee is gone- continues sanctioning DevAnands
full salary, takes no action on Devs unauthorized absence from duty.

hint: Unauthorized absence from duty = misconduct. Both are guilty of wasting public money.
Unauthorized absence #2

Young DCP DevAnand leads a team to another state, to arrest a mafia don involved in ransom cases in his city. But for the fear
of information leakage, he doesnt inform his superiors or the local police. During the raid don escapes, there is gun-battle in a
public place causing lot of panic and fear among local public. Commissioner Pran reprimands DevAnand in front of his staff for
this #epicfail, calling him idiot/incompetent etc. Dev feels emotionally hurt and becomes Devdas, stops reporting on duty and
goes to USA to spend time with his cousin. Pran does not take any action thinking hotshots like DevAnand are not suitable
for police work but it is difficult to remove an All India service officer because of the protections under article 311. so its good
he is gone by himself, Ill just ignore him.

hint: Unauthorized absence from duty = misconduct. Both are guilty of wasting public money.

Same case like earlier. DCP DevAnand failed to arrest the Don despite all good faith. Commissioner Pran reprimands
DevAnand in front of his staff for this #Epicfail. Dev feels emotionally hurt, goes on a hunger strike demanding apology from
the commissioner.

hint: using hunger strike to compel superior officer to do xyz thing=misconduct. It doesnt matter how noble DevAnands act was.
Because Taking cue from him, other employees might also resort to similar hunger strike/ satyagraha in futre.= breaks the office
Social service during duty hours

Honest police officer DevAnand is given punishment posting in a training academy. He has hardly any work to do, except
taking salute from cadets in morning parade and occasional signature on files. So, every day he leaves the office after lunch
recess, to teach poor kids in the local slum area. His juniors dont complaint and superiors dont care, and so Dev continues his
social service.

31 Ethics - Mrunal
hint: cannot do social work during office hours. It doesnt matter how noble Devs act is. Because taking cue from him, even other lazy
employees may also run away after lunch, in pretext of doing social service. Thus, in the long run, this will break entire work discipline
in the office.
Seeking charity for good cause

RTO officer DevAnand has to sign hundreds of applications related to driving license and vehicle registration everyday. Clerk
Prem Chopra keeps a box on his own table and tell every visitor: This box is for Uttarakhand disaster victims. If you donate
any amount- Ill keep your file on top when I bring the bunch to Dev-saab for signature, thus your file will be cleared
quickly. Dev knows about this but chooses to ignore because Prem genuinely sends entire donation to the disaster victims.

hint: cannot demand funds/charity like this- even for good cause. Both guilty. It doesnt matter how noble and honest Prem is. But
taking cue from him, other employee might also start doing same- for personal use (e.g. need money for sons cancer operation) and
DevAnand will have hard time preventing them-will cause resentment among staff, will break team spirit.
Just because computer is not working

Collector DevAnand has installed a new e-governance project in his district. All complaints are registered through computer,
they can track progress through SMS /email alerts etc. But recently, Computer has stopped working in Tehsildar Prem
Chopras office. Department has not yet sanctioned funds to get it repaired/replaced. A Poor villager comes with a petition how
local patwari is not giving him land record copy. Prem refuses to accept complaint citing dysfunctional computer and orders
the villager to goto district office where the computer must be working.

hint: Nothing prevents Prem Chopra from making a manual receipt of complaint. This is dilatory tactic/work evasion. Public offices
have functioned even before the invention of computers and internet. Conduct unbecoming of a government servant.
Misc. cases

PWD engineer DevAnands wife wants to setup a beauty parlor. Local Contractor Prem Chopra says Ive an empty shop, and
Ill rent it to you at market rates. Dont worry, Im renting in good faith, wont demand any favors from your husband later

hint: Dev should not allow her wife to make any investment/renting/leasing that is likely to embarrass or influence him in the
discharge of his official duties. Irrespective of what Prem Chopra promises.

Subinspector Prem Chopra keeps big posters of Gods-Goddesses behind his desk. One day DCP DevAnand notices this, callsup
Prem in his office and orders him to remove those posters. Within ten minutes, local MLA calls up Dev saying you should
reconsider your order, because it might hurt feelings of a particular community.

hint: Yes, Prem brought outside influence/pressure on his superior officer = misconduct.

Young steno Helen comes to office wearing t-shirt and jeans. Boss DevAnand orders her to go back home and report in
Saree/Salwar only. Helen directly goes to high court and files writ petition.

hint: Directly going to court for grievance redressal without exhausting remedies in departmental hierarchy= misconduct. (i.e. Helen
should first complaint to Devs Boss about the office dress code.)

After death of Government employee Prem Chopra. His wife Shashikala and mistress Bindu both have applied for pension
rights. Over a dinner-gossip, Pension dept. officer DevAnand narrates this episode to his college buddy Pran.

hint: Divulging information that he got in official capacity to a third party-just for gossiping, in absence of Good faith/ court order=not

DevAnand is the warden of police academy near Abad. Every Saturday he visit Abad to buy rations from shopkeeper Prem
Chopra for the hostel. Dev also brings his kid for watching cinema/zoo etc. Every time Prem Chopra gives some toy, comics,
ice-cream, cola to the kid.

hint: Dev should avoid this type of frequent hospitality from a person he has official dealings with.
In the next article, well see various types of enquries and case studies related to them.

32 Ethics - Mrunal
Complaints: sources, types, actions, case studies

In the previous article we checked conduct rules: meaning, examples, case studies

moving to the next topic: Complaints: sources and types

Sources of Complaint

An officer comes to know about any misconduct/ mischief of his subordinates via complaint. Here are the major sources of complaint:

Direct complaint to Administrative authority (i.e. public/NGO/MP/MLA anyone- making complaint to the officer or his boss)


Direct complaint to Vigilance Commission, Lokayukta, Police, CBI, ACB.


Visit, inspection, raid, audit, surprise check, stock-verification (by the officer or some other officer)


Scrutiny of annual property statements, Income tax returns of his subordinates


Press/Media reports. And nowadays- even social networking sites.


PIL, Writ petitions in the court


Reports of legislative Committees like the Estimates / Public Accounts, Committee on Public Undertakings. Debates on the
floor of parliament / state legislature.
From Anonymous/ pseudonymous


contains no name / address


Contains name and address but no person exists on that given address.

CVC has issued following directive:


Anonymous/pseudonymous complaints have become a convenient loophole for blackmailing public officials. Theyre are
denied promotions/career benefits while investigation is pending.=breaks the staff morale.


Therefore CVC has instructed all Departments, PSUs and nationalized banks not to take action on anonymous/pseudonymous


However, if they want to look into any verifiable facts alleged in such complaints, they should refer the matter to Vigilance
From Whistleblowers

At the moment, Whistleblower bill is pending Rajya Sabha. but

Government of India has already authorized the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) as the Designated Agency to receive
written complaints from whistleblowers.

limitation: protection only for the Central Government / PSUs / bodies owned by Central government

if the employee wishes to unearth scam in his department without disclosing his own identity, he should

Send complaint a closed/secured envelope.

33 Ethics - Mrunal

To Central Vigilance Commission


Envelop must mention Complaint under The Public Interest Disclosure.


He must his name and address in the beginning or end of complaint. (because CVC will not entertain anonymous/
pseudonymous complaints)


The details of the complaint should be specific and verifiable.

If CVC receives such letter, itll be treated as whistleblower. CVC will order the inquiry against department/PSU- without disclosing
identity of the whistleblower.
Oral Complaints

While normally a public servant should to address all the instruction, communications, order through proper official channel
and writing.

However, there is no objection in entertaining a direct oral complaint about corruption or other kinds of malpractice.

All the genuine complainants should be given protection against harassment or victimization.

Whenever a public/staff member furnishes any information orally in confidence, the confidence should be respected.
From Civil Society

Administrative authorities should welcome the cooperation from NGOs, civil society, press and public to combat corruption
and irregularities.

But should not make distinction between one organization/person from another. (e.g. Anna Hazzare makes complaint then
officer quickly takes follow up action but when some less known activist/NGO comes, officer takes the matter casually.)

NGOs or private citizens should not be authorized to receive complaints on behalf of administrative authorities. (because
theyre not covered under conduct rules. may use this privilege for blackmailing others employees.)

Whenever a public organization furnishes any information in confidence, the confidence should be respected.
From Media Reports


Responsible newspapers do not usually publish wild allegations against individuals.


Therefore, Prompt action is necessary to deal with such reports to instill confidence in the public.


The editors and reporters of the more responsible newspapers may receive information about corruption through their
numerous contacts, and should be able to help fight corruption.


Administrative authorities should welcome their help and should deal with any information given to them in an appropriate


Although How far a particular reporter /NGO is trustworthy = a matter of judgment depending on a number of factors
=difficult to lay down a general rule but Administrative authority should not put blind trust on anyone.

At the same time, an Administrative authority cannot shy away from responsibility just because nobody made a specific complaint for

Newspaper interviews a noted environmentalist, who talks about declining population of sparrows in the state and apathy of
forest department. Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) chooses to ignore thinking, nobody made specific complaint to my
office, besides these jholachhap NGO cum environmentalist always blame everything on our forest department.


Local MLA makes a statement in the assembly about how city is becoming unsafe place for working women, there is traffic
congestion and nuisance of real estate mafias and so on. Police Commissioner chooses to ignore thinking, these opposition
MLAs always keep repeating the same tape in assembly. All is well in my city.

34 Ethics - Mrunal
Classifying the complaints

So far, weve learned about various source of complaints.

Suppose DevAnand is head of the office. (Revenue, police, forest, post, education, social welfare, irrigation .whatever.) And
He finds the name of his Office / subordinate / staff member in any such complaint/information. What should he do?

first make sure it is not anonymous/pseudonymous complaint. Then Dev should further classify it according to the angle:
#1: Vigilance Angle
Vigilance hierarchy

Just a brief overview



They look after vigilance/corruption matters in all ministries, departments,
PSUs, Nationalized banks, sci-edu-culture etc. bodies, funded by the Union
All such departments/PSUs/Bodies have a vigilance division- headed by
Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO).

+/- Lokayukta

state vigilance
bureau (ACB)

Vigilance division in each


This CVO maintains liaison between department vs CVC (+CBI).

Whenever complaint has vigilance angle, boss (Administrative authority) should forward it to Vigilance division in the headquarter.
Further action based their advice.
Vigilance angle is definitely present in following situation:

Bribes: giving/ demanding/accepting bribes


Obtaining valuable thing, without consideration from person he has official dealings with.


Disproportionate assets.


misappropriation, forgery, cheating, tempering official records

Vigilance angle may be present in:


officer makes excessive delay in clearing a file/project/work (perhaps because he is lazy or because he wants bribes)


Doesnt keep his superiors informed in time.


uses his discretionary powers in excess, where no public interest is evident


Gross negligence or willful negligence,


reckless decision making,


blatantly violates rules, procedures and manuals

35 Ethics - Mrunal
in all such Issues, vigilance division will decide future course of action which is: conduct enquiry by itself /departmental officers/ CBI/
ACB depending on jurisdiction and gravity of allegation.

Absence of vigilance angle = does not mean that the concerned official is not liable to face the consequences of his actions.

Even if no vigilance angle is present (or proved), official will still face disciplinary action under the service conduct rules that
we saw in previous article.

Anyways, so far we saw complaints involving vigilance angle. Now the other types:

#2: Administrative

#3: Criminal

e.g. late attendance, disobedience, insubordination, negligence of duty, technical irregularities,

sleeping on duty etc.

in such cases, boss (Administrative authority) himself has to take action. If his enquiry reveals any
vigilance/criminal angle, he should forward matter accordingly + take disciplinary action for violation
of conduct rules.

e.g. theft of office computer, cable wires, accident of government vehicle etc.

Forward to local police.

So far, Complaint is received=>classified in three angles (vigilance, administrative and criminal). Next step is:

Administrative angle=>

Preliminary enquiry=>departmental proceedings =>punishment.

vigilance/criminal angle=>

Discreet/regular enquiry=>FIR=>investigation=>court proceedings =>punishment.

well see about them in detail, in the next article. for the moment, lets check some case studies
Case studies

in the following cases, DevAnand is a Superintending Engineer in PWD department and has received complaint about his
junior engineer Prem Chopra. and Dev has to decide- what to do with the complaint.

Rule of thumb: If the nature of complaint is such that Dev will have to make enquiries to private citizen, examining nonofficial records, bank lockers, conducting search-seizures etc. = he doesnt have such investigation powers like a police officer.

in such situation, He should better forward the matter to vigilance division (=>ACB, CBI) / local police.

Complaint: Prem Chopra has acquired a large farmhouse in another state using ill-gotten money from contractors. Then blah blah



Dev should file RTI to the land

record office of given state to find
ownership of the farm house.


Should personally visit that

farmhouse and inquire the



Disproportionate asset= vigilance angle. Dev should forward the

complaint to vigilance division=>ACB.


ACB will first launch discreet enquiry for disproportionate assets, once
substantial matter is found, theyll lodge FIR, make raid on his house, bank
account, lockers and his game will be over. Hell be prosecuted under

36 Ethics - Mrunal

neighbors / chowkidars / real estate

agents about the owner.
prevention of corruption act.

should seek explanation from Prem


Should immediately suspend Prem

Chopra and order inquiry.


then, Dev should suspend him=>launch disciplinary action.

Complaint: Prem Chopra used substandard material in construction of municipal building. then blah blah blah




Should immediately suspend Prem

Chopra and order inquiry.


first is Technical/Administrative Angle: should inspect the building quality

by himself. If prima facie mischief appears=> vigilance angle.

Should forward the complaint to local

police / vigilance commission.

Complaint: Prem Chopra secretly takes bribes from contractors via his wifes SBI bank account. Then blahblah blah..


Dev should write a letter to SBI manager to

get detailed transections Prems Wifes
bank account.

Then he should verify if there is any

pattern of money donations by local
contractors.=> suspend Prem
Chopra=>order inquiry=>dismiss him.


Vigilance angle. Besides Dev has no power to get bank account

details of a private citizen. Forward matter to vigilance

ACB will first launch discreet enquiry for disproportionate assets,

once substantial matter is found, theyll lodge FIR, make raid on his
house, bank account, lockers and his game will be over. hell be
prosecuted under prevention of corruption act.

then, Dev should suspend him=>launch disciplinary action.

Complaint: Dev is the Superintending Engineer in PWD department. Local resident Madan Puri complaints how junior engineer Prem
Chopra misbehaved with his daughter during Navratri night. But he doesnt want to file FIR to protect his daughters honor then


Dev should immediately callup Prem and

seek his explanation / warn / reprimand /
suspend him etc.


Criminal angle. Besides incident happened outside Devs office,

during off-duty hours. Dev cannot go around inquiring private
citizen witnesses.

So, he should suggest the father to lodge complaint with local police
and assure him that police and press donot divulge identity of
female in such cases.

37 Ethics - Mrunal

if police arrests Prem Chopra, then Dev should transfer/suspend him and
order departmental inquiry for violation of conduct rules.

Complaint: Dev is the Superintending Engineer in PWD department. Local resident Ranjith comes to his office and complaints any of
the following, about his junior engineer Prem Chopra,

Prem sold me his old laptop knowing fully well that it was faulty. Now laptop stopped working completely. I asked him to
return money but he refuses.


Prem is living as paying guest in my house but has not paid rent for last three months.

+Ranjith also mentions how desperately he needs money for his younger sisters wedding / ill mothers cancer treatment and requests
DevAnand to cut money from Prem Chopras salary and give it to him.



Dev should immediately callup Prem and seek his explanation

/ make preliminary enquiry by himself and make payment to
Ranjith from Prem Chopras salary.

These matters are outside Devs authority. He

cannot directly cut money from Prems salary and
give it to Ranjith.

He should advice Ranjith to seek relief from


If court rules in favour of Ranjith, Dev could

initiate disciplinary action against Prem Chopra
for violating conduct rules.

Dev is an under-secretary in coal ministry- well known among the staff as an honest, upright officer. One day GuruDutt, the PA to Coal
minister comes to see him. Guru talks about a secret deal going on between the minister and certain industrialists for allotment of
blocks for hefty bribes.how the secretary and upper echelon of bureaucracy is also involved in this scam. Guru also shows him
incriminating documentary evidences that prima facie prove all of his allegations. However Guru fears reprisal and hence afraid to lodge
complaint. What should Dev do?

wrong approach


Dev / Guru should Write anonymous / pseudonymous

complaint to CBI/CVC/PMO etc. (wrong because they are
not required to act on such anonymous complaints)

right (atleast for the exam!)


Dev should inform Guru about the existing

mechanism to protect whistleblowers, and ask him to
forward the documentary evidence to CVC under


If Guru is still afraid, Dev should ask him to handover

the documents, file complaint under whistle blower
protection mechanism to CVC himself.

Following approaches debatable for directly talking to outsiders, without going to CVC/CBI first, and thus violating the sacred conduct

Leak the story to media.

38 Ethics - Mrunal

Leak the story to some NGO, ask them file PIL/writ petition in court.

Enquries: Preliminary, Discreet, Regular; Prevention of Corruption Act features, Investigation & case studies
So far, weve seen

Conduct Rules


sources of complaints (about misconduct / corruption)

Now time for different types of enquires and investigation and the prevention of corruption Act.
Preliminary Enquiry
Suppose case study runs on following theme:
An NGO/Reporter/Citizen comes in Collector DevAnands Office and complaint how Tehsildar Prem Chopra is stalling a file/work for
the want of bribesWhat should DevAnand do?


DevAnand should immediately suspend Prem Chopra and initiate a departmental inquiry thenblahblah


DevAnand should conduct a preliminary enquiry to ascertain the factsIf prima facie it appears Prem Chopra
involved in a wrongdoing thenblahblahblah

so what is this preliminary enquiry and how is it different from regular departmental inquiry?
What is a preliminary enquiry?

Preliminary enquiry is a fact-finding enquiry.


done by the Administrative authority (e.g. head of office, head of department- or any subordinate officer under their order)


Done to ascertain a complaint/allegation made against a government employee. Because if departmental inquiry is started
based on a fake complaint- it creates embarrassment for honest employee and destroys staff morale.
No protection to Accused


Preliminary enquiry is not regular inquiry under the disciplinary rules. It is merely a tool to help the boss decide follow up

Therefore, Art.311 or the principles of natural justice DONOT apply to a preliminary enquiry. (Meaning accused employee
doesnt have the right to defend himself or cross-examine the witnesses etc.)

It is not necessary for boss to seek explanation of accused employee at this stage-Especially when there is sufficient prima facie
material to prove his mischief.

Accused employee has no right to be heard at this stage. Boss can decide future course of action behind his back.

Preliminary enquiry is not a precondition for taking disciplinary action. (Boss can directly start disciplinary action if there is
prima facie material.)

There is no prescribed procedure for conducting preliminary enquiry. Boss can follow suitable procedure as he sees fit. He may
do it orally, he may do it in writing. He may do it by himself, he may ask his junior to gather facts for him and so on.

39 Ethics - Mrunal

If complaint is made against a senior officer than preliminary enquiry should be done by an officer of sufficiently higher status.


In complaints related to quality / completion of work e.g. MNREGA, IAY, PWD, roads, buildings, irrigation, NGO projects
etc. the Enquiry Officer should make surprise site inspection to verify the facts on the spot. But he should not disturb the
evidences or disclose real purpose of his visit to local staff.


During the course of enquiry, if officer feels that it is necessary to collect evidence from non-official persons (e.g. banker,
contractor, CA, share-broker, property dealer etc.) then further work should be entrusted to ACB/CBI via Vigilance
Resignation during Prelim Enquiry

If preliminary enquiry is ongoing but accused employee tenders resignation- it should not normally be accepted. Why? Because
resignation =eligible for future employment to government, pension- gratuity benefits

But what if he did some mischief so grave that he could be dismissed and be removed of all retirement/pension related

Therefore, accused employee should not be allowed to escape easily by resigning.

Bogus Complaints

Genuine complainants should be given protection against harassment or victimization. (i.e. by transferring/ suspending the
accused employee +/- protecting the identity of victim/witnesses as and where necessary)

But if complaint turns out to be false and malicious after preliminary enquiry then criminal prosecution should be launched
against such complainants- to deter other miscreants and to boost the staff morale.

Indian Penal Code (IPC): a person making a false complaint = 6 months / fine / both (section 182)
Discreet Enquiry

CBI/ACB has received a complaint but they donot have sufficient material to register a regular case/FIR. They start discreet

A Discreet Enquiry is exploratory in nature, conducted with utmost secrecy.

Suspect employee is not approached directly.

Instead, the investigating officer approaches his juniors, seniors, colleagues, neighbors, social contacts etc.

He doesnt record their statements officially. He camouflages the purpose of meeting e.g. CBI officer contacting chowkidar of
the farmhouse, in disguise of a real-estate agent and inquiring about property owner.

He also verifies the general reputation/lifestyle of the accused employee.

Outcome of Discreet Enquiry?


if complaint/allegation/tip turns out to be fake => discarded OR


If still need to collect more material=> start Regular (Formal) inquiry.


If substantial material gathered=>FIR is registered under prevention of corruption act. (PCA)

Discreet Enquiry of All India Services Members(AIS)

In case of All India service member (IAS, IPS, IFoS) serving in State: if discreet enquiry finds something fishy, then:

40 Ethics - Mrunal

ACB sends report to Vigilance commission


Vigilance commissioner consults with Chief Secretary of the State + the secretary of the concerned department/ministry of the



GAD/Personnel for IAS


Home affairs for IPS


Environment and Forest for IFoS

After that Vigilance commissioner may (or may not) authorize the ACB to conduct a formal enquiry / register an FIR under
Prevention of Corruption Act against that All India service (AIS) officer.

^this is the mechanism in Andhra Pradesh. Other states may have some differences in the technicalities.

CBI also needs to follow similar action while investigating AIS officers on deputation to central ministries/departments.

As you can see this mechanism is meant to protect the honest officer, but often becomes an obstacle to deal with even guilty
AIS officers.

The secretaries dont clear the files immediately, empires within empires, have a feudal mindset to protect their underlings=
matter kept pending for months and in the meantime guilty Officers get the opportunity to temper witness/records/evidences.
Regular Enquiry

Regular Enquiry is an open enquiry (unlike the Discreet Enquiry)

A Regular Enquiry is taken up depending on the nature of allegation, the material available and other factors.

Regular Enquiry may become necessary where ACB/CBI wants to explore the complaint on a firmer ground before lodging FIR
and taking up regular investigation.

Here the investigating officer can directly and openly approach witnesses and accused employee.
Surprise checks

ACB/CBI can carry out surprise checks of offices known for rampant corruption. (Depending on their jurisdiction.)

Following places are the first target of surprise checks:

revenue- earning offices: sale tax, excise, octroi related checkposts

expenditure- incurring offices: pension, treasury, accounts office

Focal points with direct public contact: e.g. tehsildar, patwari, RTO, passport, social welfare etc.

These surprise checks have dual objectives


preventing the malpractices

Punishing the guilty.

Salient Aspects / Principles:


Also checks that no official has engaged a private person to perform official functions. e.g. in RTO office, passport office,
tehsildars office- often you see dalal type elements doing all the filing, inspection work and the sahib merely signs the file
without even looking at its contents or at your face. This type of Outsourcing=violation of conduct rules.

41 Ethics - Mrunal

In certain offices (e.g. Treasury/excise/pension), the employee has to declare his personal cash in the office register every day.
ACB/CBI would verify the cash possessed by employee with reference to cash declared by them in morning. If there is
mismatch= means he took bribe or stole money from office.


Care should be taken that very few know about it, else someone might leak information to the given office and corrupt
employees will become cautious.


Usually Two independent public servants (from third Department) are kept as mediators during the check. (To ensure that
neither side plays mischief.)


Sometimes joint surprise checks are done with help of local police and senior officers of the given department.


Should be done in Remote areas- faraway tehsils as well.

Ok so far, under Ethics/Vigilance:

We learned about the preliminary enquiry (to be done by administrative authority / departmental officer)

We learned about discreet and regular enquiry (to be done by CBI, ACB officers)

These enquiries were mostly informal in nature.

Now time for (formal) investigation. But before that, need to look at Prevention of corruption act (PCA). Because formal investigation
starts when FIR is registered under PCA.
Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988

Applies to whole India except J/K

Even applies to all India citizen living outside India.

Following public servants are covered


Employees of union, state, local authority, PSU and statutory boards.


election commission and its employees


Public service commission: its chairman, members and employees.


Any PSU, company, statutory body, cooperative society, educational, cultural, scientific institution funded by Union/State


Employees of SC, HC, various tribunals.


Govt. universities: Vice-Chancellor, registrar, Professor, reader, lecturer and office employees


PCA act doesnt apply to following forces: army, navy, airforce, BSF, coast guard and NSG

Overall, the Vigilance jurisdiction is:

offices funded by

vigilance/corruption matter looked after by

Union government


State government

State vigilance commission=>Anti-Corruption bureu (ACB)

42 Ethics - Mrunal

+/- Lokayukta

Special judges

PCA Act empowers both union and state governments to appoint special judges for anti-corruption.

Ok but what is so special about this special judge?


He can order summary trial in certain situations. Summary trial means no need for detailed examinations of witness/evidences
before punishing the accused.=> quick justice, no more taarikh pe taarikh


He can grant immunity/pardon/leniency to bribe-giver or the accomplice for their testimony.

Limitations of Special Judge:


Against a state / central employee, he cannot take cognizance without previous sanction from respective government.


Doesnt apply to army, navy, airforce, BSF, coast guard and NSG.
Punishments under PCA


min. jail



Public servant taking/demanding bribes for doing official work. (even person expecting to be a
public servant is covered)


5 years


middle man taking/demaing bribe for any public servant


5 years


public servant taking valuable things, without consideration from a person he has official dealings


5 years


Voluntarily offering bribe to public servant.


5 years


1 year

7 years


Criminal misconduct by Public Servant viz.


Misappropriation of government money.


disproportionate assets


habitually accepts bribes

Who can investigate?

With respect to PCA Act, following officers can investigate crime AND can arrest people without warrant from magistrate.

CBI inspector (Delhi Special Police Establishment)


Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)- in metropolitan areas under police commissioner. e.g. Mumbai, Chennai, Abad etc.

43 Ethics - Mrunal

Dy.SP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) in remaining areas.


Any other officers empowered by state government (e.g. Anti-corruption bureau/ ACB)

Speaking of warrants.
Types of Offenses
Just a brief overview for educational/public-awareness purpose:
Cogni vs. Non-cogni



Police Officer may arrest without warrant

Police Officer has no authority to arrest without warrant

Rioting, kidnapping, murder, rape, extortion etc.

Defamation, cheating, forgery, adultery etc.

Police officer need not wait for the court orders. Has
to start the investigation immediately.

Officer doesnt start the investigation immediately, he advises the

complainant or victim to approach the court for further directions.
Bailable-Non Bailable



police can give bail.

Only judge can give bail.

Police have to produce the accused in court (within 24 hours of
arrest).Court decides following

after arrest the accused can apply for bail to the

police station officer itself.

The officer grants bail after obtaining proper sureties.

Example forgery, defamation.


send him police custody


send him in judicial custody


Give him bail.

example murder, dowry death, rape, robbery etc.

What about bribes?




public servant taking bribe

Cognizable =can arrest without warrent


middleman taking bribe on behalf of public servant

Cognizable =can arrest without warrant


You can read more about all the offenses and their classification here: vakilbabu.com/laws/Classify/Classify.htm
Anyways back to the topic: were seeing the prevention of corruption act. we saw its applicability, the special judge, the investigating
officers now time for actual investigation

44 Ethics - Mrunal
(Formal) Investigation

During investigation, Police/CBI/ACB officer has to follow the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC).


Investigation is collection of facts to identify the guilty.


Investigation is a probing from the known to the unknown backward in time.

FIR in corruption cases:

First Information Report- given by the victim / someone who has come to know about any crime.

But what if there is no victim? e.g. contractor voluntarily gives bribe, engineer voluntarily accepts bribe and neither party
comes to complaint! In such cases, ACB officer himself can registered an FIR, naming State: ACB as the complainant. (CBI
can do similar in the corruption cases related to Union ministries/Department/PSUs)

Complainant has right to get FIR copy free of cost.

F.I.R. contains following data:


full name of the accused


age, occupation, place of residence,


The offense: time, data, description, motives, properties involved if any.

If accused employees name is unknown, his description should be given.

BTW, it is necessary for CBI/ACB to register FIR before laying traps for catching bribe givers/taker. well see more of that under Trap
related article later.
Investigation: Provisions and safeguards
(With respect to Prevention of Corruption Act)

Investigating officer can take any possible evidence/parcel from postal / telecom Department.


Can demand bank or public offices to show him required documents or books. But should not cause unnecessary hardship or
dislocation of work to their office personnel.


Can attach money or other property acquired via corruption.


Investigating Officer has power to require any person to appear before him.


Cannot ask a boy/girl below 15 years to come to police station. He can only ask them question at their residence.


Can examine the accused public servant. It serves a dual purpose; it may clarify certain aspects and indicate his likely defense
in court.


But cannot compel the accused public servant to be a witness against himself. Art. 20(3) of the Constitution.


Cannot compel a government servant to disclose information protected under Official secrets Act.


Investigating Officer can get statements recorded by competent magistrate.

10. Investigating Officer can hold an identification parade.

11. Public is legally bound to give corruption related information to nearest magistrate / police officer.
12. Three hall marks of investigator= industry, integrity and impartiality.

45 Ethics - Mrunal
Case Diary

Investigating Officer has to maintain a diary of investigation day-to-day.


Court may order him to produce this diary during trial not as evidence, but to aid it, in the trial.


Accused public servant is not entitled to see case diary. Unless the officer uses them to refresh his memory or the Court uses
them for contradicting the Investigating officer.
Accomplice, immunity and pardon

Accomplice= Person who joins/helps another person to carry out some mischief.

An accomplice in corruption case can turn into an approver and testify against the main corrupt public servant. This helps in
speedy conclusion of trial / proving cases where no other evidence is available.

In such situation- the investigating officer can approach vigilance commissioner to get immunity to that approver (so he is not
punished for violation of conduct rules, despite testifying about his misconduct in the court by himself)- or atleast given some

Similarly investigating officer can also approach that special judge to grant pardon to the approver (so he is not punished for
violation of PCA)- or atleast given any leniency.

Immunity /pardon is not given in every case. It is given only where offense is serious and it is difficult to win court-case
without the testimony of the accomplice/approver.
Supreme Court on Prevention of Corruption Act


Prevention of Corruption Act was intended to make effective provision for the prevention of bribery and corruption rampant
amongst the public servants.


It is a social legislation defined to curb illegal activities of the public servants and is designed to be liberally construed so as to
advance its object.


The overall public interest and the social object is required to be kept in mind while interpreting various provisions of this Act
and deciding cases under it.


Supreme Court held that procedural delays and technicalities of law should not be permitted to defeat the object sought to be
achieved by this Act.


Judge does not preside over a criminal trial merely to see that no innocent man is punished. A Judge also presides to see that a
guilty man does not escape.


Miscarriage of justice arises from the acquittal of the guilty, no less than from the conviction of the innocent.
Case Study: Bogus Sarkari hospital

Recall that case study in UPSCs official sample paper for ethics: medical superintendent of a district level government hospital..he has
been receiving repeated complaintsparticularly from the patients.
First step is classify the complaints according to their angle and then decide what to do?
Complaint 1: Very poor maintenance and un-hygienic conditions in hospital premises.
Administrative angle:

Preliminary enquiry=>find guilty staff, supervisors and impose minor penalties for their negligence in duty.


Make daily rounds in hospital just to keep them scarred and busy.


If budget permits, install biometric system to monitor attendance.

46 Ethics - Mrunal
Complaint 2: The hospital staff frequently demanding bribes from the patients for the services rendered.
Vigilance angle:

Setup big display boards, informing the visitors about contact numbers of ACB office/vigilance division, if anyone demands


Raise matter with Vigilance division in state health department. Request them to conduct surprise check/raid/trap for bribes
and disproportionate assets with help of ACB.


Special Court will punish them as per the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. But in the meantime suspend=>
disciplinary action (as we saw in first article about conduct rules- double jeopardy doesnt apply.)


+Make daily rounds in hospital just to keep the crook employees scarred and busy.

Complaint 3: The negligent attitude of the Doctors resulting in casualties.

Criminal Angle:

Preliminary enquiry=> FIR =>suspend=>disciplinary proceedings + criminal proceedings=>punishment.

make daily rounds in hospital just to keep the crook doctors scarred and busy

If budget permits, install biometric system to monitor attendance.

Complaint 4: Siphoning of a substantial stock of medicine by the staff and selling it out.
Criminal/Vigilance angle:

Misappropriation. Forward complaint to vigilance division =ACB.

ACB will make inquiry=> FIR => investigate=>prosecute under prevention of corruption act (and even IPC for theft).

+suspend everyone who gets arrested and take disciplinary action.

Administrate angle:
Make surprise check on store house etc. and (if budget permits)

Install CCTV cameras.

Install computerized inventory system with barcodes to keep daily track of stock.

Complaint 5: Strong nexus between the senior Doctors of the hospital and the owners of local private nursing homes
and testing labs as a result of which the patients are strongly misled and dissuaded from availing the hospital
facilities and rather compelled to purchase costly medicines from market and get medical tests and even operations
done from private medical houses.
Vigilance angle:

Setup big posters showing the Citizen Charter- informing the visitors about facilities available in the hospital,
Administrative charges and contact numbers of important officials, local ACB and vigilance division.


Raise matter to Vigilance division in state health department. Request surprise check on disproportionate assets of
notorious doctors with help of ACB. (Because if doctors have such nexus- most likely theyve made lakhs and cores of rupees in


As theyre being prosecuted under prevention of corruption act=>suspend=>disciplinary action.

Administrative angle:

47 Ethics - Mrunal
Make daily rounds in hospitals, talk with patients and their relatives, ensure them about the facilities available in hospital + just to keep
the crook employees scarred and busy.
Complaint 6: There also exist a notorious employee union which puts undue pressure and resents any reformative
step by the administration.
Administrative angle:

Union problem will not be solved in a day or in a week.

First fix previous problems => crook employees will face court proceedings / departmental proceedings.

Then other arrogant employees/doctors will amend their ways, will learn to remain in their aukaat.

The grip and nuisance of union will thus decrease automatically over the time.

+ Confidence building exercise, employee rating/reward/consultation programs etc. fancy things.

Traps in Bribery case: features, safeguards, Phenolphthalein Test & case studies
so far weve seen about

conduct rules


complaint: sources, types and actions


Enquiries, investigation, Prevention of Corruption Act.

Now time to lay traps in bribery cases.

Traps against Bribe takers: salient feature

CBI/ACB lays traps to catch bribe taker (and givers) red-handed.

Benefit: The entire case unfolds by itself as the trap is laid and executed. CBI/ACB doesnt need to make more efforts to gather
additional evidences= less headache to collect evidence + high conviction rate.

Two prior-conditions for laying trap (against a bribe demanding public servant):

Public servant (or a middle man/tout) has demanded bribe.


Victim has given written complaint to CBI/ACB.

On other words,

CBI/ACB cannot randomly lay traps against any public servant, just to check whether he is honest or not. Such sting
operation or honey-trapping is legally forbidden.


Just because CBI/ACB believes Mr.XYZ is in habit of taking bribes- they cannot set a trap on him, unless someone specifically
complaints about him.

Besides, CBI/ACB can also raid a premise to catch both bribe giver and bribe taker. (without either of them complaining)
Secret Verification

48 Ethics - Mrunal
Just because someone gave a written complaint = doesnt mean CBI/ACB immediately lays a trap. The standard operating procedure is

CBI/ACB officer will ask the complainant to be ready with money and await further instructions. (yes the victim has to arrange
money. CBI/ACB wont help him arrange money)


In the meantime, the officer will start a swift secret verification:


To check background of the complainant.


To check background of the public servant.


To check complainants relation with the given public servant.

ok but WHY take above precautions?


Once caught, corrupt officer usually makes Loan theory defense. In the court, hed say I had given loan to that
complainant. But he doesnt want to repay, so got me caught in this fake trap.


Sometimes, complainant himself is a dubious character. e.g. Contractor Prem Chopra had prior bribe relation with that
Engineer Pran. But now Pran has mad new bribe arrangement with another contractor so Prem wants to take revenge.


Sometimes, Officer is honest. Complainant is the bad guy- who wants revenge for some other matter (not giving illegal favours,
property dispute, family dispute, love triangle etc.etc.) hence he is filling the fake bribe complaint just for mental harassment
to honest officer.
Prior permission required

lets ignore CBI for a while and focus on ACB.

After the secret verification, ACB officer has found the complaint to be genuine. Still he cannot immediately lay trap. He has to get

When complaint is against ___

need permission from ___ before laying trap

state-PSU/state service employee/private


Director General (DG) of ACB

All India Service Officer (IAS, IPS, IFoS) under

the state government

DG of ACB has to get permission from Chief Secretary.

AND in turn, Chief secretary has to get permission from Chief Minister
before giving permission to DG-ACB!

These are safeguards in Andhra. Other states may have slight difference in the technicalities.
These safeguards are meant to prevent ACB from turning into Hitlers Gestapo Police. But over the years, these safeguards have become

sometimes petty employees in DG-ACB/Chief Secretarys office (=clerks, peons, section officers) leak the information about
the upcoming raid/trap to that corruption official for getting bakshish (reward)


Sometimes Chief Secretary / CM may not give permission because they themselves involved in the scam indirectly. Or because
they dont want to create a scene. e.g CM took money from the corrupt officer to get him transferred to that given plum-posting
in the first place!

Similarly, CBI has to get central governments permission before inquiring/ investigating any officers of joint Secretary level and above.

49 Ethics - Mrunal
Registration of FIR
So far ACB officer has:

received written complaint


made secret verification, found the complaint to be genuine


Got permission from Director General of ACB to lay the trap.

STILL he cannot lay the trap. Now he has to register a First Information Report (FIR). This F.I.R. together with the original complaint is
sent to Special Judge for Anti-Corruption. (This is the same special judge we saw in previous article related to prevention of
Corruption Act (PCA).
Special Judge has to keep this FIR secret in his personal custody until trap is executed.
Independent Witnesses
After above technicalities are finished. ACB officer has to get :

Trap cases need indepent person to witness the transaction +/- overhear the talk between victim and suspect public servant.


So, ACB has to get one such witness to accompany victim to the trap scene.


ACB officer can use private citizen / another government servant from a different Department to act as witness.


Public servant, particularly gazetted officer, should assist as witness in a bribe trap, whenever CBI/ACB/Local police requests


If he refuses=violation of conduct rules.


However he should refuse to become witness, IF he knows the accused personally OR if he has already appeared as witness in
another trap case. (Because otherwise defense lawyer may raise doubt on his credibility.)
Phenolphthalein Test

Phenolphthalein is a light white powder and slightly soluble in water


Phenolphthalein + acidic solution = colorless


Phenolphthalein + neutral solution =colorless


Phenolphthalein + alkaline/basic solution =pink color.

In ACB traps, currency notes are treated with phenolphthalein powder. This powder adheres to the notes surface but hardly visible to
the naked eye.
If goods are demanded as bribe- they can also be coated with phenolphthalein powder. e.g. box of iphone /laptop/camera etc.
After corrupt official accepts (touches) those currency notes or goods=> following procedure is done

ACB team prepares a solution of sodium carbonate (washing soda) in a tumbler.


Then corrupt official is asked to dip his fingers inside this tumbler= solution becomes pink. Because washing soda=alkaline.
And Phenolphthalein + alkaline medium=pink color. (by the way, once UPSC had asked this chemical principle in prelims
Search of premises

50 Ethics - Mrunal

Normally an officer caught redhanded accepting bribe- he may be a habitual bribe-taker and possibly in possession of
disproportionate assets.

Therefore, ACB raids the house of the public servant and his relatives, in the presence of mediators and witnesses of the

bank lockers, documents related to investment, currency notes, etc. are seized.
Trap Success

The concerned department has to suspend the guilty official immediately. He is presented in the special court for anticorruption. Judge decides whether he is guilty / how much jail time, as per the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Parallel to that court proceeding, the department initiates its own departmental proceeding- to dismiss him and if he has
retired then to withhold his entire pension and gratuity.
Trap Failure

Nowadays, the corrupt officials have become cautious. They avoid touching Phenolphthalein coated currency notes by themselves. For

They ask the victim to place notes in a folder.


They ask bribes in non-physical format e.g. mobile recharge.


They get the notes exchanged. e.g. take victim to a shop. Ask him to give 1000 rupee note (Phenolphthalein coated) to that
shopkeeper in exchange of two fresh notes of Rs.500.


They outsource bribe collection work to a middleman. e.g. junior staff/ peon/ some dalal (agent) type unemployed person.


If caught, they threaten, coerce, and harass the witnesses to change their testimony.

However these dirty tricks dont always protect them. In the absence of direct evidences- even circumstantial evidences can be used for
corroboration and guilty can be punished. Even if all witnesses turn hostile. (Upheld by HCs and SC in many cases.)
Trap Failure: follow up action?
Most Department / PSUs have following policy:

Once ACB sends report to Head of Department that Mr.xyz is directly / indirectly caught accepting bribe. He is placed under
suspension, irrespective of whether the phenolphthalein test yielded positive result or not.

Even if trap completely fails (i.e. neither the accused nor his middlemen accepts notes), the accused official is transferred to a
non-focus post, pending further inquiry by the department itself.

As we saw earlier, an ACB/CBI officer has to seek so many permissions/precautions before laying a trap. So, if he got
permission to lay the trap= indeed something was fishy about that accused official. Hence it is justified to transfer him to a
non-focal post.
Loan theory

(real case): official caught red-handed accepting bribe from a contractor. Got acquitted in court using the loan theory
i.e. Contractor wasnt giving me bribe but he was repaying loan that I had given him earlier.

But despite court acquittal, he had to face departmental inquiry for violating conduct rules i.e. officer should not lend money to
people he has official dealings with.

Subsequently he was removed from the government service.

Art. 20 (Double jeopardy) doesnt protect from departmental proceedings, even if a person is acquitted in court proceedings.

51 Ethics - Mrunal
Supreme Court on Trap failures

SC has upheld the conviction against the official even when the complainant and witnesses turned hostile during court


SC has upheld conviction against official even when he used a middlemen to get the bribes and did not touch the notes by


SC has observed that circumstantial evidences can also be used for corroboration in bribe cases, if witnesses turn hostile.
Direct evidences to link corrupt official with currency notes (phenolphthalein)= not always necessary to convict the accused.

so far we learned about Bribe takers but what about.

Action against Bribe givers

Dishonest traders, contractors, power-brokers and jholachhap NGOs always attempt to bribe public servants to get illegal

Honest officers refuse bribes and think their duty is over. But that alone is not sufficient. Because the contractor might still
bribe his junior / senior officer to get illegal favors.

Therefore, when bribe is offered, honest officer should postpone the deal for some future time, and bring the matter to
CBI/ACB officer, so that a trap can be laid and bribe giver can be apprehended red handed.

If for some reasons, it is not possible to contact the CBI/ACB/ the local police authorities immediately, then what to do?

Honest officer should ask the bribe-giver to wait for a short time and get any person nearby to witness the transaction and to
overhear the conversation between the bribe giver and the public servant. Then he should call up CBI/ACB/ the local police
authorities as soon as possible. (this is CVC directive.)

If such action is taken, other unscrupulous people will think twice before offering bribes to any public servant.
CBI FAQ on trap
Before we see a few case studies, lets check CBIs official FAQ for traps- for some education/awareness:
Q. What is a trap? We often read in newspapers that CBI has caught a public servant in a trap.
The process of catching such corrupt public servants red handed while they demand and take bribes is popularly called the trap. It is
not a legal term. A set procedure has been devised in CBI to lay a trap against a corrupt public servant.
Q. Who provides the money used for laying the trap?
The money has to be provided by the complainant and none else.
Q. What happens to the money of the complainant provided for laying trap?

Such money is an important piece of evidence during court trial.

We (CBI) put that money in court along with chargesheet.

After completion of trial, court orders return of the money to the complainant.

Thus eventually money returned to the complainant after completion of the trial.

But keeping in view the hardships (in long pending cases)-we refund an equivalent amount of money to the victim after filing
of the charge sheet.

Q. If the complainant is so poor that he cannot arrange bribe money, does it mean that no action can be taken against
a corrupt public servant, who demands bribe?

52 Ethics - Mrunal

Certainly not. Action can be taken in such situations also.

As per the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, sheer demand of bribe is a punishable offence.

It is not necessary to prove that public servant accepted bribe. Even if it can be proved that public servant demanded
bribe=>he can be convicted.

Laying of trap is just a means of collection of evidence to prove the guilt. It is preferred because it facilitates collection of good
evidence and makes a case full proof.

In the absence of trap, it is difficult to collect evidence of demand of bribe. It, however, does not mean that laying of trap is
mandatory and nothing can be done in the absence of a trap.

Q We have often heard that not only bribe taking but bribe giving is also an offence under the law. In that case is not
the complainant who hands over the bribe amount to the accused for laying trap is also an accused?

Certainly, bribe giving is also an offence as per of the Prevention of Corruption Act. But only when it is given voluntarily.

if the victim comes to law enforcement agencies soon after demand of bribe by a public servant- he is protected from
prosecution. (e.g. victim giving bribe to public servant during a trap=>victim is not committing crime)

Q. What should an honest public servant do, when he is offered bribe by a person?

As mentioned in the previous answer, voluntarily giving or offering bribe is also a punishable offence under the Prevention of
Corruption Act.

In such a case the honest public servant should inform CBI as soon as such an offer is made by a person. In fact such a bribe
giver can also be caught red handed by laying a trap on the complaint of the honest public servant.

The honest public servant shall, therefore, take steps to get such persons punished, rather than ignoring or just reprimanding
them. This will deter the unscrupulous elements from bribe giving.

Q. It is often heard, that public servants in higher positions dont demand or take bribes directly but through the
touts or middlemen. Does CBI take action against such touts or middlemen also?

Most certainly. Prevention of Corruption Act, also provides punishment to such touts/middlemen and the public servants who
employ such touts/middlemen.

On getting information/complaints against such touts/middlemen, CBI lays trap against them with the help of the
complainant or otherwise.

CBI requests the general public to provide information about such known touts/middlemen, who are active in many public
offices of the Central Government.

CBI takes steps to verify such information at its own level and ensure action against such touts/middlemen even without a

Q. Are there cases, when CBI has simultaneously taken action against the willing bribe giver and the bribe taker?
Yes, there have been such cases. If CBI receives information about a willing bribe giver and bribe taker from any genuine source before
the bribe is actually handed over, it verifies such information and lays a trap to catch both the bribe giver and bribe taker red handed.
Case Studies
Trap for Good Blackmail
DevAnand and GuruDutt are two CBI officials investigating the missing files in coal-gate. They suspect Joint Secretary Prem Chopra in
coal ministry has hid/destroyed those files- or atleast he knows something. But so far, theyve found no leads, tips, witnesses or
evidences to link Prem Chopra with this crime.

53 Ethics - Mrunal
CBI chief Pran humiliates them on daily basis for being lazy/idiots/incompetent etc. he has told them I want result by ANY MEANS
necessary, because Media has blown this news out of proportion. I dont want any more negative publicity for CBI.
Guru becomes restless and proposes following plan to DevAnand:

Ill get a friend of mine to pose as a canteen operator.


Hell approach Joint Secretary Prem Chopra with bribes to get the canteen contract for in coal ministrys building.


From what Ive heard, Prem does accept bribes for canteen contracts, office stationary etc. So Im damn sure Prem will accept
the bribe, well catch him red handed in the trap and use that to blackmail him to reveal everything he knows.


Well also offer to make him government witness and immunity if he reveals where the files are hidden- so carrot and sticks
this will work and well get our job done!

What should DevAnand do?


To setup a trap, two conditions must be met:


Public servant has demanded bribe


victim has given written complaint.

(OR CBI has received credible information that bribe exchange is going to happen at xyz place.)

Otherwise, CBI cannot randomly lay traps on a public servant merely out of suspicion or just to check his honesty.

So, Answer is No- Dev shouldnt participate in this plan of GuruDutt. He should try to dissuade Guru from executing this plan. If Guru
doesnt listen then he should inform their superior officer.
btw, if Dev snitches about Guru to their boss- isnt that unethical / betrayal of trust? No, because conduct rules demand that Dev
should inform his superior about any wrongdoings going in the office. He too may face disciplinary action, if he passively allows Guru to
continue with his plan.
Mercy on the Middleman
Sunny Deol needs domicile certificate to apply in Indian Army as soldier.Tehsildar asks him to fillup a form and get certificate from
local police that no criminal case is registered against him. Head Constable demands Rs.500 to get this work done. Sunny approaches
local ACB officer DevAnand. A trap is laid and constable is caught red handed accepting the bribe. Dev starts the paperwork but
suddenly leave the room to attend a phone call. Now only Sunny and HeadConstable are left in the room. Head Constable tells Sunny

Listen son, Ill give you 5000 rupees if you take back your complaint right now and Ill also get you your domicile certificate


And God forbid, if you fail in that soldier recruitment, I promise you, Ill get you a job at my brother-in-laws garment shop.


If this matter goes to court, youll have to appear as witness every now and then. Itll create lot of inconvenience to you, affect
your studies for whatever other competitive exams youre preparing for.


I was merely following order of my boss. I dont even get 50 rupees out of this 500. My daughters wedding upcoming, Im
about to retired. So please show mercy. Im not the real bad guy here, but a victim of circumstances just like youre.


Besides, even if Im convicted, this corruption will continue. Nothing will change. so please help me out.


of course no. Once caught, all corrupt public servant make this type of emotional pleas. Sunny must help Dev to an example
out of this head constable to deter others from participating in corruption of their bosses.

54 Ethics - Mrunal

Under Prevention of corruption Act, Courts have upheld conviction of corrupt public servants- even where
witnesses/complainant turned hostile during court proceeding. This constables game is over- irrespective of what Sunny does.

Besides, once convicted, he is unlikely to keep his promise (of getting Sunny job in his brother in laws garment shop).
Therefore Sunny shouldnt bother helping him.
No time for small traps

DevAnand and Guru Dutt are two inspectors in ACB. One day, poor farmer visits their office complaining how a Patwari is demanding
100 rupee for land records, via a middleman. Guru gives him Rs.100 rupees note out of his own pocket, give it to midleman and get
your work done. Weve not time for such small traps. DevAnand is appalled, but Guru explains him following:

you know it well the amount of technicalities and procedures to be followed if we want to lay a trap for this petty case of 100
rupees bribe.


Secondly, this Patwari is not taking bribes by himself but has hired a middleman. Even if we catch this middleman red-handed,
itll take a hell load of investigation and paperwork to corroborate his link with the official.


Overall, wed be occupied for no less than five months in this stupid case.


Tax payers money is better spent IF we pour our time and effort in catching the bigger fishes instead- who demand thousands
and lakhs of rupees as bribes.


Still if you want to proceed then go ahead, do it on your own. Ill not help in this stupid trap or investigation.

What should DevAnand do?


GuruDutts logic is faulty. It is not just one case of 100 rupees. Patwari is demanding bribes from all farmers. And most
probably other Patwaris in nearby villages also doing the same. so collectively the scam runs in lakhs of rupees + the amount of
agony and hardship caused to poor farmers=you cant put a price tag on everything.


Dev should try to convince Guru why it is in public interest to chase even petty cases- to set fear in the hearts of all other petty
officials who demand bribes.


IF Guru doesnt agree, Dev should initiate trap proceeding by himself and inform their boss about Gurus approach towards
work, conduct rules and [Ethics].

Suspension: Meaning, Features, Reasons; Death, Resignation, Promotion during suspension & Case Studies
so far in the vigilance/ethics series weve seen

Conduct rules







Now its time to suspend crooked government employees.


55 Ethics - Mrunal
What is suspension?
An order that debars the public servant from using his powers and doing his duties.
Why suspend?

So he cannot temper with records, evidences or witnesses directly / indirectly using his official position.


Witnesses may hesitate to depose/testify against the Government servant as long as he is in office.


To sustain confidence of people in the system, until inquiry is finished.

Suspension: salient features?

Suspended employee retains the master-servant relationship with government.

Meaning, he is still subject to all the conduct rules applicable to Government servants. e.g. cannot participate in political
activities, cannot lend money at interest, cannot speculate in share market etc.

He is still liable for any new misconduct during the period of suspension.

Suspension itself is not penalty. It is only an aid to facilitate the inquiry. Therefore Art.311 doesnt apply. (=he is not entitled
to defend himself, cross examine witnesses etc.)

Employee can be suspended even if he is on leave/ training / absconding.

Retrospective order of suspension is illegal. e.g. on 12 th Nov. 2013 Boss cannot write an order that Mr. XYZ is suspended with
effect from 11th Nov 2013.

Retrospective reinstatement is also illegal. e.g. on 12th Nov 2013. Boss cannot write an order to reinstate a suspended officer
with effect from 11th Nov.2013.
Suspending AIS officers

According to All India Services rules, the State government can suspend a member of All India services (IAS, IPS, IFoS) serving
under the state government.

However, such suspension will become invalid IF the state government doesnt start disciplinary proceedings against that
officer within 90 days. (although in rare cases, this limitation can be ignored IF union government permits.)
Suspending Officers on deputation

For example- An IFoS officer (belonging to Environment ministry) is deputed on some xyz post in Tribal Ministry. Can Tribal
ministry suspend him? Yes they can.

But the borrowing authority (Tribal ministry) have to inform the lending authority (Environment ministry) about the
circumstances that led to suspension.
Suspension: When?

In the exam, you might face a tempting Case study where you want to write suspend xyz officer. But suspension is not the
answer in every case study.

Suspension causes a lasting damage to Government servants reputation even if he is exonerated or is ultimately found guilty of
only a minor misconduct. This damages staff morale.

Therefore decision should be taken after taking all factors into account with care and caution.

Usually when a complaint is made against any officer, standard operating procedure is:

56 Ethics - Mrunal


Administrative angle=>

Preliminary enquiry=>departmental proceedings =>punishment.

vigilance/criminal angle=>

Discreet/regular enquiry=>FIR=>investigation=>court proceedings =>punishment.

The decision to suspend usually comes after the prelim/discreet/regular enquiry is finished.
Guiding Principle: public interest vs. cost to exchequer. Because

suspended employee gets salary without doing any work=burden on public exchequer. And


suspended employee=less manpower in the office= Workload increases.

Therefore, in minor administrative misconducts, dont suspend. Just finish inquiry impose any minor penalty on him and finish the
case. For example,

If an employee is caught filing bogus LTC claim.


Brought fake certificate from doctor to get medical leave.


Occasionally came late to office/ left the office early.


Damaged some office equipment by mistake.

Must be suspended?

In following situation, he must be suspended:


serious negligence/dereliction of duty


Refuses to obey written orders of superior officer.


He is facing Criminal investigation. Then he should be suspended even if he is released on bail.


prima facie there is sufficient material to give him a major penalty (viz. dismiss, remove, rank-reduction)


If State government asks an All India services officer (IAS, IPS, IFoS) to go on leave but he refuses.


caught red pink handed in phenolphthalein test during ACB/CBI trap for bribes.


In all Public scandals. Must be suspended to restore public faith in system.


When preliminary (informal) enquiry reveals some wrongdoing. And if he continues in service, he is



likely to influence investigation e.g. temping with witness/documents/evidences


likely to subvert official discipline


likely to bring down staff morale

Any conduct involving moral turpitude (lewdness, sexual harassment, dowry etc.)

10. Misuse of official powers for personal gains

11. Misappropriation, embezzling Government money; his negligence caused serious loss to public exchequer

57 Ethics - Mrunal
12. has disproportionate assets.
13. Deserted his post during crisis period.
14. endangering national / state security
Arrest and Automatic suspension

If a government employee has spent more than 48 hours in custody- he is automatically deemded suspended. (Even if his
boss dont know about that he is arrested.)

if he is arrested in dowry death case- must be suspended, irrespective of how many hours spent in custody.

If a government servant is arrested, Police has to inform his superior.

Arrested employee himself too has the duty to inform his superior as soon as possible. If he hides details of his arrest, he will
be subjected to a separate disciplinary proceedings (and punishment). And he cannot claim double jeopardy.
Salary during Suspension


Suspended employee doesnt get full salary but gets subsistence allowance.


Subsistence allowance is meant for the subsistence of him and his family. Why?

Just because he is not allowed perform job, his family should not be made to suffer.


Out of desperation for money, he might involve in some other mischief.


Suspension itself is not punishment. But a tool to help in investigation.


Subsistence allowance= approximately half the average salary. (Also get Dearness Allowance (DA), compensatory (city)
allowance, house rent allowance.)


Government can decrease this allowance: IF Suspension prolongs because of officers fault. e.g. he adopts dilatory tactics,
doesnt cooperate with investigation etc.


Government can increase this allowance if suspension prolongs without officers fault. e.g. departmental officials are not
finishing inquiry quickly.


Subsistence allowance falls under taxable income. Meaning suspended employee has to pay income tax (if he falls under taxbrackets)


If he continues to live in government quarters then he has to pay house rent and allied charges of electricity, water, telephone
bill etc.


From his subsistence allowance, government cannot deduct GPF/provident fund contribution, postal insurance premium etc.
unless he agrees.
Part time job during Suspension


Suspended employee can take up other employment, business, profession during suspension but ONLY with permission from


But If he start such private job/business, then government will stop paying him subsistence allowance, DA, HRA.


If he start such private job/business without governments permission => he can face separate punishment under conduct
rules. And cannot claim double jeopardy. (i.e. he cannot make excuse that Im punished twice for same offense.)
Resignation during Suspension?

What if suspended officer gives his resignation before departmental inquiry / court case is completed?

58 Ethics - Mrunal
DoPT guidelines for all India services officers (IAS, IPS, IFoS):= Normally, such officers are placed under suspension only in cases of
grave delinquency, it would not be correct to accept a resignation of an officer under suspension.
Resignation should be accepted IF

Inquiry is taking forever to finish. It would cheaper on public exchequer to accept resignation.


Evidences are not strong enough to dismiss / remove that suspended officer if inquiry/criminal case continues.


Alleged offence does not involve moral turpitude. (Lewdness in office, sexual harassment, rape, dowry death etc.) Ruchika
Girhotra case is a prime example of moral turpitude by an IPS officer.

Corollary to that, resignation should not be accepted IF


Inquiry is about to finish.


Strong evidences are found- it is possible to dismiss/remove that officer when inquiry is concluded.


Alleged offence involves moral turpitude.

Leave for employee under investigation?

Suppose, ACB/CBI is investigating the matter. Employee is not suspended but transferred to a non-focal post. In such situation, he
should not be granted leave- to prevent him from tampering with investigation. (Except in rare/genuine cases e.g. medical emergency.)
After a government servant is suspended, four things can happen:

departmental inquiry/proceeding finds him



guilty with Major penalty (removal,

dismissal, compulsory retirement)

guilty but with minor penalty

not guilty

inquiry not finished in two years


His Game Over. No need to reinstate.

Suspended employee has to be reinstated.

officer has to be reinstated.

Department may reinstate him back to the job. (except during grave cases or
when two years passed because he did not fully cooperate with inquiry)

for example:

2006: encounter specialist Daya Nayak: got suspended for disproportionate asset.

2009: ACB could not unearth any evidence to prove the charges against Nayak, and thus could not file a chargesheet

2012: Daya Nayak reinstated back in the job.

Posting after reinstatement?

59 Ethics - Mrunal
When Suspended officer is reinstated, he is posted far off from the place where he served before suspension. Why?

So he cannot do witch-hunting or take revenge on any junior staff (or local public) who may have given complaint/ evidence /
testimony against him during the inquiry


Saves him from uncomfortable situation/embarrassment while dealing with same local public and colleagues.


Saves local public from any negative vibes or fear of reprisal while re-visiting the same office.
Promotion/ Increment after reinstatement?

If suspended officer is reinstated, it means two things could have happened:


found him not guilty

found him guilty, gave

minor punishment


He is entitled to get all salary, increment, promotion benefits that he couldnt get
during suspension period.

Even in future- he is eligible for all the promotion, increment benefits.

for example Durga Shakti Nagpal=>suspended=>reinstated with full honors.

It depends on governments discretion of how much benefit he deserves.

Supreme Court has said: acquittal does not automatically entitle the Government
servant to get the consequential benefits as a matter of course.

Promotion during Suspension: Sealed Cover Procedure

What if a government servant is suspended but the promotion round comes for his batchmates?

In such case, Sealed Cover procedure is adopted.

Government servants in respect of whom prosecution for a criminal charge is pending.

Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) will assess his suitability for promotion without taking into consideration the
disciplinary case/ criminal prosecution pending.

Then, DPC will write its recommendation in a sealed cover. (whether to promote him or not?)

This sealed cover will be the disciplinary case/criminal case is over.

if he is completely exonerated=> will get promotion, if sealed cover says yes. This promotion will be with retrospective effect.
Meaning if others had got promotion after him, during his suspension hell still be considered their senior and get salary

but if he is found guilty in disciplinary case/ criminal case, the sealed covers recommendation will be ignored.
Death during suspension?


If suspended officer dies before the departmental inquiry / court case is concluded then the period between the date of
suspension and the date of death shall be treated as duty.

60 Ethics - Mrunal

And his family is paid full pay and allowances for the said duty period.

anyways, enough theory, lets check some case studies.

Casestudy: Night at Museum Custody
DevAnand is a section officer in Abad district collectors office. In December he goes to Goa to celebrate New Year with his college
batchmate Prem Chopra. Both go to a bar, Prem Chopra gets drunk and start argument with some local youth, leads to rucksack and
fight. Dev tries to calm situation, but police arrives and arrests them both. Next morning Dev released on bail, goes back to Abad and
reports on duty. His boss Collector Pran asks why your phone was unreachable? Dev lies, Sir I had gone to my ancestral village and
phone had stopped working.
Dev thinks in his head, Im fully justified in lying to my boss because:

I was wrongly arrested without any fault.


If I tell my boss I was arrested. Itll negatively affect my promotion prospects and reputation among colleagues.


It was a small matter happened in Goa, nothing will come in local Gujarati newspapers and nobody needs to know otherwise.

Has Dev made the right decision?


If a government servant is arrested, police has to send details to his senior officer. So sooner or later, Pran is going to receive
an official letter from Goa police anyways. Hence the shelf life of Devs lie=very low.


After that, whatever Dev says in his defense that Prem Chopra started fight, I had done nothing etc. = Pran unlikely to believe


Dev may have been arrested without any of his fault, but if he is subjected to a disciplinary action for hiding facts about his
arrest=that will be entirely his fault.
CaseStudy: Khakhi night halt

Surat Police Commissioner has sent a Sub-inspector (SI) to bring an accused from Jaipur Polices custody in a high profile case. While
returning from Jaipur with the accused, this SI spends night at a private hotel in Ahmedabad, rather than directly taking him to Surat.


Why are you late?


Because I made halt in Abad.


Why did you make halt in Abad?


Because I couldnt catch direct train from Jaipur to Surat, so took another train to Abad. and I had got
permission from ACP for doing so.


Yes, I gave permission because he said he couldnot catch the direct train.

In the meantime, local media sensationalizes the news- how the accused was allowed meet his girlfriend in the hotel and may have
destroyed some evidence hidden in Abad with connivance of Sub Inspector etc.
Should Commissioner accept the explanations given by his subordinates and forget this entire episode?

61 Ethics - Mrunal
Actually this is based on a real case and commissioner had suspended the Sub inspector and removed ACP from the investigation. What
we can derive is:

High profile case/ public scandal. Need to suspend any negligent official to restore publics faith in system. Therefore Sub
Inspector has to be suspended till further inquiry of whether he deliberately made delay to stay in Abad.


ACP is removed from the investigation because may be he doesnt commend the fear / authority among his sub inspectors and
hence theyre lax/negligent in their work and even dare to misguide him! Better to hand over investigation to another ACP.
Casestudy: When Encounter specialist resigns

A suspended IPS officer has spent last seven years in jail, for involvement in alleged fake encounter cases. He submits resignation
accusing the State government of failing to protect upright police officers like him, who fought against Pakistan-inspired terrorism.
Should the State Government accept his resignation and forward it to Union home ministry?

No. Because he is accused in Grave / heinous crime. If the fake encounter cases are proved, he faces dismissal (=not eligible for
future employment under government + no pension / gratuity)

therefore, he should not be allowed to get away easily with resignation.

besides, DoPT guidelines for all india service officers= Normally, as members of service are placed under suspension only in
cases of grave delinquency, it would not be correct to accept a resignation of a member of service under suspension.

General Studies Paper4: Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude, 20% repeat questions from UPSCs own sample paper

For UPSC Mains-2013 Question pears: GS1 click me; for GS2 click me; GS3 click me; GS4 given here.

In this Ethics paper, UPSC didnt follow uniform word length rule (i.e. 1 mark=20 words). Instead, for some questions 10
marks=150 words, for others 200 words and so on. There is one case study even requiring 300 words for 25 marks.

Although question paper had section (A) and section (B). All questions compulsory.

6 case studies worth total 125 marks, meaning half of the paper is case studies.

No theoretical mumbo-jumbo about Socrates or platos world view etc. UPSC simply gave quotes and asked you to write
about. So in a way just another set of essays.

And here too, Gandhi prem continues just like the Essay Paper- This time, his quote related to sustainable development.
Repeated Qs. from official sample paper!

In August 2013, UPSC had released a sample paper on Ethics, click me. From that paper, UPSC directly lifted some question worth ~50
marks. Observe:

sample paper

Mains 2013 paper


case study: sexual harassment victim lady gives you written


Similar case but instead of giving written complaint,

she resigns from the job itself.


62 Ethics - Mrunal
following terms:

write on following terms


Spirit of service


Spirit of service










Intellectual integrity




Indicate two more attributes which you consider very

important for public servants. Justify your answer.

Indicate two more attributes which you consider very

important for public service. Justify your answer


What do you understand by Ethical Human Conduct? In

what way is it important to be ethical along with being
professionally competent?

What do you understand by values and ethics? In

what way is it important to be ethical along
with being professionally competent?


total out of 250


Thus, ~20% of the paper is repeat questions. And, If we drag the decision making case studies from CSAT prelim papers, lets see how it

prelim case study/decision making

Mains 2013 Case studies


prelim 2013:Youre setting up university paperand your colleague wants to leak it for his son.
This colleague gave favours earlier.

You work in finance ministry and know some secret information. A

contractor wants this info, and he has done good job for government


Prelim 2011, 2012: multiple case studies involving

project deadlines. one of the option would
involve escape by reporting sick

Similar deadline issue here: the only new catch is that you found
flyover is defective quality but juntaa wants is quickly opened, to
reduce traffic congestion. Here too youre given option to report


in other words, 3 out of the 6 case studies are within familiar areas.
Anyways, lets see the paper:

63 Ethics - Mrunal

Section 1: theory/definitions [125m]

#1: Term/Definition based questions (35m)

What do you understand by values and ethics? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally
competent? (10 marks | 150 words)


What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service? (5 terms x 3 marks each=15 marks |250







Spirit of service




Courage of conviction

What is emotional intelligence and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical
decisions? (10 marks | 150 words)
#2: Personal opinion/Experience based (40m)


Indicate two more** attributes which you consider important for public service. Justify your answer. (10 marks |100 words)
[(**other than those five earlier mentioned- integrity, perseverance etc.)


Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain
universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification. (10 marks | 150 words)


What do you understand by the term 'voice of conscience'? How do you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience? (10
marks| 150 words)


What is meant by 'crisis of conscience'? Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such a crisis and how you
resolved the same. (10 marks| 150 words)

64 Ethics - Mrunal
#3: Quote Based Questions (50m)

Given below are three quotations of great moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these quotations, bring out what it means
to you in the present context: (each quote for 10 marks and 150 words=total 30 marks)


"There is enough on this earth for every one's need but for no one's greed." Mahatma Gandhi.
"Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."Abraham
"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies."Aristotle


"The good of an individual is contained in the good of all." What do you understand by this statement? How can this principle
be implemented in public life? (10 marks| 150 words)


It is often said that 'politics' and 'ethics' do not go together. What is your opinion in this regard? Justify your answer with
illustrations. (10 marks| 150 words)
Section-B Case Studies [125m]

total six case studies worth total 125 marks.

Case#1: RTI: To hide or not to hide (20m|250w)
In the following questions, carefully study the cases presented and then answer the questions that follow:
Q9. A Public Information Officer has received an application under RTI Act. Having gathered the information, the PIO discovers that
the information pertains to some of the decisions taken by him, which were found to be not altogether right. There were other
employees also who party to these decisions were. Disclosure of the information is likely to lead to disciplinary action with possibility of
punishment against him as well as some of his colleagues. Non-disclosure or part disclosure or camouflaged disclosure of information
will result into lesser punishment or no punishment.
The PIO is otherwise an honest and conscientious person but this particular decision, on which the RTI application has been filed,
turned out to be wrong. He comes to you for advice.
The following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the options:

The PIO could refer the matter to his superior officer and seek his advice and act strictly in accordance with the advice, even
though he is not completely in agreement with the advice of the superior.


The PIO could proceed on leave and leave the matter to be dealt by his successor in office or request for transfer of the
application to another PIO.


The PIO could weigh the consequences of disclosing the information truthfully, including the effect on his career, and reply in a
manner that would not place him or his career in jeopardy, but at the same time a little compromise can be made on the
contents of the information.


The PIO could consult his other colleagues who are party to the decision and take action as per their advice.

Also please indicate (without necessarily restricting to the above options) what you would like to advise, giving proper reasons. (20
marks| 250 words)
Case#2: Engineer: Bogus flyover vs deadline (20m|250w)
10. You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are presently in-charge of the
construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and
are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the Chief Engineer who heads the cell. While the construction is heading towards
completion, the Junior Engineers have been regularly reporting that all construction is taking place as per design specifications.
However, in one of your surprise inspections, you have noticed some serious deviations and lacunae which, in your opinion, are likely to
affect the safety of the flyover. Rectification of these lacunae at this stage would require a substantial amount of demolition and rework
which will cause a tangible loss to the contractor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of public pressure on the Corporation to

65 Ethics - Mrunal
get this construction completed because of heavy traffic congestion in the area. When you brought this matter to the notice of the Chief
Engineer, he advised you that in his opinion it is not a very serious lapse and may be ignored. He advised for further expediting the
project for completion in time. However, you are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affect public safety and should
not be left unaddressed.
What will you do in such a situation? Some of the options are given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each of these options
and finally suggest what course of action you would like to take, giving reasons. (20 marks |250 words)

Follow the advice of the Chief Engineer and go ahead.


Make an exhaustive report of the situation bringing out all facts and analysis along with your own viewpoints stated clearly and
seek for written orders from the chief Engineer.


Call for explanation from the Junior Engineers and issue orders to the contractor for necessary correction within targeted time.


Highlight the issue so that it reaches superiors above the Chief Engineer.


Considering the rigid attitude of the Chief Engineer, seek transfer from the project or report sick.
Case#3: Child Labourers in Sivakasi (25m|300w)

Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is known for its manufacturing clusters on firecrackers and matches. The local economy of the area is largely
dependent on firecrackers industry. It has led to tangible economic development and improved standard of living in the area.
So far as child labour norms for hazardous industries like firecrackers industry are concerned, International Labour Organization (ILO)
has set the minimum age as 18 years. In India, however, this age is 14 years.
The units in industrial clusters of firecrackers can be classified into registered and non-registered entities. One typical unit is
household-based work. Though the law is clear on the use of child labour employment norms in registered/non-registered units, it does
not include household-based works. Household-based work means children working under the supervision of their parents/relatives.
To evade child labour norms, several units project themselves as household-based works but employ children from outside. Needless to
say that employing children saves the costs for these units leading to higher profits to the owners.
On your visit to one of the units at Sivakasi, the owner takes you around the unit which has about 10-15 children below 14 years of age.
The owner tells you that in his household-based unit, the children are all his relatives. You notice that several children smirk, when the
owner tells you this. On deeper enquiry, you figure out that neither the owner nor the children are able to satisfactorily establish their
relationship with each other. (25 marks | 300 words)

Bring out and discuss the ethical issues involved in the above case.
What would be your reaction after your above visit?
Case#4: Nepotism in Job recruitment (20m|250w)

Q12. You are heading a leading technical institute of the country. The institute is planning to convene an interview panel shortly under
your chairmanship for selection of the post of professors. A few days before the interview, you get a call from the Personal Secretary
(PS) of a senior government functionary seeking your intervention in favour of the selection of a close relative of the functionary for this
post. The PS also informs you that he is aware of the long pending and urgent proposals of your institute for grant of funds for
modernization, which are awaiting the functionarys approval. He assures you that he would get these proposals cleared. (20 marks |
250 words)

What are the options available to you?


Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons.
Case#5: Leaking information

As a senior officer in the Finance Ministry, you have access to some confidential and crucial information about policy decisions that the
Government is about to announce. These decisions are likely to have far-reaching impact on the housing and construction industry. If
the builders have access to this information beforehand, they can make huge profits. One of the builders has done a lot of quality work

66 Ethics - Mrunal
for the Government and is known to be close to your immediate superior, who asks you to disclose this information to the said builder.
(20 marks| 250 words)

What are the options available to you?


Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt, giving reasons.
Case#6: Sexual Harassment (20m|250w)

You are the Executive Director of an upcoming InfoTech Company which is making a name for itself in the market.
Mr. A, who is a star performer, is heading the marketing team. In a short period of one year, he has helped in doubling the revenues as
well as creating a high brand equity for the Company so much so that you are thinking of promoting him. However, you have been
receiving information from many corners about his attitude towards the female colleagues; particularly his habit of making loose
comments on women. In addition, he regularly sends indecent SMSs to all the team members including his female colleagues.
One day, late in the evening, Mrs. X, who is one of Mr. As team members, comes to you visibly disturbed. She complains against the
continued misconduct of Mr. A, who has been making undesirable advances towards her and has even tried to touch her inappropriately
in his cabin. She tenders her resignation and leaves your office. (20 marks | 250 words)

What are the options available to you?

Evaluate each of these options and choose the option you would adopt, giving reasons.