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10th January 2023 (6 Topics)

A step towards fighting corruption

Context

In a Judgement, the Neeraj Dutta v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi), the Supreme Court came down heavily on corruption among public servants in the country and lowered the bar for the quantum of evidence required to convict persons charged with corruption.

So, let us assess the country’s scenario and work against corruption.

About the Judicial Interventions against corruption:

  • The Supreme Court in its step against the lack of evidence against the corruption activities has reformed saying that;
    • The question is whether in the absence of evidence of complainant/direct or primary evidence of demand of illegal gratification is it not permissible to draw an inferential deduction of culpability/guilt of a public servant under Section 7 and Section 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 based on other evidence adduced by the prosecution.

The Steps against corruption:

  • There are two aspects to the fight against corruption:
    • The severity of the law and its application; and
    • The strength of public opinion would help carry forward the campaign for a clean public life.
  • Both are equally important if we are to rid the country of the weakest link in a burgeoning bureaucracy.

Why do we need to consider corruption as a crime against the state?

  • Corruption has a direct impact on the validity of human rights, largely because of two reasons.
  • Corruption deprives societies of important resources that could be used for basic needs, such as public health, education, infrastructure, or security.
  • Corruption has direct damaging consequences in general on the functioning of state institutions, and in particular on the administration of justice.
  • The quality of public service rendered by corrupt public servants is in direct correlation to the corrupt practices adopted by them. Therefore, the public, who are recipients of these services, also become victims.
  • Corruption eats into the heart of democracy, and nations struggle to function efficiently or prosper at an economic level. It harms poor people more than others, stifles economic growth, and diverts desperately needed funds from education, healthcare, and other public services. This is definitely a crime against democracy, humanity, and the state.

What is the Impact of corruption?

  • On People and Public Life:
    • Lack of Quality in Services
    • Lack of Proper Justice
    • Poor Health and Hygiene
    • Failure of Genuine Research
  • On Society:
    • Disregard for Officials
    • Lack of Respect for Rulers
    • Lack of Faith and Trust in Governments

Ethics Laws: Codes of Ethics & Codes of Conduct

  • The codes of ethics set out broad high-level principles such as Integrity, Accountability, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, etc., but give little attention to how these principles are to be applied in specific circumstances.
  • By contrast, Codes of Conduct usually set out specific standards of conduct expected in a range of realistic circumstances, representing a particular organization’s preferred or required interpretation of the core values or principles which are seen as important to its work.

The practice of Administrative Ethics:

  • Administrative Ethics implies applying general moral rules to specific spheres of human relations, that is to say, administrative relations. Some of the most important areas of applied ethics today concern the ethics of administration.
  • Some of them are unethical and the task of administrative ethics is to make a clear distinction between right and wrong standards and values. The following are the initials to ensure the practice of administrative ethics:
  • Faith and determination towards the pursuit of excellence of service in their professional activities.
  • Infusion of Ethics into Politics
  • Relations between Citizens and Personnel to Create Favourable Opinions towards Public Services
  • Need for Character Building
  • Impartiality
  • Political Neutrality

Specific strategies to curtail the instances of Administrative Malpractices:

  • Effective laws require public servants to give reasons for their official decisions.
  • Management approaches encourage all public officials and civil servants to deal positively with corruption and unethical practice when they encounter them.
  • Whistle-blower’ protection law to protect appropriate 'public interest disclosures of wrongdoing by officials;
  • Ethics audits to identify risks to the integrity of the most important processes;
  • New Human Resource Management strategies(which link, for example, ethical performance with entry and advancement, and ethical ‘under-performance’ with disciplinary processes), merit-based promotion and recruitment, antidiscrimination protections;
  • Application of ethical management principles, the proper use of official power, the requirements of professional responsibility, and
  • Effective external and internal complaint and redress procedures.

Verifying, please be patient.

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