You are a no-nonsense police officer. There is a day light murder of a politician in your area. One of your senior police officer is close relative of that murdered politician. After much investigation, you come to know that Naxalites have killed him as he was involved in land grabbing cases in remote areas. Local people hated that politician. After few days you managed to arrest one naxalite who was involved in this case. He was involved in some other gruesome murder cases also. In an ambush more than 50 security personnel were also killed and his name was also surfaced in that case. Your senior officer is putting pressure on you to kill that criminal as often these type of cases take much time due to the lack of eyewitness, as they enjoy local support and also villagers have fear. Home Minister of your state also wants to do the same as it will send a message in the public about handling of law and order problem with iron hands. Thus send filler through one officer that ‘if you do the same, you will get the full support of the ruling party in future also’. Answer the following questions: (a) In the above case which ethical dilemmas will you face and why will you call it an ethical dilemma? (b) Will you follow the order of your senior officer and Home Minister? Evaluate your decision from the ethical and legal point of view. (c) Which factors will guide you in this case?

(a) In the above case which ethical dilemmas will you face and why will you call it ethical dilemma?

• An ethical dilemma is one in which a person has to choose between two options, may be correct but in conflict.
• As in the above case the police officer is receiving pressure from the senior as well as the Home Minister to kill that person in encounter. It will be unethical as the police officer need to be abide by the constitutional principles rather the external pressure. According to Law and Constitutional Principles, ‘Right to Defend’ one’s action is fundamental right of an individual (except in few cases).
• On the other hand, if he does not follow the instructions from the above, he will face issues related to transfer and promotion policies.
• This is a case of ethical dilemma as no matter what course of action is taken by the police officer, some ethical principles will be compromised.

(b) Will you follow the order of your senior officer and Home Minister? Evaluate your decision from the ethical and legal point of view.

• In the above case, the order of senior officer and Home Minister cannot be followed as it is unethical and it violates the principle of equality and fair trail enshrined under the Constitution. The fake encounters for complete personal gains is unethical.
• Legally also under the Code of Conduct for Civil Servants, every officer has to:
a) Commit himself to and uphold the supremacy of the constitution and democratic Values.
b) Promote the principles of merit, fairness and impartiality in the discharge of duties.
c) Follow the instructions from the seniors which are ordinarily be in writing. Oral direction to subordinates shall be avoided, as far as possible. Where the issue of oral direction becomes unavoidable, the official superior shall confirm it in writing immediately thereafter.
• Thus the above case is against the Code of Conduct as well as morality. As stated by the Senior Police officer, the case usually lacks eyewitness, so the criminal procedure should be enhanced so that guilty can get punishments for one’s act in time under law.

(c) Which factors will guide you in this case?

• While taking decision following factors should be taken in mind:
a) Police Officer is a permanent executive, he remains in position irrespective of the government, thus, bending for unethical practices is unsuitable.
b) One should work for larger interest and follow Rule of Law rather than for personal gains.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments