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VAJlRAM & RAVI -------
The ma,or sub-heads covered
below- under the topic 'An Introduction to Eth.
ICs are outlined
1. What is Ethics?
2. Uses of Ethics
3. Ethics and People
4. Are ethical statements objectively true?
5. Four Ethical 'isms'
6. Where does Ethics come from
7. Are there universal moral rules?
A brief description of the above has been l aid in the forthcoming paragraphs.
At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles.
:hey people make decisions and lead their
EthiCS IS concerned with what i s good lor
and society and is also described as moral
philosophy. The term i s derived from the Greek
word ethos which can mean custom, habit character
or disposition. Ethics covers the following diiemmas:
how to live a good life

our rights and responsibilities
the language of right and wrong
moral decisions - what is good and bad?
Approaches to ethics
Philosophers nowadays tend to
divide ethical theori es into three
areas: metaethics,
ethics and applie<! ethics.
Meta-ethics deals with the
nature of moral judgement. It
looks at the origms and
meaning of ettical
Nocmallve ethics is
concerned with the content
of moral judgementl> and the
criteria for what is right or
Our concepts of ethics have been derived from
religions, philosophies and cultures. They infuse
debates on topics like abortion, human rights and
professional conduct.
Applied eth1CS lookS at
controversial like war.
animal rights and capital
------- VAJJRAM & RAVI
WHAT use IS ETHICS? . ed
affect the way human be1ngs
It eth,cal rheones are to be useful in rh;:sn;o this. They arguo that if a person
behave. some philosophers think that then
would be 1rra11onal for
realises that It would be morally good to do behave irrationally - they follow gut
person not to do it. But human bemgs often.
course of action. However, eth1cs
. h d ggests a d1lferen
insrmct' even wllen their ea su . es
. k g about moral1ssu
does prov1de good tools tor I 1n In
Ethics can provide a moral map .
. k
abortion and euthanasia for starters.
Most moral Issues get us up -

let our hearts do the arguing while

Because these are such emotlonallssues.w h a of tackling these issues, and
our brains just go with the flow. But anot er ; rules and principles that
that's where philosophers can come In - they th'cs provides us with a moral
enable us to rake a cooler view of moral problems.
e . ssues
map, a framework that we can use to find our way through difficult

Ethics can pinpoint a disagreement
moral issue can often find
Using the framework of ethics two people who are argurng a h
that what they disagree is just one particular part of the issue, and that t ey
broadly agree on everyth1ng else. That can take a lot of heat out of the argument, a.nd
sometimes even hmt at a way for them to resolve their problem. But sometimes ethiCS
doesn't provide people with the sort of help that they really want.
Ethics doesn't give right answers
Ethics doesn't always show the right answer to moral problems. Indeed more and more
people think tor many ethical issues there isn't a single right answer - just a set of
princrples that can be applied to particular cases to give those involved some clear
choices. Some philosophers go further and say that all ethics can do is eliminate
contusion and clarify the 1ssues. After that it's up to each individual to come to their own
Ethics can give several answers
Many people want there to be a s1ngle right answer to ethical questions. They find moral
ambrgutty hard to live with because they genuinely want to do the 'right' thing, and even
Jf they can't work out what that right thing is, they like the idea that 'somewhere' there is
one ngh: answer. But often there isn't one right answer - there may be several right
answers, or JUSt some least worst answers - and the individual must choose between
rhem For others moral ambiguity is difficult because it forces them to take responsibility
for the" own cho1ces and actions, rather than falling back on convenient rules and
------- VAJIRAM & RAVl -------
AI the heart of eth1cs is a concern about something or someone other than ourselves
and our own desires and self-mlerest. EthiCS is concerned With other people's interests,
with the interests of society, with God's
mterests, with "ull,mate goods", and so on.
So When a person 'thinks ethically' they are
g1v1ng at least some thought to somethmg
beyond themselves.
Ethics as source of group strength
One problem with ethics is the way it's often
used as a weapon. If a group believes that a
particular activity is "wrong it can then use
morality as the justification for attacking those
who practice that activity. When people do
this, they often see those who they regard as
immoral as in some way less human or
deserving of respect than themselves;
sometimes with tragic consequences.
Good people as well as good
Ethics is not only about the morality of
particular courses of action, but it's also about
the goodness of
individuals and what it
means to live a good life. Virtue
Ethics is particularly concerned with
the moral character of human beings.
Do ethiCal statements ptO'olide
mtormat1on about anything other than
human optnrons and attitudes?
Eth1cal realists think that human
bemgs discover eth1cat truths
that already have an
independent existence.
Ethical non-realists think that
human beings invent ethical
The problem for ethical realists is that
people follow many dilterent ethical
codes and moral beliefs. So 11 there are
real ethical truths out there (wherever!)
then human beings don't seem to be
very good at diSCOVering them.
One form of ethical reahsm teaches \hat
ethical properties exist independently of
human bemgs, and that ethical
statements g1ve knowledge about the
objective world.
To put it another way; the ethical
properties of the wor1d and the ttungs In
11 exist and rema1n the same. regardless
of what people think or - Of wnether
people think or about them at all.
Searching for the source of right and wrong
At times in the past some people thought that ethical problems could be solved ln one ol
two ways:
1 . by discovering what God wanted people to do
2. by thinking rigorously about moral principles and problems
If a person did this properly they would bo led to the right conclus1on. But now e
philosophers are less sure that it's possible to devise a satisfactory and compl \ \
of ethics - at least not one that leads to conclusions. Modern thtn"crs oft n te h
ethics leads people not to conclusions but to 'decis1ons', In th1s V1ew th ro t
limited to clarifying 'what's at stake' in particular ethical problems Ph1 o op
identify the range of ethical methods, convcrsnt1ons and va ue Y$
-------- VAJJRAM & RAVI thtngs have ooon made clear, each
a particular problem. after as to what to do, and then react
person must make thetr own indtVIdual dec
appropriately to the consequences
the dotng? That s the sort of quostton
When a person says murder is bad are
very useful way of getltng a clear
!hat only a philosopher would ask, but I s actua Y ral issues. The different 'tsms' regard
idea of what's going on when people talk mo tthn s we can show some of tho
lhe person uttonng the statement as doing dtlleren_ b
by rewriting that statement to
dtfforent lhtngs 1 might bO doing when I say 'murder IS a
show whall really mean:
1 might bo maktng a statement abOut an ethical tact
a) "II is wrong to murder
b) This Is moral realism
I might bo making a statement abOut my own feelings
a) "I disapprove of murder"
b) This is subjectivism
I might be expressing my feelings
a) "Down with murder
b) This is emot1vism

I mght be giving an instruction or a prohibition
a) "Don't murder people"
b) Th1s IS prescriptivism
Moral realism
Moral realism IS based on the idea that there are real objective moral facts or truths in
the unwerse. Moral statements provide tactual information about those truths.
SubJectivrsm teaches that moral judgments are nothing more than statements of a
persons feelings or altitudes, and that ethical statements do not contain factual truths
about goodness or badness. In more detail: subjectivists say that moral statements are
statements abou! the feelings, attitudes and emotions that that particular person or group
has about a partrcular issue. If a person says something is good or bad they are telling
us about the positive or negative feelings that they have about that something. So if
someone says 'murder is wrong' they are telling us that they disapprove of
--------- VAJ lRAM & R AVl --------
These statements are true 1 th
appropnato feel Th
1 0
person does hold tho appropriate attitude or have the
tngs ey are false 1l the person doesn't
Prcscnpttv1sts thtnk that eth 1 . 1ca statements aro Instructions or recommendations So il 1
say somethtng 1s good rm reco d
1 11
. mmcn 1ng you to do 1t, and 11 1 say something is bad I'm

you not to do it. There IS almost always a prescnpt1ve element in any
1ca statement: any ethical statement can be rcworl<.cd lwith a bit ol ellort) into a
statement wtlh an 'ought' in rt F . or example: ly1ng is wrong can be rewritten as "people
ought not to tell lies".
Philosophers have several answers to this question:
God and religion
Human conscience and intuition
a rational moral cost-benefit
analysis of actions and their
the example of good human
a desire for the best for people In
each unique situation
political power
God-based ethics
Emotivlsm is the view that moral claims
are no more than expressions ol
approval or disapproval.
This sounds 1\ke subjectivism, but in
emotivism a moral statement
doesn't provide Information about the
speakers feelings about the topic
but expresses those feelings.
When an emotivist says murder is
wrong it's like saying down with
murder" or murdCf, yecch\" or iust
saying murder" wtlile pulling a horritie<i
lace, or making a thumbs-down gesture
at the same time as saying murder is
Supernaturalism makes ethics inseparable
from religion. It teaches that the only source
of moral rules is God. So, something is good
because God says it is, and the way to lead
a good life is to do what God wants.
So wtlen someone makes a moral
iudgement they show their feelings about
something. Some theonsts also suggest
that in expressing a teeliog the
person g1ves an Instruction to others
about how to act towards the sub!ect
Intuitionists think that good and bad are real objective properties that can't be brol<.en
down into component parts. Something is good because it's good; its goodness doesn't
need justifying or proving. Intuitionists think that goodness or badness can be detected
by adults - they say that human beings have an Intuitive moral sense that enables \hem
to detect real moral truths. They think that basic moral truths of what is good and bad are
self-evident to a person who directs their mind towards moral issues. So good thn1gs are
VAJIRAM & R;\VI S """""'''II
. ood If they spend some time ponder
. rson realises are g 11)0
the th1ngs that a sensible pe d F r the intuitionist:
the subJeCt Don't got confuse
ronal argument
covered by ra
moral truths are not IS
d b having a hunch
morallrulhS are not discovere y .
. ed by having a reeling
moral truths are not discover
rsation of the truth.
It's more a sort of moral 'aha' moment a rea
. . ious people think they usc every day. h
Th1s is the ethical theory that most non actions and not on the actions
bases morality on the consequences of le should do whatever produces the
themselves. Consequentialism teaches that way of putting this is 'the greatest
greatest amount of good consequences; One most common forms of consequenlialism
good for the greatest number of people Th.e t'ons that produce the greatest
f 'I' . sm which favour ac I
are the various vers1ons o ut11tananr appeal consequentialis"'
. D t t bv'ous common-sense .. ,
amount ot apprness. . espr e r s o
vide a complete solution to all
tums out to be a compl1cated theory, and doesn I pro
ethcal problems.
Two problems with consequentialism are:
1. it can lead to the conclusion that some quite dreadful acts are good
2. predicting and evaluating the consequences of actions is often very difficult
Non-consequenlialism or deontological ethics
Non-consequenllafism is concerned with the actions
themselves and not with the consequences. It's the
theory that people are using when they refer to "the
principle of the th1ng". It teaclles that some acts are
nght or wrong in themselves, whatever the
consequences. and people should act accordingly.
Virtue ethics
Virtue Ethtcs looks at virtue or moral character, rather
than at ethical duties and rules, or the consequences
of actions - mdeed some philosophers of this school
deny !hat there can be such things as universal ethical
ifules. VIrtue ethics is particularly concerned with the
way ndrv dua
s live their lives, and less concerned in
assess ng panicular actions. II develops the idea of
good actions by look1ng at /he way virtuous people
express mner goodness in the things that they do.
Some philosophers teach that
ethics is the codificat1on of
political ideology, and that the
fundion of ethrcs is to state,
enforce and
particular political beliefs.
They usually go on to say that
ethics is used by the dominant
political elite as a tool to
control everyone else.
More cynical writers suggest
that power elites enforce an
ethical code on other people
that helps them control those
people, but do not apply lhis
code to their own behaviour.
To pur h 'lery s1mply, virtue ethics teaches that an action is right If and only if it Is an
------- VAJIRAM & RAVl -------
act1on that a virtuous person would do in the same c11cumstances. and that a virtuous
person is someone who has a particularly good character.
Situation ethics
Situation Ethics rejects prescriptive rules and argues that individual ethical deciSIOns
should be made according to the unique situa11on. Rather than folloWing rules the
decis1on maker should follow a desire to seek the best tor the people uwolved. There are
no moral rules or rights each case is un.que and deserves a unique solution.
One of the big questions in moral philosophy is whether or not there are unchang1ng
moral rules that apply in all cultures and at all times.
Moral absolutism
Some people think there are such universal rules \hal apply to everyone. This sort of
thinking is called moral absolutism. Moral absolutism argues that there are some moral
rules that are always true, that these rules can be discovered and that these rules apply
to everyone. Immoral acts - acts that break these moral rules- are wrong in themselves,
regardless of the circumstances or the consequences of \hose acts. Absolutism takes a
universal view of humanity - there is one set of rules lor everyone which enables the
drafting of universal rules - such as the Declaration of Human Rights. Religious views ol
ethics tend to be absolutist.
Why people disagree with moral absolutism:
Many of us feel that the consequences of an act or the circumstances
surrounding it are relevant to whether that act is good or bad
Absolutism doesn't fit with respect for diversity and tradition
Moral relativi sm
Moral relativists say that if you look at dilferent cultures or drllerent periods in hrSto"i
you'll find that they have different moral rules. Therefore it makes sense to
"good" refers to the things that a particular group of people approve of Moral rela:.Msts
think that that's just fine, and dispute the idea that there are some obiec\Ne. and
discoverable 'super-rules' that all cultures ought to obey. They that relatiVIsm
respects the diversity of human societies and responds to the di11erent Circumstances
surrounding human acts.
Why people disagree with moral relativtsm:
Many of us feel that moral rules have more to them than the general
agreement of a group of people . that morality is more than a. super charged
form of etiquette
-------- y
\ ,JJHA'\-f & I{AVI -------........
Many ol us thtnk wo can bo good Without conlormmg to all tho rut011 ac
Moral rolattvtsm hns n problem WJih argung agtunst tho majortty vtow tl fTlott
pt'Oplo m a socHtty nqroo With parttCtJiar rulos, that's tho end ot tllo Ill Iter
Mnny of the tmprovomonrs m the world havo come about bPcnu o POOPie
opposed tho prowuflllfJ othiCDI VIOW mornl rol:ltiVIsls aro forced to reg 'Cf
<Juc/1 poopro ns bPhavlng blldty
Any cllotco of SOCial grouptf'lQ as tho foundatton of othtcs ts bound to ba
Mornl rofnll vlsm doosn't provldo any way to deal wtlh moral dtltoroncos
Moral somowhoro-lnborwconlsm
Most non phllosophors think that both of rho above theories have some good points and
think thnt-
thoro aro tt tow obsoluto othical rules

but ll lot of othlca/ rulos dcpond on the culture
-------- \ \ .ll R \\1 lt \\ 1 --------
I 1 o rna1or t Oacls
una r It c topic Oasics or l:.thtc.<;' Aro outhne<l below.
1 lntrOdUUIOfl
Corrup:lOn As An lrnponant M
lmponant De:crmtnam 01 lfllegr.:y Ot Soctoty
Ethtes In Governance
Mantlosta:tons Of E!ntes
G. tmpcrattvos Of lntcgrtly
7 The Four Ptllars
A bncf description of the above has been latd tn the forthcoming paragraphs
Ethi.cs is a set of standards that socety ptaces on 1tse1f and which helps guide behaviour,
choices and achons. It .has been patnfully generally held v1ew that standards do not, by
ensure elhtcal behaviour: that reqwes a robust culture of integrity. The crux
of ethical behavrour does not lie in bold words and expressions enshrined as standards
but in their in action, tn sancttons against their v10iat1ons, in putting in
competent diSciplinary bodies to 1nvest1gate allegations ot vrolallons and impose
sanctions quickly and in promoting a culture ol 1ntegrity.
Corruption is an important manifestation of the failure of ethics. The word 'corrupt' is
derived from the Latin word 'corruptus', meaning 'to break or destroy'. The word 'ethics'
is from the original Greek term ethikos, meaning arising from habit'. It is unfortunate that
corruption has, for many, become a matter of habit, ranging from grand corruption
involving persons in high places to retail corruption touching the everyday life of common
Anti -corruption interventions so far made are seen to be inef1ectual and there is
widespread public cynicism about them. The interventions are seen as mere posturing
without any real intention to bring the corrupt to book. They are also seen as handy
weapons for partisan, political use to harass opponents. Corruption is so deeply
entrenched in the system that most people regard corruption as inevitable and any etfoft
fast that 11 bodos ill lor our domacra
. . spreading so .
to light It as tu!IIO ThiS cymclsm IS at contrary, approaches In doahng with corruptlor
system rtsolf Thoro aro two, somewh h
on values and character Many PoOpt
and obuso of office Tho rs ovoremp asr uont rise rn corruption. fho imp
and rho conseq . <:i
lnmcnt tho decline rn va ucs red nothing much can be done to rmprovo thr
nssumpr1on is that untrl values are resto is based on the bohof that most human
conduct of human bamgs. The second appau conscious, but thoro Is always a smaJ.
bcrngs aro fundamentally docent and SOCIIe goals w1th tho good of SOciety
proponron of pooplo, wf11ch cannot recono
ain at the cost of public good and the
Such deviant people tend to pursue g ch deviant behaviour. It good behaviour
purpose of organized government IS to punrsh suistentl punished, the bulk of the peopte
Is cons1stont1y rewarded and bad behavrour is not only not rewarded
follow tho straight and However,
good. r is not only not punished, but

but is actually fraught w1th dllllcultres and bad behaviOU
0 19
tend to stray from th
olton extravagantly rewarded, then the bulk of the pe P e
honourable path.
In tho real world both values and institutions matter. Values are to serve as
' 1 A sense of rrght and wrong Is
guiding stars, and they exist In abundance 1n our socte Y . . .
Intrinsic to our culture and civilization. But values need to be sustatned by tnstltutrons to
bo durable and to serve as an example to others. Values will
soon be weakened and dissipated. Institutions provide the contatner,
and content to values. This is the basis of all statecraft and laws and tnstrtutrons. Wh1le
incentives and mstttulions matter tor all people, they are critical in dealing with the army
of public servants - elected or appointed - endowed with authority to make decisions
and 1mpact on human fives and exercising the power to determine allocation of
resources. Public office end control over public purse offer enormous temptation and
opportunity to promote private gain at public cost. Therefore, creation of institutions and
desrgning of mcenlives are of utmost importance in promoting ethical conduct of public
In our society, corruption and abuse of office has been aggravated by three factors-
First, there is a cofontal legacy of unchallenged authority and propensity to exercise
power arbitrarily. In a society which worships power, it is easy for public officials to
deviate from ethical conduct.
Second, is asymmetry of power in our society. Nearly 90% of our
are rn the. sector. Quite a number of them lead a precarious
exstence, dcpcndrng on subs1stence wages with no job security. And nearly 70o/c f
the workers with job and regular monthly wage are employodo:
the state drrectly or through publtc sector undertakings. Almost all those em
aro 'educated' in a largely Illiterate and semiliterate society and econom
call p oyees
1o Y even the
wliest of publiC servants are better off than most people in the country. What Is
l thair employment in government comes with all the trappings of po more,
war. Such
--------- VAJ IRAM & RAVI --------
asymmetry ol power reduces societal pressure to conlorm to ethical behavioor and
makes ot easy to indulge on corruption.
Thord, as a conscious chooce, the lnd1an state on the early decades alter Independence
chose a set of policies whose unintended consequence was to put the ciltzen at the
mercy ot the State. Over regulation, severe restri<:110ns on economic activity,
cxcess1ve state control, near-monopoly ot the government 1n many sectors and an
economy ot scarcity all created condiltons conducive to unbridled corruption. In
addrtron, many state subsidres and bcnehcoaryoriented programmes rn a situation ol
asymmetry of power converted the public servant onto patron and master and reduced
most Citizens into mendicants. This at once enhanced opportunities to indulge in
corruption and reduced the citizens capacity to resist extortionary demands.
The experience ol the past six decades rn our country and elsewhere oilers us valuable
lessons in curbing corruption. It is generally recognized that monopoly and discrellon
increase the propensity to corruption while competition and transparency reduce
corruption. This has been dramatically witnessed in India in the wake ol econom1c
liberalization. As competition came in and choice expanded, corruption plummeted.
Telephones, steel, cement, sugar and even two-wheelers are among the many sectors,
which have seen enhanced supply and choice, reducing or even e\lminating corruption.
Similarly, wherever technology and transparency have been introduced, corruption has
been significantly contained.
Computerization and access to information have made many services from railway
reservation to issuing of driving licenses increasingly free from corruption.
A factor which increases corruption
is over-centralization. The more It is well recognized that every democracy
requires the empowerment of cibzens rn order to
remotely power is exercised from hold those in authority to account. Right to
the people, the greater is the tnformatron, effective citizens charters,
distance between authority and opportunt\y and tncenttves to pfomo\e proactive
.,. Th t be 1 approach of C1trzens. stake-holders' tnvotvement
.'lty. e arge num .. r o \ tn dehvery of pubhc servtces, pubtrc consul\atton
funct1onanes between the Clttzen
dectston maktng and soctal aud1ttng are some
and final decision-makers makes of \he
nstruments of accountabd1ty that
accountability diffused and the l dramattcally curbed corruptton and promoted
temptation to abuse authority strong. tntegnty and quahty of dooston making
For a large democracy, India -
probably has the smallest number of final decision makers. Local Government Is not
allowed to take root and power has been concentrated both horizontally and verttca 'ri \n
a few hands. The net results are weakened citizenry and mounung corruptton In \he
ultimate analysis, the state and a system of laws exist in order to entorcll comp\ta' to
and promote desirable behaviour. Therefore, of rule ot law and d \ rr1nt
punishment against corruption are critical to build an othtcnlly sound SOCiety A oellte<S
------- VAJJRAM & RAVf
auses of their failure Is necessary i
mechanisms and t e c t n
analysiS of our anti-corruptiOn th corrupt public servan s.
order to strengthen the forces of law and deter e
of a society or the prevalence
nant of the 1ntegn
Perhaps the most 1mportant e erml . . attracts and rewards men and women
corruption 1S the quality of If pohti.CS ood then the society is safe
Integrity, competence and paSSIOn for pubhc 9 . h rvival in politics, and 1f public life
is marntained. But 1f honesty is rncompatible wit te gain then abuse of authority
attracts undesirable and corrupt elements seeking pnva
and corruption become the norm. .
. 'tiatives will not y1eld adequate
In such a political culture and climate, desirable .
ed e corruption in certain
dividends. Competition and certarnfy r appeti te for
sectors. But if lhe demand for corrupt1on IS fuell ed by .
be forcibly opened up
illegitimate funds in politics, then other avenues of
other sometime
As a result even as corruption declines in certain areas, I! s
s d d th
more areas in which competition cannot be introduce. an e s
' . 'th l'beralisation 1S correspond1ng
exercises a natural monopoly. What IS needed WI I . .
ortics and public off1ce and to
poht1cal and governance reform to alter the rncenllves 1n P I
promote integrity and ethical conduct.
All forms of corruption are reprehensible and we need to promote a of zero
tolerance of corruption. But some forms of corruption are much more
others and deserve closer attention. In a vast majority of cases of bribery, the Citizen IS a
victim of extortion and is compelled to pay a bribe in order to get a service to which is
entitled. Experience has taught most citizens that there is a vicious cycle of corrupt1on
operating and they often end up losing much more by resisting corruption. Delays,
harassment, lost opportunity, loss of precious time and wages, uncertainty and, at times,
potential danger of loss of life or limb could result from resistance to corruption and non
compliance with demands. In such cases, the citizen is an unwilli ng victim of coercive
corruption. But there are several cases of collusion between the bribe giver and corrupt
public servant. In such cases of collusive corruption, both parties benefit at immense
cost to society. Awarding of contracts for public works and procurement of goods and
services. recruitment of employees, evasion of taxes, substandard projects, collusive
of regulations, adulteration of foods and drugs, obstruction of justice and
concealmg or doctoring evidence in investigation are all examples of such dangerous
forms of corruption. As the economy is freed from state controls, extortionary corruption
dec11nes and collusive corruption tends to increase.
We need to fashion strong and effective instruments to deal with this growing menace of
collusiVe corruption. whrch is undermining the very foundations of our democracy and
endangerrng coc1ety
------- YAJl RAM & RAYI -------
Corruptton is a global phenomenon and has also become a serious global concern. The
Unatod Nations Convention aga1nst Corruption was adopted by the UN General
Assembly an October 2003, providing an international instrument against corruption. The
ADBOECD AntrCorruption Action Plan, which has been signed by the Government ol
lnd1a, IS a broad understanding to further the cause of Inter-regional cooperation in the
matter of prevention of corruption. The World Bank. has also declared war against
by refusing to fund projects whose implementation is tainted by corrupt
practices. At the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank
Group in Singapore in 2006, a JOint statement was 1ssued with major multilateral tinanctal
institutions agreeing on a framework. for prevent1ng and combating fraud and corruption
in the activities and operations of their institutions.
Much more remains to be done however, and
beyond the realm of ex1sting regulation. The
escalating levels of corruption in various segments
of our economy resulting in large scale generation
of black money, serious economic offences and
fraud, and money laundering leading even to the
funding of terrorist activities against the State,
have created a grave situation which needs to be
dealt with severely.
Benami properties of corrupt public servants need
to be forfeited, as also the assets illegally acquired
from corrupt practices. Whistleblower legislation
has to be put in place to protect informants agarnst
retribution. Also, we have to suitably strengthen
the institutional framework lor investigattng corrupt
practices and awarding exemplary pun1shment to
the corrupt thereby raising the risk associated wtth
corrupt behaviour.
reducing corruption.
In India, some recent anti
corruption initiatives are steps in
the right direction. The Supreme
Court has ruled that candidates
contesting elections should lile
details regarding their wealth,
educational qualifications and
criminal antecedents along with
their nomination papers. The Right
to Information Act, which has been
enacted, i s a potent weapon to
l ight corruption. The introduction ol
information communica\ton
technologies. e-govemance
rnitiatives and automation ol
corruption prone processes m
admtntstratton have succeeded 10
During the past few years, the debate on ethics in governance has gained
articularly after the issue of Lokpal Bill it has been ratsed vehemently by vanous
groups. The contents of the bill have also been fiercely deliberated and
views have been taken by various groups within and outside the governmem
agitation in August 2011 remained in the headlines in all pnnt and clectronc
quite some time. Many sections of society have even gone to the extent ot qu ttOn n
the relevance of ethics in the present day system of governance. In the folloWing p
an attempt has been made to analyse the issue of othiCS tn govem nee trom v
-------- YAJ rRAM & RAYJ
't s possible to have an
angles and also to ltnd out whet er 1 1
ethical working in system or

taking bribe tor d01ng
Many people contuse oth1cs w1th only financial propnety I.e;: no tor any work, wh1ch is
any olfiCI31 work. While not accepting monetary
c:;.cs yet there are many
dono 1n olf1Cit1l capncity, 1s certainly a basic segment
e. n
attitude intellectual
Ob ance of compasslo .
more aspocts of th1s phenomenon. serv n decisions while keep1ng 1n
1ntegmy. keeping mterest of soc1oty ar:x>ve the self . takl 9 f vulnerable sections or
mmd the supremacy of the Constitution and responsive, remaining
soc1oty, respoct1ng dignity of the common Citizen, bel
der Responsibility
transparent. aro all equally important of an ethlca wi;h the political
tor conducting business In government eth1cally rests not
Yh os unethical)
. . on man as I e m
leadership (which 1s generally perce1ved by the comm. . .
leadership may
but moro on tho civil servants at various the pohhca es that could not
have 1ts own compulsions of making false prom1ses .
be fulfilled) and making announcements to the pubhc for
politics, there IS no reason why civil servants cannot discharge thelf dutres ed
upon them under the Constitution and various acts, rules and regulations frame
under, and while doing so keep the interest of the last man in the last row (Gan 'l' s
' the present famous maxim) as fulcrum of all decisions. Jn tact, an absence of ethrcs rn
day governance Is prrmarily because of civil servants and not so much due to
politicians. Civil servants have a career spanning over 3040 years and what they
need to do is JUS! to res1st the temptation of getting a particular place of posting.
It IS true that the culture of giving freedom to junior officers in expressing their opinion is
d1m1mshing day by day. As a result, most civil servants have a tendency to look up and
take only those dec1s1ons that please their bosses. This may be a short cut to ensure a
longer tenure at a place but it does take a toll on their health as they would be
working agamst their conscience most of the time and also denying themselves the
opporrunity of derivmg pleasure from helping the last man. Ethical working does not
necessarily mean only working strictly according to rules, which in any case should be a
norm generally, but also working w1th a view to make life easier for the common man. It
needs to be understood by the officers that rules and procedures came into existence
much after the human beings came on this planet. However, the litmus test would be,
whether the rules and procedures are circumvented for self-interest or for the good of
soc1e1y at large.
PractiCally speaking, civil servants could be categorized into four categories:- (a) those
who are dishonest and do work Without wasting lime if a consideration is received; (b)
those who are d1shonest and do not do the work that leads to the harassment of citizens
--------VAJ l RAM & RAVJ --------
(c) those who are honest but do not do any work, apprehendmg action against them; and
(d) those who are honest and stilt take decisions to get the work done withvut tear of
attracting action against them. The need of the society at present 1s to increase the
number ot officers belonging to category (d) so that the citizenry can be assured of the
kfesircd performance 1n time without paying bribe.
The four pillars of democracy, namely, the legislature, the execut1ve, the 1udiciary and
the media are all expected to work in a complementary manner to achieve the ultimate
end of taking the common man forward. In reality, because ol ego clashes, they seem to
be working at cross purposes which have been responsible lor diminishing the ethical
behaviour in governance and society. Persons with ethical thinking, behaviour and work
culture will not increase in the society unless the perception takes roots that such
persons are nurtured and encouraged, otherwise they will remain a miniscule minority.
The use of technology can play a major role in establishing an ethical society by creating
a work culture that is extremely lair, transparent and less arbitrary. Till such time as the
Indian system of governance becomes technology driven, the mettle of olticers will
continue to decide the ethical level in the system. A tot depends on the recruitment
system as well. At present, civil servants are recruited not on the basis of their courage
of conviction or compassion or uprightness but on the basis of their theoretical
j<nowledge. Systems can be developed where at \he time of recruitment of civil servants,
iheir inner strength and traits of behaviour can be tested to get the best suited civil
servants for running the government in an ethical manner.
The UPSC has taken a step in \his direction, but this needs to be further relined and
strengthened. The culture of respecting and recognizing the most wealthy crvil servant
needs to be condemned so that these types of officers do not become the role models
are new civil servants. Besides recruitment, rnitial years of training and posting are .ve_ry
crucial to inculcate a sense of ethical behaviour among officers. Dunng the trammg
period, they need to be attached to otficers of proven integrity who can be role
models when they grow up in career.
11 can thus be seen that to create an ethical society, and in particular an
of governance, is not only desirable but also, essential in lnd1a. 11
possible to do so, if there is a collectve will. The moot potnt IS takes the lmtta\tve
Each pillar of democracy is wailing for the other to do so and trll .2 bilhon
of this great country will continue to reel under the pressure ol unethtcal govemanc (
mal-governance). Only the people can make the lour pillars ol democ.racy lnh
ethical manner. Let us envision a ray of hope in evory .isolated tncdent o
9 e
degree of ethical behaviour among each section of our soc1ety.
------- VAJtnAM & RAVI
, he Service Ethics, Monitoring ano
The mn,or sub-heads covorod under the topic Pub
lntognty' aro oulllnod bolow
2. Why An Ethics Based Approach?
. . Management System
3 Tho Essential Features or An Ellecllve EthiCS
4, Creahng Codes or Conduct In The Public Sector
5. An 'OIIIce 01 Government Ethics'-The US Approach
6. Tho Queensland Approach
7. The Canadian Approach
B. Monitoring Of Assets, Incomes And Liabilities
9. Integrity Tesllng
10. A Caullonary Note
A brief description of the above has been laid in the forthcoming paragraphs.
Increasingly, the need to foster and sustain high levels of ethics in the public sector has
come mto focus. There IS, almost universally, a lurking suspicion in many countries that
public servants (both members of the public service and their political masters) have
been lining their pockets at the public's expense, and calls for the monitoring of assets of
semor pubhc sector decision-makers in particular, are now heard on all continents.
These suspicions are fuelled by scandals with serious moral implications, revealed
almost daily, and 1n developed countries no less than the developing.
tn developed countnes, pressures on the public service come from varied quarters.
Increasing privatisation and the contracting out of traditional government functions; the
devolvement of responsibility, including financial responsibility, within public service
organtsations; greater pressures for openness and more intensive media scrutiny of the
sector; a greater and growing intensity of lobbying by those anxious to capture
government business; and an increased willingness on the part of members of the public
to complain when the quality of service is poor - all these have contributed to this
increase in awareness of the need to take steps to bolster the ethical basis on Which the
pubfJc service funclions.
--------VAJIRAM & RAVI --------
Recent public management reforms involving greater devolution ot responsibility tor
public servants and new. forms ot dehvery ot public services, have challenged traditional
values in serv1ce. With more senior statt on contract, and other changes in the
public serv1ce quahties of loyalty can be more elusive. Ethics may not have
changed, but1n manag1ng a modern civil service, areas ot discretion 1n many areas have
In developing countries: and in countries 1n trans1110n, \he problem is all the greater.
There, the pubhc serv1ce has tended to be dysfuncllonal to begin with, and not
de:ply flawed by system1c corrupllon. There would be cause enough to
JUStify a proact1ve approach on the ethical front, even w1\hout the additional pressures
created by attempts to "modermse a pubhc service that was not per1orming adequately
even under the old rules.
Underpinning concern in all countries is an increasing suspicion - frequently without
evidence to support il - that standards in public tile are declining.
Th1s susp1c1on may be fuelled, at l east in developed countries, by a change in the way
the public vi ews public administration.
What was once a purely administrative relationship has been transformed into a
commerci al one: public administration has come to be viewed as a producer and
provider of certain goods and services, with the citizens transformed into customers. In
so doing, the spotlight has been cast on aspects such as efficiency, products and
perhaps diverting attention away from matters less capable of measurement, such as
attitudes and convictions.
Moreover, public servants live in the real world, and the changing attitudes in their own
communities, and particul arly any growi ng ambivalence as to what is, and what is not
acceptable conduct, serves only to make the task of ethics management both more
diff icult and more necessary.
Integrity can come under pressure in a variety of ways, not onl y stemming hom
straightforward corruption but also, and above all , from an i mproper use of power. And
the "improper use of power is a broad concept, one that embraces degeneratiOn,
decay and erosion of standards of conduct...{escalating1 into fraud and corruption.
Preventing misconduct is thus as complex as the phenomenon ol misconduct 1tsell .
Among the integrated mechanisms needed for success are sound ethiCS management
systems. This is as true for the public sector as it is lor the private. Most people woula
prefer to be, and to be seen to be, honest and respected for their personal tntegnty by
themselves no less than by their family and friends.
If this assumption is correct, then it provides the point lor an eth cs
management system that has the potential to mnke sonous tnroads tnto ethical
misconduct- bearing in mind the fact that can bo as much the ro
-------- VAJfRI\M & RAVI
tiOna Bl of blatant illegality.
mlsundorstondlflQS and mlspcrcep and
a much moro prolltabtQ
tJally prevontauvo, A I
An ethics twscd approach s essen of cnlorcemont and prosocut.on. wo I
route tllnn ono whtch rollos on tho big s!Jcl< ed
one whlct'l operates m lear and
motlvllt!ld public seMCo IS much to be however woltlntondOd,
,,pprohons.on nnd whoro any oxorClSO
mvltes mve.tiQO!Ion and posstble censure. 't.on
n wh1c:h public
Such a coursl' can also more appropriately With t=o traditional roc.et1os
dovclopng countnc ' I I
sorvnnts con lind thom!iolvos n some t the
nterests of thcr am1 y or
oxpoct thoso 1n pos1t1ons of power to uso II to promo e
cl/lll, ralllN than tho widor public interest
th research 1nto the causes or
Two Alflcnn commentators hllvo noted that much
e d on the persistence of
odmlnistrallvo corrupllon on their continent has which confl
ct with the
traditiOnal vnluos nnd customs (usually forms
nepolls African bureaucrats (as 1n
raqulromonts of modorn buroaucraclos. They observe that ets of values.
other devoloping countries) frequently seem to be laced by two
modem organisations, the
Although tho public offlcull has been trained in the norms
rofess a
weight of trod/flon is such that evon when the bureaucrat himself does no P. . t
public belief In traditional values he is still subject to constant pressure to gtve m.
' . I' ' ' S and top CIVI
them. For example In order to avoid accusations of tngratttude, po tttctan .
servants must themselves with members of their clan as well as with thetr
more tmmediate relatives.
This situation leads some civil servants to experience difficulty in adjusting to the
impersonal, disinterested, legaflstJC requisites of the modem bureaucracy. Clearly,
ethics-based route is the appropriate one. It is important, too, that the ethical code IS
tailored to the conditions of the society 1t is designed to serve. White it may make
sense in a developed country to preclude a public official from engaging in private
sector activ1ty, in some developing countries this is wholly unrealistic. Private sector
activrty of some sort can be a necessity where public sector remuneration i s very low.
The challenge then becomes one of how to manage effectively a situation where
public officials are frequently engaged in private sector activities.
1 As one writer on Africa has commented: Ethical Codes must be of such a nature that
leaders are not turned into poverty stricken missionaries and as poor as Church mice,
nor should they be so harsh and impracticable as to frighten would-be leaders from
assuming leadership roles.
Increased concern about corruption and the decline of confidence in public
admmtstratton has prompted many governments to review their approaches to ethical
conduct. To assist these processes, a of principles has been developed by the
--------VAJ I RAM & RA\ 1 --------
OECO to help countnes review the 1nstltu\10ns, systems and mechanisms they have lor
prOPIOI "''Q public serviCe ethics.
The pnnciplcs can be adaptod to national conditions, and countries can lind their own
ways to balance the vanous asptrat10nal and comphance elements so as to arnve at an
oflcct1ve frameworX that SUitS thetr own ctrcumstancos. The pr1nciples are, ol course, not
sufiiCICnt m themselves but provide a means lor mtograhng eth1cs management into the
broader pubhc management enwonment
1. Ethical standards for public service should be clear.
Public servants need lo know the bas1c pnnc1ples and standards they are expected to
apply to the11 worX and where the boundanes ot acceptable behaviour lie. A. concise,
well-publicised statement ot core eth1cal standards and principles \hat guide public
service, for example in the torm ot a code ot conduct, can accomplish \his by creating a
shared understanding across government and w1thin the broader community.
[Note: The emphasis here is on broad statements ot principle. 'The statement should
not be written in detail or resemble legislation, or simply be a list ot prohibitions and
restrictions. The core values should be the locus. These are higher values than the
minimum and minimal thresholds prescribe, lor example, by the criminal law. There is
scope here lor aspirations.]
2. Ethical standards should be reflected In the legal framework.
The legal framework is the basis lor communicating the minimum obligatory standards
and principles of behaviour lor every public servant. Laws and regulations state
the fundamental values of public service and should provide the framework tor guidance,
investigation, disciplinary action and prosecution.
[Note: This is the converse of the above. When legislating, the aspirational aspects ot \
a code can be stated to reinforce the values being protected by the laws and
regulations which follow.) '
3. Ethical guidance should be available to public servants
Professional socialization should contribute to the development_ o! the . necessary
judgement and skills enabling public servants to apply ethical pnnctples m concrete
Training facilitates ethics awareness and can develop essential skills tor analysis
and moral reasoning. Impartial advice can help create an '" which publiC
servants are more willing to confront and resolve ethical and problems.
Guidance and internal consultation mechanisms should be made available to help publiC
servants apply basic ethical standards in the workplace.
Note A code without a mentor or an adviser Is a rudderless boat adri1t on n
ocean. Public servants need to know where, and to whom to turn. wtle11
------- VAJJRAM & RAVJ -------....
Th eed to be persons In whom the
they oro confronted WJih potential diflrcullles. ese n y
have trust, and in whom thoy can confide in confidence.!
4. Public servants should know their rights and obligations Whell
exposing wrongdoing.
Public servants need to know what their rights and obligations are inhotcrlmd snocfluedxpos;,Q
bf servrce These s u ' e clea
actual or suspected wrongdorng Within the pu rc . of res onsibihty. Pu r
rules and procedures for oflrcials to follow and a format charn P . bile
servanrs a/so need to know what protection will be available
them rn cases Of
exposing wrongdorng..,.__,...,.,....._....,....-...,. __
{Noto ACOre value of public service is commitment to the law and to the of Law.
Tl11s is of higher valuo than any duty to superiors, colleagues or and
likewlso it overrides any claim to loyalty on the part of the pofiticaf party rn power.
It should never bo necessary, other than in the most exceptional of cases, for a ?ublic
servant to feet compelled to go outside the system in order to draw attention to
This is an area, too, in which the private sector is taking an increased interest.
Although previously, senior managers would prefer not to know about problems, the
managers of today are eager to ensure that staff feels
'" rarsmg their concerns, so that matters can be put to rights, or mistaken impressrons
It is therefore important that official channels tor complaint be trustworthy (so that staff
can use them without feeling exposed to reprisals by more senior staff on whom they
may be reporting) and effective (so that staff will use them confident in the belief that
thelf complaints will be taken seriously, and not just ignored).]
5. Political commitment to ethics should reinforce the ethical conduct of
public servants
Pofrtical leaders are responsible for maintaining a high standard of propriety in the
diScharge of thelf offictal duties. Their commitment is demonstrated by example and by
that is only available at the political level, tor instance by creating legislative
and mstrtutronal arrangements that reinforce ethical behaviour and create sanctions
wrongdoing, by providing adequate support and resources tor ethics related
activities throughout government and by avoiding the exploitation of ethics rules and
laws for political purposes.
(Note: Unless political leaders demonstrate high standards they have no moral
authomy whtch. to when they wish to reprimand others who step out of
lme. tits a trwsm that the ftsh rots from the head", and experience certainly suggests
where the of is seen to be incorrect, similar indiscretion Is
fostered among subordmates. It tS tmportant that political leaders clearly articulate
------- VAJ I RAM & RAVI -------
thetr unquahfred support tor, and mststence upon, htgh ethical standards.\
6. The process should be transparent
scrutmy and open to
The public has a right to know how public mshtuhons apply the power and resources
entrusted to Public scrutiny should be tacllilated by transparent and demOCtatic
processes, oversrght by the legislature and access to public intormatton. l'ransparency
should be turther enhanced by measures such as disclosure systems and recognition ot
the role of an acttve and independent medta.
(Note. A corr.upt and/or rnefficient administration will wish to shield its shortcomings
denyrng access to tnformation. The provision ol channels l or inlormation, and
nghts of access, are i mportant antidotes to this malaise. The greater the transparency,
the fewer the shadows.)
7. There should be clear guidelines for Interaction between the public and
private sectors.
Clear rules de11ning ethical standards should guide the behaviour of public servants in
dealing with the private sector, for example regarding public procurement, outsourcing or
public employment conditions. Increasing interaction between the public and private
sectors demands that more attention should be placed on public service values and
requiring external partners to respect those same values.
[Note: Much of the "grand corruption" that mars today's administrations around the
world takes place on the intertace between the public and the private sectors. Special
attention is given to this in the chapter entitled Public Procurement: Where the Public
and Private Sectors Do Business. The question of respect lor shared values is not
exclusive to the public service. Leading players in the private sector, too, are
increasingly concerned to ensure that its own private sector partners respect and
share the core business principles to which they subscribe.)
8. Managers should demonstrate and promote ethical conduct.
An organisational environment where high standards ol conduct are encouraged by
providing appropriate incentives lor ethical behaviour, such as adequate wor\<.ing
conditions and effective performance assessment. has a direct impact. on the dally
practice of public service values and ethical standards. Managers have an role
in this regard by providing consistent leadership and serving as role models tn terms o\
ethics and conduct in their professional relationship with political leaders. olher put> c
servants and citizens.
[Note: This principle reflects, in the context of managers, the same concerns as ntc \
contained in Principle 5, above.} \
-------VAJJRAM & RAVI -------
duros and practices should promote ethical
9. policies, procc
. h uld demonsrrate an organisallon's comm11mon
Managomonl policies und pracllcos s
ovemments to have only rulobasod or
ro olhical slnndards II IS not sull
cnt or g alone can inadvertently encoura
compliance basad slrucruros Compliance syst:se
misconduct, arguing that 11 lh:o
somo public srrvants simply ro functiOn on th.e g vemment policy should not ont
are not v1olalfng tho law they are acting Go nt ollicial's actions will not t>!
delinoato rho m.nimnl slandards bolow whiCh a lues that employees shou
tolerated, but also clearly nrt1culalo a set of public servce va ld
(Nolo This PMc1plo slrcssC's the importance ol the asplrational aspects

conducl, and tho nood ro avoid a minimalist, rule-bound approach under whtch
evcrylhing which Is nol expressly forbidden is implicilly allowed.)
10. Public service conditions and management of human resources shoul d
promote ethical conduct.
Public service employment conditions. such as career prospects, personal development,
adequate romunoratlon and human resource management policies should create an
environment conducive to olhical behaviour. Using basic principles, such as merit,
consistently in tho daily process of recruitment and promotion helps operationalise
integrity in tho public service.
(Note: Ethical cori'duct can bo fostered, just as unethical conduct can be contagious. If
nepotism. favouritism and the selective application and waiver of rules are taking
place, the standards of all can be expected to come under pressure.]
11. Adequate accountability mechanisms should be In place within the
public service.
Publrc servants should be accountable tor their actions to their superiors and, more
broadly, to the public Accountability should focus both on compliance wilh rules and
elh1cal principles and on achievement of results. Accountability mechanisms can be
internal to an agency as well as government-wide, or can be provided by civil society.
promoting accountability can be designed to provide adequate controls
wtule allowrng for appropriately flexible management.
I (Note: Corruption Inefficiency flourish in an environment devoid of accountability.
I'" thrs regard, the Offrce of Ombudsman has a particularly potent role to play.)
12. Appropriate procedures and sanctions should exist to deal with
Mechanisms for the detection and independent investigation of wrongdoing such
corruptiOn are a necessary part of an ethics infrastructure. It is necessary to haas
teliable procedures and resources for monitoring, reporting and investigating breach vet
-------- YAJIRAM & RAVI -------
service rules, as well as commensurate adm1nlstra\lve or disciplinary sanC\\ons to
Managers o;t.ould appropriate judgement In using \hose
moe anlsms When aC\1ons need to ue taken

need to be fair anc1trustworthy. They should protect the Innocent
. d tho natve, just as they :ihould deleC\ and pubhsh the culpable. Penalties Where
should be proportionate and should be consistently applied. A
eglmO Wh1ch IS IdiOsyncratic and v1ewed as untrustworthy by stall can seriously
underm1ne efforts to raase and to protect ethical standards generally.\
Codes .of conduct in the public sector, as they are m the private sector and in the
proless1ons. are playing an ever-increasing pan in the development of national integrity
They afford a way in whach to develop preventive strategies. Obviously, i1
act properly and with understanding from the outset, any problems will be
m1mm1sed. However, as we have noted, public sector codes tend to be dratted at the
top, by senior public officials or managers, and then passed down to more iunior stall. 1\11
too seldom are the staffs at all levels actively involved in the prepara\lon ol a code. 1he
result is not only does the code fail to reflect adequately the situa\\ons and aspirations ol
staff at all levels, but there is also a complete absence ol ownership. In some respects,
the way a code is prepared is just as important as the code itsell.
II is also important that a code be aspirational in tone, at least in part, rather than be
simply a long list ol prohibited actions. This is to give it a posi:ive character, rather than
the somewhat forbidding appearance ol a criminal statute. Once a code is finalised,
many regard the process as being at an end. However, to be ellective, codes should be
publicised throughout an organisation and its external stakeholders the
general public), so that everyone is aware of its contents. More than this, there should be
regular training, so that groups of ofticials come together from time to lime to talk through
dilemmas drawn from real life.
The interpretation of the code, too, is important. It should protect the stalls who complies
with it. For this reason, an effective code will generally have designated a source of
advice and guidance for staff that have difficulty in determining wha\ their position is.
Even if the advice the ofticial is given turns out to be misconceived, 'Nhere lull disclosure
of relevant facts has been madP. and where the advice has been followed, he or she
should be regarded as blameless.
To be effective over-all responsibility for public ethics development and training must be
' h 'th'n the Wtmstry
vested clearly in a particular agency of government. Frequently t tS IS WI
tor Government Administration.
ke of the watergate scandal) tho Unltl!<:l YAJlRAM & RAYI -
However, In a novel (and In Ethics (OGE). The OGE provides POlicy THE QUEENSLAND APPROACH
States 1n 1978 created the Office of.Gove e in the Executive branch. This system
p ond direct1on for the ethiCS agency having responsibility for the The Public Service Act 1996 1n Queen stand underscores the traditional expectation ol
ts a deccnlrallsod one, with each responsibility rests w1th the head
the stale's Ministers, namely that that professional public servants will be apoliltcal and
management of 1ts own ethics programme. . ISted Agency Ethics Official or "DAEQ responsive to the Government of the day and sensitive to 1\S programme obiectives. A.
each ngoncy that, in tum, designates a Deslgna of the ethics programme. decis1on to reinforce the career service" aspects ol employment 1n the Public Service
s responSible for the day-today management was articulated in 1997, and 1s supported by employment, deployment and appeals
1 Ethical conduct for Employees of the provisions in the Act.
The OGE has 1ssued a uniform set of Standards
n Executive branch agencies
ExecutiVe Branch that apply to all othcers fourteen general principles Separately, the framework ol values which defines Public Service 1ntegrity -
and departments. These regulations conta1n a statemen tral to these principles is the professionalism, ethicality (lor example, ;>ersonal\y disinterested conduct in ollice), and
that should gurdo the conduct of Federal employees. Cen
be impartial in th . service to the community are
concept that public service is a public trust. Federal employees.mus
contains defined by the Public Sector Both Acts were responses to an explicrt demand by
actions and not use public office for private gain. These regulations a 'f
P . c Ethics Act, enacted in 1994. \ employees and managers lor greater certamty aboUt wt1at
standards that provtde detailed guidance in a number of areas: gr ts. Queensland is the only was expected of them m \he wor\<.place. This demand was
ts impartiality seek1ng . . dnven by fYIIery day concerns about latmess, equ1ty,
sources, gifts between employees, conflicting financial rnteres JUfiSdlciiOn Australia, and responsiveness, and mtegnty, and by comrnurnty
employment, misuse of position and outside activities. The rules are enforced through one of few m the world, to expectations that ollicial wrongdoing would be eflectively
the normal dlsctplinary process. have enacted specific countered by the system 1tsell.
The Offtce has also implemented uniform systems of financial disclosure. These legislation for ethical conduct in public management. The
d b I I
and its companion piece, the Wh'1stleblowers Protect,on Act '994, are ""stral,as
sys ems. public and confidential are enforced throughout all agencies an are su JeC o ' """
periodic review by the OGE. ' examples of specific ethics legislation which aim to ensure high professional standards
in the public sector by requiring Chief Executives of Departments to develop codes, to
The OGE maintains a close liaison with the ethics officials at the 129 agency ethics have them accessible to staff and to the public, to institute training, and to include an
offices throughout the Executive branch through its desk officer system. Each OGE desk implementation statement in the department's annual report. The legislation clearly
has a portfolio of client agencies that he or she serves by providing information, acknowledges the necessity for public management to be ethical, professional. and
advice and programme assistance. The OGE also regularly conducts reviews of agency accountable.
ethiCS programmes and makes appropriate recommendations tor improvement or
fmanctal disclosure systems, counselling and advice training and other programme The Public Sector Ethics Act explicitly articulates a set ol professional expectattons -
matters. values - which had been in Queensland, until 1988. the sub1ect ol

regularly conducts training workshops for ethics officials both in Washington,
and m Clites throughout the United States. The OGE has established an ethics
ormatiOn centre at its office that makes educational materials available to Executive
branch agenc\es. It has a newsletter and it holds an annual ethics conference to
nformallon and build a strong ethics community An electronic bulletin board
proVt es an abundance of nf t' h .
d rect way.
orma ron to t e ethics community in a fast , convenient and
At the sarne ltme rndividual agencies ma 1 .
s anaards wrth r 't d I . Y supp ement the Executive branch-wide
m' e ru es, ta1fored to meet specific agency needs. Areas addressed In
1la/ agency standards include prohibited financial interests, prohibited outs'd
M es dnd pnor approval for outside activities.
1 9
In recent years a number of other countries
Arge tina and South Africa. have followed the US lead, including
convention alone.
The Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 l 0ueensland)
The Act, as passed, declares five principles to be the basis ol "E\hrcs Obligations, a\so
specified by the Act, and required to be the bas1s ol the agency-specilic Codes ol
Conduct which individual public sector agencres are required to develop. m consu tauon
with affected staff and the relevant community interests.
The framework values are:
respect for the law and the system ol (parliamentaf'J) government
.. respect for persons;
diligence; and,
economy and cfliclcncy.
In practice, this obligation requires that ollicials should manage all forms of public
resources (to; x ~ m p l human, material , and fonanclal resources, intellectual property
and InformatiOn) on the onterests of saleguardong public assets and revenues and
ensurong efflcoent programmes and servoce delivery.
Chief Executives' Obligations
The Eth1cs Act requires Chief Executives of oubhc sector agencies to ensure \hat \he Act
is omplemented in the1r agency, that trainong on ethics Is undertaken, and, ot signal
omportance, tt at the agency's "admonistrative practices and procedures are consistent
woth the Act and with the agency's Code of Conduct.
Failure to do so could result on sanctions under the Choef Executive's contract ol
employment, or (potentially) in a private legal action lor compensation resulting trom
breach of statutory duty. Such an action might arise in an ethics context where the
interests of a citizen or client of the agency sulfered damage lrom the foreseeable and
preventable unethical conduct of an employee for example, in a contract negotiation or
tendering process involving the Chief Executive's agency.
Clearly, the legislation establishes a "role ethic" based on a traditional version of the
role of the appointed public official in a system of responsible Parliamentary
The Guidelines issued to Queensland public sector agencies in 1995 went further in
reinforcing this traditional view of the appointed otticial's responsibility and
accountability, and the official's relationship to delegated power and the community at
large. The Guidelines include the following statement:
Public employment involves a position ot trust. The standards of conduct which may
be expected of public officials at all levels are th!!retore a matter tor legitimate and
continuing concern by the Government of the day, public sector organisations. and the
Public officials control, in various ways, the use ot financial and other valuable
resources provided by the community. The use, and misuse, of those resources raises
important questions of professional ethics l or administrators.
It is similarly expected that those public officials who control the financial and other
resources provided by the community have an ethical obligation to ensure that \hose
resources are used efficiently and appropriately.
Such a traditional view of the role of the public ofltcial is not at odds with the modem
focus of the public service on customers, efficient service delivery, accountabtb\y, nd
on effective risk assessment and risk management. However. ethical managcm nt s
-------YAJ JRAM & RAYJ - -------
r;:norechallengmg In today's world.
f .
e (PUMA) observed, the increasing
As the OECD's Public is: ... creating more situations
mteraction between tho pubhc and the conduct or public oHicials may be
madoquate, for example in relation to poss e . .
where existtng rules and guidance
'bl conllicts or interest.
bl'c ollicials where gudehnes and rules
They also ra1sc more eth1cal dilemmas for. pu
a need' to be able to make sound
cannot. provide all the answers and offiCials m Y that with the blurring or boundaries
eth1cal JUdgements. There are. moreover, bl' ector values may be diluted
between the public and private sectors, essent1al pu c s
to the detriment or the public interest.
h a eensland Legislature has set
Rather than blurnng the distinctions whiCh
e u .
h' hli ht what is at
down a 'benchmark' position in relation to pubhc sector mtegnty,
g g
1ssue when public and private sector value systems interact.
In Canada, a number or Provinces - and the Federal government - have introduced
posts to provide guidance on ethical issues to parliamentarians and senior public
officials. These positions are variously titled- "Ethics Commissioner" (Alberta), "Integrity
Commissioner (Onlario); "Conllict of Interest Commissioner" (British Columbia,
Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories and Yukon),
"Comm1ssoner of Members' Interests (Newfoundland) or "Ethics Counsellor" (Federal
These Offices all recognise that, in the area of ethics, there are two major risks when
relyrng wholly on a strictly legalistic system. Firstly, public office holders can often forget
what truly ethical conduct actually is in the real worfd of public life, and instead defend
themselves by dwelling on what they understand to be the legal technicalities of words
and concepts.
Secondly. rules are often extremely detailed about matters that should be self-evident to
anyofle w1th sound moral judgement, leaving the average citizen with the impression that
'hose appomted to public life have no moral sense whatsoever. When this happens, it
car do more to corrode public confidence than enhance it.
Canada's Federal government has taken an approach that assumes that public office
holders do want to take ethical actions. It assumes they do want to earn a higher level of
respect among citizens. For this reason it has chosen not to take the other major
approach to ethics that is, rigidly codifying ethical behaviour, usually through a sories of
"Thou shalt not's.
The Canadan approach to building and managing an ethics structure turns on avoidin
pos ibnttles for conflict of 1nterest well before the fact. It focuses on working with p
based on the assumption that they do want to do the right thing. eop

--------VAJI RAM & RAVI --------
The Federal Ethics Counsellor's Oft ice deals with potential contlicts ot interest and other
ethtcal issues tor those most likely to be able to intluence critical decisions in the Federal
government. This covers all members ot the Federal Cabinet, including the Prime
Mtntster. It covers their spouses and dependent children; members ot Ministers' political
stall : and senior oflictals in the Federal Pubhc Servtce. The Oflice handles the monitoring
of the assets, incomes and liabilities of those tl oversees.
The Olftce 1s also responsible for the Lobbyists Registration Act and the Lobbyists' Code
of Conduct. These are designed to bnng a level ot openness to lobbying activities and
ensure strong professional standards tor the people tnvolved tn that work. The Office, ot
course, does not replace the role ot the police, prosecutors and judges vlhen i\ to
suspected breaches of the criminal law. Rather it deals with the grey area ot situatiOns
that could realistically appear wrong to citizens, without ever being tllegal.
1\s role is designed to provide advice and counsel to those in government, not to act as
prosecutor, judge and jury. In practice, the Ottice closely with covered by
the Code. They come with questions about how a gtven or. .should be
treated, and the Office oilers advice. It is also asked by the Pnme Mtntster to tnvesttgate
and comment on specific issues as and when these arise.
Does this seem to work? The present office-holder believes it does: \his I
would say it does. The people that 1 deal with recognise that .making the deC\stons
helps to ensure their long-term political health. They recogntse that expect
high standards of conduct and rightly so. They have generally gone out ot thetr way to
meet those standards."
As suspicions of public officials has -led by revelations

looted their countries treasuries or about the of d liabilities ol public
drive _ so too has grown the behel that the assets, mcomes . id .......
d loped countnes tt was cons er.:v
ollicials ought to be monitored. In the past, tn eve . t t to '"'e head ol
. . . I t d'sclose thetr mves mens u
sufficient lor cabinet mtmsters stmp Y
0 1
s wortd the head
. I t da 's somewhat more susptctou
overnment on an informal basts. n o y . I eton Some\htnn
. tt as not an Oblect o suspt . . .,
of government himself or herself ts, as o 'th ndependent agency to momtor ttte
more rigorous seems to be called lor' an wt an ' .
position if the returns were not to be open entirely to the pubhc.
t is heard that one ot tho key instruments lor
ln many parts of the world, the ld b the periodic completion, by all tl'lose
. . . . the public servtce shou e
matntatntng tntegnty tn . d their immediate tamtly members
in positions of influence, of returns of their an
Incomes assets and liabilities.
' not be nccurat Y
nd Income wtll of course.
Although the disclosure of ass:ls a_ . . thought that the reqUirement lhat they
completed by those who are. taking .bnbes. Itt IS an tmportant butldlnO bloCk tOf any
formally record their linanctal postttons, ays
-------VAJIRAM & ru\VJ -------....
re preclude them from suggesting that ao VAJ lRAM & RAY I
subsoquenr prosecutiOn. It would, tor examp. 'fact acquired legitimately.
later wealth that had nor been was, tn ' . . .
a certatn post-servtco penod, as
Disclosure, the argument runs, should also e aft;, retirement. Studies have suggost il
deterrent to tho recorpt of corrupt payments d e than three years alter a Per
that tl rs unlikely that corrupt payments are ma e mor :>an
has retired.
coun ies which has tried to comba
But docs it work? Sn Lanka is one of a number
. . d uate. As the Attorn
corruption through the ordinary criminal Jaw, but '
this approach ey.
General of Sri Lanka told Commonwealth Law Mtntsters
' was
found to bo "insufficiently comprehensive. Sri Lanka therefore made
compulsory for au
public servants and all those in public office including politicians, to 'flake a declaration
of assets upon assumption of office and time to time
make fresh
declarations. Once the declarations were made, they were avatlable to the
General, or to any member of the public on payment of the requisite tee. The questton or
gifts and hospitality was also controlled.
Sadly, if public confidence and newspaper headlines in Colombo are to go by,
the problem is, if anything, more severe than it was ten years ago. It ts true that
monitoring can be intrusive, and affect the privacy of an individual, especially if it extends
beyond public servants to members of their immediate household. There are
traditionalists who argue against disclosure rules and prefer to rely on the Westminster
tradition of informal, largely unwritten rules. These rules were believed to guide elite in
living up to high ethical standards - standards higher and more flexible than the demands

black-letter rules. However, all the evidence today points to the utter inadequacy or
thts mformal system. Corruption today can only be reduced if it is made a high risk and a
low profit undertaking. Informal rules do not work nor do they wash with the public.
Havtng accepted the argument in favour of disclosure, several questions follow: To
whom should disclosure be made? What matters should be included? How wide should
coverage of members of the household be? How often should disclosures be made?
What access should the media and members of the public have to these declarations?
And, .m the case of career civil servants, what levels of seniority must be required to
submit to th1s process? There are no simple answers to any of these questions.
The tncky part of this is not so much deciding on the categories of assets to be
dlsc/os.ed, and the categones of the officials who should be making disclosure but rathe
on deCidtng the extent to which there should be public access to the Th r
lltmus test must be whatever is needed to achieve public peace of mind_
wh s. .e
wanted by the noisiest of the opponents of disclosure. Nor are matters s . IS
as they seem. A Minister of Finance from Colombia has been quoted a: as. srmple
for a poi1IIC1an to make his or her wealth known to the public would be an
to kidnappers to move In and claim the sums disclosed as a ran open mvrtatron
In Australia, a system whereby officials make written disclosures to the .
depanment annually has been seen as being effective. These head of !herr
30 are not made public.
Stmllar disclosures are managed by the ethics oflices In Canada, referred to above.
However, in most countries it has bee;. the practice to introduce wholly sham
arrangements for these sorts ot disclosures.
In Nigeria, the Code of Conduct Commission was empowered, from 1979 onwards, to
requ1re the filing of returns by all public officials. However, they had neither the resources
nor the legal powers to actually check the contents of any ol these. As a consequence,
throughout a prolonged period of looting by public ollicials, the only prosecutions ever
mounted were against public olfictals who tail- to tile an annual return - not lor filing a
false one. In Tanzania, the sleight of the taw draftsman's hand was such that, although
the legislation appeared to require the declaration of all property held by a public otficial,
by the time all the exceptions to this requirement had been listed there was virtually
nothing left. The legislation, enacted in the dying days of a particularly corrupt
presidency, was clearly for public consumption only. During Yeltsin's presidency in
Russia there was a proposal that every single public olficial, !rom the President to the
street cleaners, should make wri!ten declarations to the tax police, arguably the most
corrupt arm of the Russian administration. The whole proposal was a logistical
impossibility, and not surprisingly came to nothing.
As timid and ineffective are the new rules on disclosures of assets introduced in 1999lor
the members of the in-coming European Commission. These were prepared lollowing
the abrupt departure ol their predecessors amidst a cloud ol allegations about nepotism
and corruption.
Carefully framed, the provision makes the Commissioners judges in their own cause -
and they need only declare what they think might at some future time give rise to a
conflict of interest. Full disclosure is not required. The resulting declarations displayed on
the EU website make most of the Commissioners, and their spouses, look impoverished
by any European standards, and it is doubtlul whether these declarations would have
helped avert the scandals that so engulled their predecessors. The provision reads:
Financial interests and assets
Commissioners must declare any financial interest or asset yhich might create a conllict
of interests in the performance of their duties. On taking up their duties. and whenever
there is any change during the term of their otlice, they shall make. according to the
model in the Annex, a declaration of such interests. The declaration shall include any
holdings by the Commissioner's spouse which might entail a conflict of interests.
Declarations shall be scrutinised under the authority ot the President and due
regard for Members' areas of responsibility. These declarations shall be made public.
In today's world, however, increasingly governments are n:ore meamngtul
public disclosures, Bulgaria and Thailand being just t:--'o. ts thtrd. which
has introduced a scheme for the monitoring of all parltamentanans (mcludmg Mims\ers)
There a compromise has been reached in an effort to meet legitimate claims to privtlcy
disclosures are made openly and publicly; some are made as to the sub$lanco
. d' closed privately; and tho Interests ot ta .
of the Interest but the actual IS IS lllrlr
d' cl od butrn confidence.
members are IS os of a parliamentarian's family have a right
1 t Is that members d th
The 11rgument tor tho as d'sclosure to be rna e on e record, but ,
privacy. and II should be sutliclont tor the I not
on the publiC record. . .
. . . es tor the monllorrng ot the 1ncomes, asse
The development ot and. fair rog
m followed closely by anti-corruption actlvis I&
and llabll1ties or senior publrc OtfiCials will be bvious difficulties - then they co Is
lor if thoy can be mado to work - and there are .
serve as a valuable tool in restraining abuses of Office.
tf'oal is corrupt? And more importanu
Unloss a corrupt act is exposed, how do wo know that an
. . they can wreak 'I,
how can we onsuro that those officials are not promoted _ro poSitions w. st otticials how d even
more damage? And, in handling allogalions of corrupt1on made agam . ' . o 'We
ensure that moralo Is not adversely affected? And that complainants - and Innocent partieS - are
protected. Such allegations are easily made.
they are not based on truth, they can be morally
A further can be where those making allegations have. a hisl?ry . of criminal
mvolvcment, cspec1ally where their complaints are made against the Thts. such a
complamant a low personal cred1bil1ty. So how can reliable evidence (e1ther of mtegnty or of
co_rrupt tendencies) bo produced, in ways consistent with the constitutional rights of officials as
Citizens, and In ways In which neither the complainant nor the person complained of is unduly
lnandtegnf'ty has now emerged as a particularly useful tool for deaning up corrupt police forces
- or eeprng them clean.
In various parts of the develop d ld .
corruption h be . e wor pollee corruption scandals have come in cycles. Rampant

clean-up measures have been implemented; corrupt police have

But within a few years a bout of f h d
whole reform hav res. scan a s has emerged. This, it is now realised, is because
of rotten apples in the f e oo,en They have been founded on a belief that getting rid
now dear that it is not oto would be to contain the problem. It is
systems must be developed wh h an up an area of corruption when problems show. Rather
field of follow-up and monitoring wfl/11 be no II is in the essentiai
Y es lng rea Y comes mto its own.
Integrity testing In New York City
.since.1994, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has b ..
mter:stve programme of integrity testing. Simply stated this me een practtstng a very
Affalfs Bureau creates scenarios based upon kno t' f . ans that the Internal
the theft drugs and/or cash from a street such as
NYPD offtcers. The tests are carefully monitored and recorded usi est mtegrity of
etecrromc surveillance as well as the placement of numerous and video
scene. es at or near the
-------- VA.JIRAM & RAVl --------
The NYPD stnves to make the scenarios as realistic as possibl e and they are developed
based upon oxtens,vc 1ntcltgencc collection and analysts. All otlicers are aware that
such o programme oxtsts and that ther own conduct may be subjected. !rom tme to
t1me. \o such tests (although they are not told about the actual number ot such tests
wh1ch has produced a sense)
lnteynty tests arc adm1nrstcred on both a targeted and a random basis. That rs, certam
tests are drrccted or 'targeted" at specrlrc ollrcers who are suspected, usually based
upon one or more allegations fro111 members of the public, criminals or even other
officers, of having comm11\Cd corrupt acts.
In add1tron, cortam tests are directed agarnst officers selected at random based upol" the
knowledge that they are engaged tn work which IS susceptible to certain acts oi thelt or
corruption. All of the tests are carefully otanned to avoid entrapment, and no o
tcer IS
"enticed" rnto commrtting an act of corruption. The scenano merely creates rcal1stc
circumstances rn which an officer mtght choose to engage m a corrupt act.
More than one thousand five hundred (1500) integrity tests are admmistered each year
among a Ioree of 40,000 officers. The data produced by these tests prov;des rehab\e,
emprrrcal ev1dence of the rate of corruption among NYPD ofllcers. The results have been
both useful and instructive.
The rate of failure (i .e., when the subject engages in a corrupt act) rn the targeted tests
is significant. About 20 per cent of the officers tested on this t<11l the test. re
prosecuted and removed from tne iorce. Th1s would seem to ....,._, bo, :he e' a ...
of carefully analysed public compla1nts and allega\lons of pollee corrupt.on ard e
efficacy of the spec1ftc integrity tests employed.
The introduction of the system has also seen the number of reportmgs of attempts to
bribe police officers soar. Where prevtously off ers of bribes may have beer ott
and not taken seriously, they now seem to be reported. No police ollicer can now i<.l"oW
whether or not the offer made to him or her is an "integnty tesr. and it ts better to be sate
and to report the incident than ri sk treating tt as an Irrelevance- let alone accept
By contrast with the comparattvely hi gh number who lal the targeted" test only about
one per cent of the officers who are subjected to "random" tests fail. 1h\s wo tid seem to
support the long held view of seni or NYPD management that the vast ma1or ty o' ts
officers are not corrupt.
In addition to providing valuable empirical evidence about the ra.e o: corruption nmo
pol ice officers, integrity testing has pt od ced very useful lessons about tnc strel'g\h
weaknesses of the supeNision and control of poltce olhcers n tho I cld Such "
are used to develop belter training and more etfecttvc poltCICS to tnSLtro th \ P
seNices are provtded effectively and honestly
There can also be no question that integrity testing IS a tremcndotiS del rr \ t
activity. The NYPD has seen a dramatic nse in the number ol report by pol
themselves of bribe offers and other corrupt conduct by members ot tt pu
--------- \1,\JIH.AM & fl.;\ VI mmo was rntllatod. Some ol this rise is
rognry-rosllng progra d th t th
other olticers snco t/IO m NYPD pohco otftcors are conceme a err
blo ro rM fact thai t nc d
undoubtedly aunbUtil nd thai even the failure to report a corrup t ' ent
acrons may bo subJect to momtormg a
could subjOCI them
100 10 500
tho ortoct of this same approach in
diSCiplinary II would procurement contracts. c;>ne could
ncrlon /tho s7rualion whore major Jntornarlonaf corporatons btddmg on
. arnvo II ant controcrs In a developing counrry had to contend ":''th an
Stnce than tho

programme. knowing tflat tho payment of any_ bnbo (or

Lotrdon ,:
report the solicitation of a bnbo) wc:'uld subJe?l them
Metropolitan Police
lnsront exposure as a corrupr company, and to publtc blackhstmg.
1ar programme Junior stall who arc taking a farge numbor of small bribes._ Yet JUnior
has rnrtfated a
would seom
bO a 5lmple maller to usc rntogrity testing to
ofltoals dO nor lie at tho heart of the corruption problem. It Will be moro
of .ntegnty testmg., dtfltcvlf to adapt the methodology to counter those oflieials Who
and early reports
n a small number of highly-lucrative transactrons.
rndrcato that they
are obtarnrng some 1
of the same benefits.
The concept need nor bo contmed to police activities. In some countries hidden
relev1sion cameras have been used m the ordinary process of criminal investigations to
monitor the illicit actrvrtrcs bcrng conducted .n the chambers (or private offices) of judges.
caprunng corrupt transactions between JUdges and members of the legal profession. The
"''nlegnty testing" techntque mrghl therefore be developed in the context of judicial
mtegnry resrrng. II would also seem to have potential for use rn other areas where the
pubfrc sector is engaged rn drrecr transactions with members of the public, particularly in
The possib1htres the technique presents for the developing world have yet to be
thoroughly explored. However. on face value there would seem to be considerable merit
in establishing a system thai is known to all officials (be they police, customs or
elsewhere in the system). at the very least. as a means for tackling and reducing levels
of peny corruption.
Undercover investigations
Undercover mvestrgallons are closely related to integrity testing, but lack the random
element. These rnvestigations are only fookrng for what is wrong, and not to establish
what rs gorng well. and who is honest.
are number of risks whrch must be minimised, and countries should have clear
uJ e nes or these types of investigations. The risks can include:
harm to undercover employees;
--------VAJ I RAM & RAVl --------
harm to pnvate individuals and busmesses, and the risk of hab1hty ot other
losses betng incurred by tho government,
Invasion or pnvacy;
the act1v1ty resul\lng in entrapment (i.e. creatmg an ol1ence where one would
have been unhkely to occur. such as ol1ering a very large bribe); and
the propriety or undercover employees or cooperating individuals actively
partrc1pating 1n the act1v11y being targeted by the operation.
II ts usually thought advisable lor those wno are hkely to be the prosecutor in
a case - I there is one - to be nvolved. in the oversight ol the invesligation.
ThiS can ensure that the evidence obtained 1s both relevant and adm1ssible
in court proceedrngs and of a quahty whiCh is likely to bring a conviction.
Integrity testing has to be developed and conducted very carefully. It is essential, tor
instance, that the temptation placed in the way ot an official is not so great as to tempt
even an honest person to succumb. The object is to "test" the integrity of the olticial, not
to render an honest one corrupt through a process ol entrapment. More than this, most
countries have "agent provocateur" .u:es in thetr criminal codes, wh1ch act as a iudicial
check on what rs permissible.
These rules vary from jurisdictiOn to jurisdiction, but they obviously have to be borne in
mind. It is tmportant to ensure that the degree of temptation is not extreme. That sa1d,
there is no doubt that the New York expenence has shown that mtegrity testing. properly
and fairly conducted, is potentially a h1ghly effective weapon for the launching of a
campaign to confront systemic corruption in many public agencies. Some indicators as
to the effectiveness of an ethics policy in support of a national integrity system.
Ethi cs

Is the approach to promoting ethics characterised by part1c1pation so that a
back-and forth discuss1on takes place on profeSSional ethics, w1th give-and-
take between those most affected?
Are public serv1ce ethics depoliticised. tn the sense that the rais1ng ot ethtca\
standards is somethi ng to whtch all shades ol legitimate political opin1on can
subscribe and m which they can participate meaninglully'?
Are there codes ol conduct in the public sector?
If so, are they built on values !rom the bottom up. not just trom the top down?
Are they aspirational in character?
-------YAJ IRAM & RAYI
. sessions take place for public servants at au

Do regular ethiCS tlrad'"e'"ogle playing and the discussion of real-life situations
levels? Do those me u r )?
(as opposed to simply being printed hand-outs and/or lectures .
Monrtormg of assets
Are there arrangements for the regular monit.oring o! .rhe assets, incomes
and liabilitieS of public officials in pos1t1ons? II so, are these
seen as bemg effective by the general public.
Are the life-styles of public officials seen by the public as being broadly in hne
w1th offic1al salaries?
Integrity testing
Has the introduCtion of integrity testing been considered?
t has nor been introduced, are there valid reasons why it should not be?
------- VAJIRAM & RAVI -------
covered under the top1c 'Ethical Concerns and d1lemmas' are
1 . Introduction
2. Ethics: Meaning and Relevance
3. Evolution of Ethical Concerns in Administration
4. Context of Ethics and its Significance for Public Administration
5. Issue of Ethics : Foci and Concerns
6. Pertinence of a Code of Administrative Ethics
7. Nature of Work Ethics
8. Towards New dimensions of Ethics
9. Obstacles of Ethical Accountability
1 0. Future Perspective
11. Conclusion
A brief description of the above has been laid in the forthcoming paragraphs.
'Ethics' is a difficult term to define. The meamng, nature and scope of eth cs ha\'9
expanded in the course of time. 'Ethics' is integral to public adm1mstrat on. \n publc
administration, ethics focuses on how the public admtn1strator should question and
reflect in order to be able to act responsibly. We cannot simply b1lurcate the two by
saying that ethics deals with morals and values, while pubhc adm1n1strat on s about
actions and decisions. Administering accountab1hty and eth1cs 1s a task The
levels of ethics in governance are dependent on the soc1al. economic, pol t1cal, cu\tur l
legal-judicial and historical contexts of the country. These spec1l1c factors tnflucnce tho
nature of ethics in public administrative systems. l'his Untt wtll d1scuss the meanng
evolution, foci and concerns of ethics. It will bring out the dilferent d1mens1ons ol e
and their relevance for publi c administration. The signiltcance ot an eth c I code '
administrators will be analysed and the nature of work ethrcs will be looked Into 'The U
will also examine the obstacles to ethical accountability.
--------- V,\ .II RAM & f{ '\\ ' I -------- --..
ETHICS: MEANIN nd vnluos which 1nlluonco hum;.
red bol1ofs moros a

'Uhlc8' 11
sysrom of nccvp b d on mornl; Thu'>. cllliC!l 1s I 10
01 II I IS '1 sysrom 3St , I ' , II
our Mora spr'Co#lc.1 y,

Tho Lnron orrgm ol uw word t'l He, 1s t lie. us th
whltr os morally 11Qhl and wh.
11 1
s no rury crh
cs hns hl't'll acccplld a:. tilt
S 1110
early 1 71h con
1 melln:J c/wactt>r tnCI"
rho science ot llumiln duty. I onco. 111 C01nmO!l
sc1vnro ot momls. 1110 nrlt'S of condulc pies that oovorn a person's or oroup,
tronrod as mora pnncl , .
patlllnco, ethiCS ts . t tho good tho noluro ol tho , qht.
l>uhavrout lllnr.ludos bolh t11o SCionco
h 0 boon underscored widely In lndmn scriplures
711 111 1 ronCt>ms of govomanco av
1 o c ten h s R.1movana Mahabhamta. Blwgvad Ottn. Budd m Chama
dnd othor tro.1tsos sue a , . , v "' .... '
' Manusmntt Kural. Shukm Ntt,, nauamv.1rt, ,, noont

C""" ' ' ' lh cal novo '
"' 1 At tho snmo limo ono canno11gnoro lho mox1ms on o 1 ,.. nnnco
ond llttop.;.,'Cs I. c f d Monell s
provtdcd by tho Clllnoso pllllosophors such as Loo Tso, on uc1us an '.
In 1110 Wustom philosophy, thoro arc throe schools of othlcs. Tho ltrsl , inspired
by Artstollo, holds lhnt vrrtuos (such as just/co, chanty and oro to
act in wJys thai bonofit tho possessor of these virtues and tho socoty of whtch ho Is a
part. Tho second. subscrrbod to mainly by Immanuel Kant. makes tho concept of duty
Ct)nlral to moralily: humon beings are bound, from knowledge of their duty as rational
bemgs, to obey tho categorical imperative to respect other rational bo1ngs wilh whom
IIley mteract. Tho third is lho Uftlitarian vtewpomlthat assorts that tho QU1d1ng princplo of
conduct should bo lho greatest happiness (or beneft) of the greatosl number (Hobson,
2002). Tho Western thought 1S lull of ethical guidelines for rulers, whether in a monarchy
or a democracy. Those concerns aro found in the writings of Plato, Arislotlo, Thomas
Jollerson, Aloxandor Ham1lton, Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, Edmund Burke, and
Thoro rs also tho Aawf's theory of JUSitce, which revolves around the adaptation of two
fundamental princplos of jusllce. whrch would, rn turn, guarantee a JUSt and morally
acroptable soccty. The prtnctple guarantees the nght of each person to havo the
most extonsve basc lrberty compattblc with liberty of others. Tho second principle states
that soctal and cconom1c posttions are to be: (a) To everyone's advantage, nnd (b) Open
to all. A koy 1ssuo for Rawls IS lo show how such principles would bo unrvorsally
adoptod, and over hero his work borders on general ethical issuos. 1 to Introduces a
lhcorctrcal 'vetl of 1gnorance' m which all 'playors' in the soc1al gamo would bo placod rn
a Sttuatton, whtch 1s called lho 'onginal poSition'. Hav1ng only a gonornl knowlodgo nbout
rho facts of 'lifo and soctory, each player Is ro mako a 'rationally' choice
C<lnccrnmg the of social institution he would ontor into contract with. 13y denying the
players any spoctftc tnformnlion about themselves, it forces them to adopt n qonornllsod
;''nl of VICW that bears D strong resemblance to thC' moral point of vlow. 1 his viewpoint
lltound morol conclusions that can bo roachod without 1b,mclonincJ the
prud /Ja/ I ndpotllf nnd porrrng 1 1
" D mora out ook, merely by pursurng one's own
prud nt I tea onrng undor cortan procedural bargatn
--------VAJIRAM & HAVl --------
Tho gost ol w1sdom on admtn1strat111e ethics Ia that the public admtn\strotors are the
guarchnns ot tho Admlntstratovo State. Hence, they are oxpectod to honour public trust
and not vrotato 11. Two crucial questions ralsod In this context arc "Why guardtans
should bo quardod? And "Who guards tho gu<lrdtan?" lRosonbloom and Kravchuk.
2005) 1 ho adm1n1strators nood to be gumdod aganst tendency to misconceiVe
pubhc Interest. promote soU tntorost, mdulge 1n corruption and cause subvorson ol
national 1ntorost And thoy need to bo guarded by tho external lnsttu\lons such as the
Judtcmry, legtslaturo. pollllcol oxocultve, modla and CIVIl socety organtsatlons. These
various modes of control become tnstrumonts ol accountablhly.
It is cssonhal to recognise \hal tho dtsclplino ol Pubhc 1\dmtnlstralion has been broadly
influoncod. in tho initial stages ol its growth. by Pohltcal Sctonco and lho Sctence ol
Management. While tho philosophical promises ot Public Admtnistratlon were mlluenced
primanly by Political Science, its tochnologtcal facet was designed by Management
Sciences. The early Political Science was taught as Moral Ph'tlosophy and Pobtca\
Economy. whilo its current curriculum is tho product ot secular, practical, empirical and
scientific tendencies of the past century. The Amencan students ol Pobttcal Scence. In
tho early years ol the last century. were dtsmayed at the tnadequac1es ot the ethical
approach in the Gttded Ago. As a result of thetr Interaction w1th the German untverSites
and tho influence on their thinking by scholars such as J.N. Burgess, E.J. James. A B.
Hart, A.L. Lovell. and F.J Goodnow, they sought to recreate Polltcal Scaence as a true
science. They became Increasingly interested m obsorvtng and 'actual
governments'. Natural and Social Sctences substanttally inl\uenced thetr deas and
Later. Logical Posi\tvism of tho Austnan School mlluoncod scholars such as Hcrocrt
Simon and thus there emerged a boommg taath 1n devoloptng a Sctcnce ot Polites nd s
Scronce of Administration that would be able to 'predict and control' poll cal and
administrative life. As Dwtght Waldo (1984) comments, the old bch::l that good
government was the government of moral men was thus replaced by a morohty that vr.ts
Irrelevant and that proper institutions and expert personnel were the determm1ng !actors
in shaping good government. 'Tho new amoraltty became almost a request t f
professional respect'.
Tho ominonco of Bohaviourallsm until the mid 1960s lurthcr mnrgmnls<Xi the ettl I
lssuos In tho study of Political Sclonco and Public Admlntslratton. It was oo\)' "
advont of Post behaviournlism In Political Sclonco and ol the accont 01'\ New Pub\
Admlnlstretion that tho scionttfic mothods of bohnv1out lsm nu huma."\
'ethical') vnluos struck a homogenous chord With pubhc adm1n tmt n d \ t
botween facts nnd values w;.1s rosolvod substantially.
VAJIJV\M & llt\\'1--------...
accords pnmacy ro rho values or
Tho curronr drscplmo of Pubhc Admrmsrratrondor equahly and compassion. Tho I
h m.1n nghiS. gen
eqUity Justcc. humnnsm. u cd b the Worio Bank In 1992. lays stress. lntor
ol Good Governance.

admrnrstrarors. Whrlo the Now Pubtrc

nfld on tho ell! cal and moral co cd th admrmstratrve elfoctiVencss. tho Now
Management movomentrs more othrcs
n rrs broader manrloslahon.
Pub/ c Admrmstr:Jton focuses
h other This complcmontanty of 'foc

Both tho movements MO complcmentaedry
eac ago the Industrial world was
od II was a hundr years
s as truer t ay as S onhfrc Management amidst a strong accopranco of tho
c xpononcnq the rso of c K nnod dunng h1S Prosrdcncy {1961-
notron of ndmrHslroWo rosponsrb:frty. John e y.
) had
erred 'No responsrbilrty of government rs more funda.mental than the
responsbrl:ty of marntarn:ng tho higher srandards of ethrcal behavrour.
Tho rdeaf typo construction of bureaucracy: .. by Max Weber also
hrghfrghted an cthrcalrmperative of bureaucratiC behavrour. Weber (1947)
"In lhe ralronal typo. 11 rs a mauer of principle that the members of the
staff should oo complelely separated from ownership of the means of producton and
admrnrstratron. Offrcrals, employees and workers auached to the administrative staff
do not themselves own the non-human means of production and administration ....
There exists, furthermore. in principle complete separation of property belonging to the
organrsation, which is controlled within the sphere of office, and the personal property
of the official, whrch is available for his own private uses". 1
Weber's analys1s underscores the need to prevent the misuse of an official position for I
personal gains. Although his ideal-typ.3 construct on bureaucracy is not empirical, yet I
rt has an emp1rical flavour, for it appears to have taken into account the existential
reality of bureaucratrc behaviour. From a normative angle - knowing that Weber was
not normatrve rn hrs rdeal type cons:ructs - also. the message is clear: 'Don't misuse
offrcral property for personal benefit'.
Most cnt;cs of real-world bureaucrac'es, including Harold Laski, Carl Friedrich, Victor
Thompson and Warren Benn1s, have t:riticised bureaucrats for VIolating the prescribed
norms of mora/ conduct. Even Fred Figgs, while discussing the traits of a prismatic
soc ety frke 'formalism and 'nepotrsm' points out the yawning gap between the 'ideal'
and the 'real' 1n admrnistratrve behavicJr. The deviations from the norms and mores
have been too glaring to be rgnored. Immoral behaviour thus has become an integral
component of 'bureaupatho/ogy.
Efthrcs, whetner rn an entire society, or in a social sub-system evolves over a long period
o time and ts influenced d 1 '
factor Ad .
s nurturance and growth, by a variety of environmental
s. mrnlstra/tve elhtcs rs no different. It is the product of several contextual
--------VA,JIRAM & RAYI -------
strucluros and it never ceases to grow and change. Let us now look at some ot these
contoxrual lactors that intluence eth1cs tn the publ1c administrative systems.
The Historical Context
Tho h1story ot a country marks a great mtluence on the eth1cat character ot the
governance system. The Spo,ts System m the USA dunng the tn111a1 phase ot the
Amencan nallen VItiated the eth,cal m1l1eu ot the Amencan Public Adm,nistraliOn. "To
VICtor belong the 5p01ls" asserted Amencan Pres,dent Andrew Jackson. Thmgs would
have conhnucd the same way had not a diSgruntled )Ob seeker assass,nated Pres1dent
James Garfteld in 1881. Garfield's assass,natlon spurred the process ot civ11 service
reforms in the USA, and the sett1ng up ot the US Ctvll Servtce CommiSSIOn in 1883 was
the l1rst maJOr step in this d1rect1on.
India has wttnessed a long h1story of unethical prachces in the governance system.
Kautilyas Anhashastra mentions a vanety ot corrupt practices 1n wh1ch the
administrators of those times indulged themselves. The Mughal Empi re and the Indian
princely rule were also afflicted with the corrupt practices of \he courtters and
administrative functionaries, with 'baksheesh' being one of the accepted means ol selling
and buying favours. The East India Company too had its share of employees who were
criticised even by the British parliamentarians for betng corrupt.
The forces of probity and immorality co-extst in all phases of human history. W1"11cli
forces are stronger depends upon the support these get from the pnme actors ol politico-
administrative system. What 1s disturbing is that a long legacy ol unethical practices in
governance is likely to enhance the tolerance level tor administrative Immorality. In most
developing nations having a coloni al h1story. the chasm between the people and the
government continues to be wide. In the coloma\ era, the legit1macy of the governance
was not accepted willingly by a majonty of population and therefore, true loyalty to the
rulers was a rare phenomenon. Although the distance between the governing elite and
the Citizens has been reduced substantially in the transformed democraltc regtmes yet
the aHinity and trust between the two has not been total even 1n the new dispensat;on.
Unfortunately, even the ruling elite <.lo not seem to have imbibed the sptnt ol emotonal
unity with the citizens. The legacy ol competitive collaborat1on between the people aod
the administrators continues to exist. The nature of this relatiOnship has an adverse
impact on 'administrative ethics'.
The Socio-cultural Context
Values that permeate the social order 1n a society deterrnme the nature ol governance
system The Indian society today seems to prefer wealth to any other value. And n
of generating wealth, the means-ends debate has been sidelined. Y t
ends have gained supremacy and the means do not command an equal respect. ques
for wealth in itself is not bad. In fact, it is a mark Clv_ilisational progress. Wl'lat IS
important is the means employed while being engaged In thrs quest.
VA.II HAMIV HAVI ________ _
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to bo rrtlN.IrJd m thr: cortdur.l <1l To ClpCct \llat tho adm wll\ b
m,ulcINJ fro1n lho oncnt'hor norms ov danced 1n tho SOO.a\1 wou\d be grostly

I It() :trqurnrmt propr,undod lttJr{;, hwl a conwtc ng log1C, yr- 1 It ore can bo a count f
porn! th111 Ill() rulrw. nw to ,trongor mo1 sl 1 bto II nn tho wbO<.l
'JlllCtl tlu ro rur ''"Y ' ' ''Jirurn,.nl.thtlns to protect unci nurluro adm 111$truuvc morally
w. ft v1r. t11 o qnnoral -;oclnlmornhty, .. uch nn OIPflCI:lhon ttl tho mo 1 Ull olu o
tdonl. ll onc..fJ, .u1 ollVIoll'. nl'rJ to oo u\lr> decpN '"to lllfl problem.
ft10 hOIHIVIOUr Of pohltCIHil' has 1 0 1001\SifallOII ntloCI On ciVil $CM11\\ of tho h ,, hone,\ poltttr.,,l na.t"', lo COI\Irol cvl rvanl JS mmcnse thnt tho moral OIIWOIImnn\ tn n country I ko lnd n I d n d mor bl '
pohl1t1rut!i hy "'Y othm "ocnl 1nc pnrnacy ol lhc poll I over the fe t ol
'Y'l11nr. I' too obvrou5 to ho 1gnororl, It lhC med111 sn Obi cuvo ndl ar\e$ to
prnvrmllrt(J wrrupllon c m hll off Chvt II Cl.\n yon net n n C31 lyl\ to Ul promo\ n
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-------- VAJIRAM & RAVI _,..
f the
media is important If performed with Intent
This role o or
malpracucos '" the systemh sensationalism.
social responSibility rather t an
The Economic Context
a country 1s likely to have a pos1t1vc corrolau
The level of cconom1c developme system Even when a causal rclalion betwe 0,
Wllh the level of ethics
the gove,mancecannot ruled out. A lower level of ccon
saged a correat1on . d . .,,,<:
the two 1s not cnv
nied with inequalities in the econom1c or or, IS likely
development. when accompal
and groups The less privileged or more depriv
hasm among soc1a c asses ect
crea e a c . t d to forsake principles of honest conduct wh
sect1ons of sbaoc
ety and security. Not that the rich will necessarily
full,tMg thc,r SIC ne hended is that th
more honest (though they can afford to be so). yet what IS appro . e Poor,
while makmg a
ving, may ftnd 1t a compelling necess1ty to comprom1se with the
pnnc1ples of mtegnty.
s interestmg to note that w1th the advent of liberalising economic rn .developing
natrons. there is a growing concern about following the norms of rntegnty. rn Industry,
trade, management and the governance system on of the ln.ternational
pressures tor higher level of integrity in the WTO regime. Thrs rs what Fred Rrggs would
call exogenous' inducements to administrative change.
An 1mportant question arises in connection with the moral obligation of an administrative
system. Is the administrative system confined to acting morally in its conduct or does it
a/so share the responsibiltty ol protecting and promoting an ethical order in the larger
soctety? While of the focus on administrative morality is on the aspect of probity
w1thrn the admrnrstratwe system, there is a need to consider the issue of the
responsib l1ty of the governance system (of which the administrative system is an integral
part) to create and sustain an ethical ambience in the socio- economic system that would
nurtJJre and protect the baste moral values. Moral political philosophy assumes that the
rulers wrll not be moral themselves, but would also be the guardians of morality in a
socety. Truly, berng moral 1s a prereqws1te to being a guardian of wrder morality. Both
the ob/JgatJOtJs are Intertwined.
1: rs a tru
sm that the crux of administrative morality is ethical decision-making The
quest ons of facts values cannot be separated from eth1cal decrsion-making. Thus,
the SCience of admrnrstratron gels integrated with the ethics of admmistralion. And in this
only is valued, which respects tho normative
tvery o a mtnrstrallve servrces.
Which are the essential concerns wrth d .
long l$1 of values that are consid r admrnlstratrve ethics? Thoro can bo a
beonr. t.cleCINe "ne ha I f e ed destrab/e man admlnistrallvo action. However In
-"" ' '"' s o ocus on the most 1 '
the value at JUtt ce, tairnr.:s" d . values. let us now concentrate on
., an Woodrow Wilson, "Tho Study of
--------VAJ IRAM & RAVI --------
Administration (1887), in his inaugural address averred that just1ce was more tmportant
than sympathy. Thus, he placed JUStice at the top of value-tuerarchy in a govemance
system. Paradoxtcally, there has been a lot of discussion on the formal-legal aspects ol
admin,strallve law smce then. but very little analys1s has been made Olthe philosoph cal
d1mens1on of admlntstrattVe jusltce.
The other two issues ot ethical dec,sion-maktng, vtz. tatrness and obteCINtty are, tn fact.
.ntegral components of admtn1stra11ve tusllce. When admtnistrators are true to lher
profession, they are expected to be 1mpantal and fa,r and not get mlluenced by
nepotrsm, favounusm and greed wh,le mak1ng dectstons ol governance. OOjecl'v ty
should not be misconstrued as a mechanical and 1191d adherence to laws and rules.
From the decision-making angle, 11 has undoubtedly wider ramihcat,ons encompasSII\g a
set of positive orientations.
Currently, the notion of ethiCS has expanded tlself to tnvolve all ma1or realms of human
existence. Let us attempt to outline certain salient aspects of ethcs tn public
administration. Broadly, they could be summansed as following maxims:
Maxim of Legality
An administrator will follow the law and. rules that are lramed to\
and Rationality
govern and guide various categories of pohctes and decistons.
Maxim of
An administrator would not hesitate to accept respons.billty lor hts
decision and act1ons. He would hold himself morally respons ole lor
and his actrons and lor tho use of hts discretion whtle making dec SIOf'.S.
Accountability Moreover. he would be willing to be held accountable to l'lic;jher
authonties of governance and even to the people are 1t1e
ultimate benehc1anes of his dec1sions and act,ons.
Maxim of Work An admtntstrator would be commtted to h1s dut es and pertorm h s
Maxi m
work Wi\h mvolvement, tntelhgence and oextenty. As Swarru
I Vivekananda observed: Every duty Is holy and devol on to duty s
the Nghest loom ol wo<shop." 1hs would en"! a """" lo< I
time, punctuality and fulfilment ol promses made. Wcx IS
considered not as a burden but as an opportuntty to seNe and
constructively contribute to society. 1
of An administrator would ensure the htghest standards ol qual.\
administrative decistons and actton and would not CO!TlPfOmtSe
standards because of convcmence or complacency. In a compe \
internattonal environment, an admintstrattve svstem should I. u
adhere to the requtsttes of Total Qual1ty Management
Maxim of Fusion
An admtmstrator would ratton,\lly bnng about n Ius n o
organisational and social to ht'IP ovolvo un snn
imbtbe in his bchavtour a comm1lmcnt to n lu o S:tlll\!:on
-------- VAJIHAM & RAVI
tor ethtcs should govern tho
,.--------r,::c:;on;;,,iiirt,cltng goals, a concern
____...,. nd clfecuvely to the demands a
Maxim of An adm,ntstrator would s well r.s nternal envtronment.
Aesponslvonoss chtlflcngcs from the und yet sus1a1n tile
and Roslllonco would adapt to enwondmct In ;,tuatons of dev,auon from the
ethtcal norms of con u ld
rescnbed ethtcal norms. tho adm,mstrat,vo system wou
P d bO nee back 1n1o the accepted ethtcal mould at lilt
rosthence an u
oarftest opportunity.
Ulllil orlanlsm
ot Whtlo mak
ng and implementing pohctes and
will ensure that these lead to tho
(happtness, benefits) of the greatest number
greatest QOO<!
ot An admtnistrator, without violating tho proscnbod laws and rules
would demonstrate compassion for the poor. tho dtsablcd and the
weak wh1le usrng his dtscretion 1n making decisions. AI least, h
would not grant any beneltts to the stronger soctrons of society onl
because they are strong, and would not deny the duo consideration
to the weak despite lheir weakness.
Maxim of Though universalistic in orientation and liberal in outlook, a civil
National Interest servant, while performrng his duties, would keep in view the impact
of his actron on his nation's strength and prestige. The Japanese, the
Koreans, the Germans and the Chinese Citizens (rncluding civil
servants), while performing their official roles, have at the back ol
thClr mmd a concern and respect for their nation. This automatically
raises the level of service rendered and the products delivered.
Those responsible for formulation and execution of policies and
decisions of governance would ensure that respect is shown to the
princrples of equality, equity, fatrness, impartiality and objectivity, and
no special favours are doled out on the criteria of status, position,
power, gender, class, caste or wealth.
of An admimstrator will make decisions and implement them in a
lransparent manner so !hal those affecled by the decrsions, and
those who wish to evaluate their rationale, will be able to understand
the reasons behind such decisions and the sources of information on
which these decisions were made.
of An administrator would undertake an administrative action on the
basis of honesty and not use his power, position and discretion to
serve his personal interest and the illegitimate interests of other
indrviduals or groups.
------- VAJIRAM & RAVI -------
There could be many more tenets added to the above catalogue ol maxims ol morality 111
admtmstrahon. However, the overall objectiVe is to ensure 'Good Governance' with a
pnme concern lor ethical pnnctples, practices, orientation and behaviour. There are no
dogmas tnvolved tn dehntng admnistratave cthacs. The chiel concern wtule doing so
the postve consequence ol admmtstrahve actton and not JUSt ostenstbly rahonal modes
ol adm,mstrallve processes. In the lollowng Sectaon, a lew ol the salient concerns and
toc1 of ethtcs will be dealt v11th.
The concept of ethics has been a latecomer "' the realm of public admimstrahon. For too
long, dotng one's duty well was constdered to be an equivalent ot bureaucratic ethics.
lntereshngly, m the Untted States, the origrnat cty managers and Federal Code of Ethics
placed notable stress on efliciency as ethrcal concept. In the early 20th century, the
perspechve began to change. In 1924, tha International Ctty/Country Management
Association adopted the public sector's hrs\ Code of Ethics that rellected anti-corruption
and anti-politics lacets of lhe munictpat reforms movement.
In 1958, the US Congress imposr.d a Code ol Ethics on the Federal Government, and in
1978, founded the Office of Government Ethics as an upshot ol the Ethics in
Government Act of 1978. In 1992, the Office >f Government Ethics released the Federal
Government's first comprehensive set of of ethtcal conduct. comprismg
standards pertaining to gifts. conllicts of financial interest, tmpartrality, misuse of office,
seeking outside employment, and outside ac\lvil!es. Almost all the Amencan states have
also promulgated their respective codes of ethics, though compared to \he Federal
initiative, they are tess comprehensive.
Today, codes of ethics, eth1cs boards, and
ethics training have been accepted as
integral aspects of public administration tn
the US. Moreover, ethics education has
also permeated the disctpline ol Public
Administration. The National Associallol' of
Schools ol Public Allairs and Putlic
Administration has made ethics educaton
a required component of a Publtc
Administration Programme for its
accreditation, and has prescribed th< t all
introductory text-books in F ublic
Administration should include a discu sion
on ethics (Boman, Berman and
2001 ). Eminent professional associations
of Public Administration also offer training
programmes on ethical conduct lor public
The conduct rules should not be confined to
the 'don'ts' of admintstra!Jve behaviour, but
should also be helpful '" resolvll'lg ethical
dtlemmas. Cases and tDustra!lons can be
helplut in guiding administrators in compiell
doosaonal Situations. However, no oondu<:l.
rule can be absolutely specihc. CertCIII\
generahues wt\1 always enter at the trne ol
drafting of such rules. But what s ol
tmpcl(tance tS to scan and scru\il\lse them at
regular rn\eNals and mod ly them m tunc
w\lh the changtng SOCial tmoerattves,
revrsed economac parameters and the
prevarhng cultural mtfieu. A code thai tS
impractical or archatc ts rarely honoured In
practice (tbrd.). We are not aavocatlng ty
in the entorcemenl ol codes ol ethics. oo\
only highhgh\lng the essenbaltty ol 1oalism'
wtutc defining morality. A Judidous blend o1
'ought' and 'possible' will make an ethal
code a hctptul tnstrument m sostlll\lf\Q WI
cthtcat order.
-------VAJI RAM & RAVI
managers. on adm
srrat1vo oth1cs ollorcd by lhl'
1 ning programmes 1 nl b 1 th
In IndiO, thoro aro a tow ra' . . and other inSIIIUIIOflS tor CIVI scrva s, u or
Indian lnslltuto ol Public the realm ol cducallon Ill Pubhc AdmlniSirallon
IS hardly any Slmllilr illiiiOhvc wkcn :mistrat,on (ASP/\) had adopted '" 1984 a Coda 01
Tho Amcncan SOCIOIY lor Pubhc Ad t llcctuals as well as pracllcing admmlstrators). h
EthiCS tor liS members (comprising ill e I th ASP A's Code of EthiCS arc as follows:
1994 Cortam salient pomts o c
ExcrciSO of d,scretJonary authonty to promote public mtercst
h blic's right to know the public buSiness
Recogmllon and support to t e pu
Exercise of compassion, benevolence, fairness and optimism
Prevention of all forms of mismanagement of oublic funds by
and maintaining strong fiscal and management controls, by supporting audits
and 1nvcstiga11ve act1V1t1es
Protection of Constitutional principles of equality, . fa!r.ness,
eness and due p1ocess in protect1ng c1t1zens
representativeness, respons1v
Maintenance of truthfulness and honesty and not to compromise them for
advancement, honour, or personal gain
Guarding zealously against conflict of interest or its e.g.,
nepotism. 1mproper outside employment, m1suse of public resources or
acceptance of g1fts
Establishment of procedures that promote ethical behaviour and hold
md1v1duals and organisations accountable for thetr conduct
There are several other commitments' that form a part of the ASPA's Code of Ethics.
The document can serve as a model for various public sector organisations in India and
other countnes, whtch can draft and follow similar codes of ethics. In fact, it would be
tdeal ,, all public administrative agencies- ministrios, departments, boards.
comm1ss,ons, public enterprises, urban administrative authorities, rural administrative
organisations and other public institutions - adopt and honour such codes of ethics,
allowing minor variations in view or the specific nature of their functional areas and
organisational reqwements. The whole thing has to turn into a movement, which will
certamly lake some lime to muster popular acceptance and credence.
In lh1s context. 11 has been pointed out that even though no ethical code can provide a
sure shot answer for every decisional dilemma, it can certainly provide broad guidelines
while dealmg with critical moral paradoxes in administrative decisions and actions.
Surely, it may not be possible to draft comprehensive or exhaustive ethical codes for
adm n1strartve decisron-making, yet efforts can be made to make them as inclusive as
poss ble. Moro Importantly, such codes should be drawn up by the administrators
------- VAJI RAM & RAVI --------
themselves and not imposed from above. These have to strike a balance between what
Is ideal and what is possible. Extremities are generally resisted In the empirical world of
human affairs.
An important dimension of eth1cs In public adm1mstratton is ethics. It represents a
comm1tment to the fulfilment of one's off1cial responslblhlies with a sp1rit of dedication,
involvement and sincerity. It also implies that a government functionary would love his
work and not treat 11 as a burden or a load. And that efficiency, productivity and
punctuality will be the of h1s administrative behaviour.
Efficiency has been a constant concern of 'admimstratlve analysis' and 'good
governance'. The notion, transcending the Classical School, has permeated the New
Public Management philosophy. Efficiency implies doing one's best In one's job, with a
concern for maximum possible utilisation of human, material and financial resources,
and even tor time to achieve the prescribed and desired objectives .
Let us take a fresh look at the notion of efficiency. Can we treat efficiency as 'ethics'?
Truly yes, for a genuinely efficient person has a regard for the higher goals ol
governance, including public welfare and he devotes himself to the expeditious
achievement of those goals. Thus, an efficient person is also an ethical person. He or
she possesses administrative morality that IS essentially rooted in a conviction of the
desirability of ethical conduct. Here, we are not equating eliiciency with mechanical
productivity but with higher levels of performance that juxtaposes the ideal with the
applied facets of organisational functions.
This raises another question. Why is that the quality of services and goods produced by
the government organisations is relatively poorer than normally observed in non-
governmental sector? Government schools, government dispensaries and government
offices provide an unsatisfactory look and render dissatisfactory services. In fact, the
overall work culture in public systems in India is relattvely lower than that prevailing in
the public sector and that existing in the government systems in most developing
countries. Even when we compare India wi th China, South Korea and Japan. we have
staggeringly low per capita productivity. The answer might lie in systemic flaws- poor
infrastructure, sloppy monitoring, lacklustre control and evaluation, and almost an
absence of reward and punishment system. Yet, the major factor behind the poor qua\ty
of output of public systems is the carelessness and on .part ot
government functionaries. Most of them do not have a feehng ot one-ness With \half
organisation and their job. They do not put in their best in thetr worl<._ and are halt
heartedly involved in their duties. Resultantly, there are pohC1es. tnabonal
decisions erratic changes in government systems and an tndtfference towards ""
beneficia;ies of the system. All this may not be illegal. yet it ts grossly mmotal In
rendering public service, sometimes even being amoral is being tmmoral.

VAJIRA . 1 morality and once w,

lmnnrtant to organlsatlonalltY and promptness (a.
rk ethics s ,..-
tor punctua ld d
Once wo agroo that wo anagement and a lued attribute, we shou evil:\
accept that sound time work disposal IS a . va countries including India. A fe'r
agamst procrasrmauon) rk ethics 1n developmg hould be prescnbed specilft
mprovmg wo . ntext There s d
srrateQIOS or I be conSidered '" thiS co . r organisational unitS an
corr&elrVO srops may and work performance to appraisal system sh.ou. ld be
f productiVIIy .
ve performance
norms o rehenswe and me us1 . . and role and responstbtlill6 01
md,vldual!h be feasible only tf job is of powers at evel)
adopted. ' IS ed There should be max1mu .
each postiOn are speCifl . f effeclive monitoring and work audtl.
level With a concurrent system o . . . ff . must be valued and along with the
n admmtstralive a alfs . h
PunctuaiiiY and I should become the criteria for reward and pums ment
qualitY of work performed . these I d b setting an ethical example. They should
in organlsauons. The sentors .shou!d ea d !sponsibility and also be enterprising and
molrvate their juniors to take r ndolence' indecision inefficiency and
efficient. Conversely, ; an and a healthy worl(
dishonesty should be punrshed. Thrs wou,. sbe . ss The same spirit pervades the
culture for those who conduct the pub rc usrne . . .
pronouncements of public leaders at the helm of governments , most nattons.
Thus, ethics has regained its slatus as a distinctive characteristic of Good Governance.
The trend is not likely to reverse in the foreseeable future. Hopefully, there would be a
greater concern for quality in public affairs and public service, and of Total
Quality Management (TOM) will pervade the governmental and
performance of governmental structure. Ethics means good servrce and thrs maxrm
applres most to public systems.
Public admimsJration is designed to serve 'public'. By its very nature, it ought to be
people-criented and even people-cenlred. While bureaucracies are expected to be
gwded by laws and rules, it is not necessary to make them mechanistically rule-centnc.
Publrc admrmstratrve organisations are human
organisatrons and they ought to be humane in Two areas where administrators
therr polroes, decisions, orientation and ought to show an attentive and caring
behavrour Being responsrve to people's needs attitude pertain to providing correct
and useful information to clients
en1oms upon crvrl servants to be responsive to when they need it and redressing
r psychologrcal needs of being cared for, satisfactorily the citizens' grievances.
nurtured and helped. It 1s in this context that Even when a grievance cannot be
a.dmmrstrators ought to evolve and demonstrate a redressed, at least a citizen needs to
hrgher level of emotional as well as spiritual be given an explanation as to why it
1 11
?annat it be redressed. What is
rn e rgence that would make them empathetic as tmportant is a positive approach in
well sympathetic to feelings of a common person. dealing with people and being helpful
1 1
to them, and not avoiding them or
esp e a I the VIsible prosperity in India, one considering them as burdensome
cannot Jgnore massive and deplorable poverty in Ethics involves a respectful
the country. As a long as there is a .
to the citizens.
th stng e poor
s country, the moral of administration remains to help hi m.
illlllli------ VAJ I RAM & RAVI _______ _
the larger Issue of empathy and compassion ls not confined to demonstrating positive
behaviour towards less-privileged sections of society. It transcends this orientation.
In tact , anyone havtng access to administration should be meted out a treatment of
respect. This treatment should not be just ostensible but real authentic and pro1ound.
Ethical behaviour emanates from a pure and kind and there1ore, those who are in
the business of serving people should train their heart to be sensitive and
compassion involves a sense of empathy. 11 does not end with pity. It invokes
ssnsibllltles to understand and even feel the pain o1 others and motivates one to be truly
helpful 1n overcoming this pain. Hence, admrnistrative ethics in public affairs envisages
that the domain of feelings and the universe of rationality should find a happy blending in
thought as well as actions of civil servants.
A positive and healthy approach to services entails courtesy and politeness in
administrative behaviour, a desire to help resolve their problems, and satisfy them even
when, extra help cannot be rendered and matters have to be disposed off in accordance
with the legal and formal requirements of the system. A citizen-centric administration
would be strengthened through such an altitude.
Fostering sunshine" in public administration is one of the finest methods of ensuring
higher standards of administrative ethics. Openness is the enemy of corruption. Almost
all countries of the world have Freedom of Information or Right to Information Acts. In
the US at the federal level, freedom of information and open hearing provisions are an
integral part of the Administrative Procedure Act. In India, the Freedom of Information
Act of 2002 was redesigned as Right to Information Act, which has been enacted m
2005. Besides, a number of state governments including Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu
and Maharashtra have enacted legislations that help in securing accountability oi pubbc
employees through this device.
Legislation alone is not enough. Its enforcement would require a will on the part of the
State, willingness on the part of administrators and an initiative coupled with courage on
the part of citizens themselves. The central and state machinery should be ready to
punish those civil servants who obstruct the implementation of Right to l nfonnatton Act
The age-old orientation to t reat every i nformation as 'secret' must give way to greater
openness and transparency. This would require a sub stantial transformation of them nd
sets of administrators i n order to reorient the thinking of admi nistration at aU level s, more
particularly at the cutting- edge level.
The movement for the Right to Information cannot succeed unless people themMN4Js
become motivated to ask for the fructification of this Rtght. Even though \ hu
culminated in the Right to Information Act , there are mtles to go before we can...,,.
effective implementation. People's groups, such as the one led by Aruna Roy will n..
l\11 & RAVI

VAJIRA ed catlonal system and the

. scale even the u
ke rmtiatlve on this realm.
to continue to ta lay a purposive role'" . loyees is considered
modra will need toP 'whistle-blowing' by public to use their voice to
In the Amencan Public They can even reso,
/egrtrmate and activities are protests. And these acts are
protest agarnst a mr . positions to grve vent o
. ns trom therr
ro res,gnatiO nate
considered moral and approp . t' ns a hotline called 'Fraud Net', lor
nt there tunc ro ' d lh
In the Amencan federal govemme 'Through this hotline, employees an o ers
evenrmg fraud. waste and nduct for investigation to the General
::Wn)'mously report instances of employees enjoy Constitutional protection on
the American pu IC 1 h fety
Office. Besides, . fke dangers to pubhc hea I or sa
on matters of publrc concern I
speakmg ou ed e for civil servants has come into effect. Under this
In Bntarn. a new appeals prolcd concerns confidentially with an individual outside
raced a civil servant cou rarse .
P ure, . h Wh<>n he believes that the response is not or
hrs normblal matter to the Civil Service Commissioner. The
reasons e, . .
n the year 2000 1n ndta
on to Rev1ew the Working of Constrtut1on se up 1 . . .
. bl . statutory act1v1ty but 1t was not
considered the possrbility of wh1stle owrng as a . h' .
accepted as a viable choice. The need is to develop a fresh perspective on t IS rssue.
Accountability and ethics are closely related. Effective the
achevement of eth
cal standards in the governance system. Legrslatrve or parlramentary
control through questions, debates and committees provide ample opportunity to the
people's represenlatrves to raise, among other things, issues of ethics and morality in
ne governance system. More particularly, the Public Accounts Committee in India,
wtlieh gNes ,,s comments on the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India,
rases matters that directly or rndrreclly relate to ethics and effective governance.
In the US, the Office of Government Ethics, an independent agency, helps the Senate in
U:e process of confirmrng or rejecting Presidential appointments, particularly in matter of
dec151ons. Eth1cs can be considered a form of self-accountability, or an 'inner-
check on publ c Admm1strators' conducr (Rosenbloom and Kravchuk, op.ctl). Self
accountablty and external accountability are interrelated for it is the latter that imposes
on the former. However, there are certain time-tested norms of moral
conduct that determrne the nature of self-accountability. These precepts of moral
phlloscphy may be constdered as internal checks. Essentially however it Is thl
'Y the s of external as well mterna/ checks that determine' the rj
a: rtatl'ie eth1cs. The hrgher the level of ethics, the lower tho need for stronfj
h menw of fMornal accountabrlity and control. Conversely, lower tho lovol of eth'
Jg the need tor potent external moans for ensunng accountability.
------- YAJIRAM & RAYl _llil _____ _
Max had that the outside (extra-agency) checks on publiC
administratiOn were Inadequate. Hence, the value of sell-accountability is rmmense. The
desire to in one's profession should spring from within. Seventy years ago,
John Gaus 1n hiS book, The Frontiers of Public Administration (1936) had that
public employees were expected to exercise an "inner check" rooted in professiOnal
standards of administration and ideals. This type \
of emphasis needs to be seriously reasserted. Massive Expansion ot Bureaucracy
David Rosenbloom and Robert S K h k \ In a country such lndta. \he role ol
. . . . rave u public admimstralion has been
(op.Cll) ra1se a pertrnent quest1on: 'Why is it Increasing incessantly. Its regulatory.
diflicult to guard the guardians?" There are 1 developmental, promotional and
certain intrinsic features of the administrative entrepreneurial responStbllttres have
h k
. . . been mulllplymg and With that also ts
system. t 1t difficult for the external size. The number of publtc personnel
regulat1ng 1nstttutrons to control it and also as well as the agencies they vrork lor
ensure its accountability. A few of these have gone up so much that 11 s
imponderables are discussed below: difficult _lor the political executiVe or
the teg1slature to exerase effective
control over them. Ukewise, m large-
sized organisations like Public W<XKs
Department, Income Tax Department.
Police Department etc., It 1s
impossible for higher officials to keep
an eye on the conduct o! ther
subordinates. The geographical
distribution of government agenoes
also makes the span ol control too
wide to be handled ellectrvely.
computerisat1on of all pec<SOI".net
records cannot ensure sun: ellance
over the conduct ol all personnel.
Special Expertise and Information
Public administrators are often experts in their
specific area of functioning and it is difficult for
any outside agency to surpass them in their
areas of specialisation. Moreover, they generate
and control crucial information that may be
difficult to be accessed or even comprehended
by law regulators, much less by the common
citizens. Although the Right to Information Act
(or similar legislations) is there in most
countries, there is cost to be paid for obtaining
information and verifying its authenticity. The admtmslrators do not easily part With such
information, and are too keen to let their cttadels rematn tmpregnable.
Full-time Status
Most public administrators are full-time, while outstders cannot de\:ote equal amount ot
time in overseeing their activities - legislators. JUdtctary. Comptroller and Aud tof
General of India, and even the media have relatively less t1me to \l.eep a watch over the
actions of administrators. They cannot seek all the crucal lnlormat10n hom
administrators and even if they get it, they do not have sutllc1ent time to process nd use
it effectively.
lack of Coordination
Tho number and kinds of agenctes to ensure probtty 10 publtc admln antian ttav. 11110
boon increasing continually. In India. for tnstance the Central Bureau at tft\ 11 a \. ..
Central Vigilance Commtsston, State Lok Ayuktas, Stato Vl,g IInce 8odlee ..a
corruption Departments co-ex1st sans effectiVe coordmation among ...._
I and absence of harmony among the
I rno working of rna vigi lance mach ne'itogether tho permission to prosecute
agencies. Departments. The Lok Pal, a.a

clals 1S not granted to pointed at the national level and there is
montlonod earlier In tho Umt. IS :a b': undertaken by him. The judiciary slow
no agency rnat1s domg the ]ob dealing with cases of corruption. As ment1oneo
and rhere are no fast rrack courts . . G vamment Act of 1978 creatod an Office ot
d States the EthiCS
n " E hi A I
already, In tho Unite . ' Off of Personnel Management. The t cs e orms
Govomment Ethics (OGE}
w an independent agency within the executive
Act of t989 strengthened tho 0 , no
Excessive Security
Most countnes grant protection to civil servants and from punishing for the
common lapses in the performance of their duties. there are no
prescnbed for non performance or tor low Article 311 of the lnd1an
Constitution makes it almost impossible to remove a c1v1l servant. A of over-
secunty pervades the personnel system and the inquiry system is so
cumbersome that it is devoid of any threat or fear. Resultantly, a low level of di SCipline 1n
most government organisations is witnessed. And when per_meates all the
echelons of administrators In the organisations, the potential et11cacy of mternal control
becomes woefully meagre.
Misinterpretation of Role and Obligation
CIVil servants frequently engage themselves in actions that are unethical and against
publ1c 1nterest. Overtime, they get used to defining their role and responsibilities in a
parochial manner that is either self-centred, group-centred or organisation-centred and
never people-centred. Since all-important professional groups, including the politicians,
also adopt a tunnel vision in perceiving social reality, there are hardly any countervailing
forces for the preven!lon or correction of a parochial interpretation of public interest by
the adm'n'stratiVe personnel. As a result, both ethics and accountability suffer.
There is a general tendency among administratoiS to view public interest from a narrow
angle and tunnel VISion. Their specialisation and the specific goals of their organisations
prompt them to focus on the achievement of narrow organisational goals. In this process,
the ssue of publ1c interest may get submerged under organisational interest. The Excise
Department of a state, for example, may be interested in opening more wine and beer
shops rn order to earn more revenue, and thus may ignore the impact this expansion of
sale netwo/k ot mtox1cants would have on the physical and moral health of citizens.
Th II' I
a::a_po' 'ca pressures rmposed from above also colour the vision of administrators.
rrt:C:onally, notrees that the Police Department, because of pressure from its
:'r IS between the compulsion of hierarchy and the obligation of .
u y. e pohce offrclals generally succumb to political pressures in order to save
own Jnterests and that of their faml o
pun,shecJ h , . . ties. ccaslonally, 'inconvenient' civil servants
Wit transfers to difftculr locations or postings that may cause problems
- ------ VA.IlRAM & RAVI -------
thCif families.
Orthodox Loyal ty
In lnd1a and 1n most developing .
countnes, public employees are socialised into
developing loyalty towards the organisation that they serve and to the superior authority
under whiCh they It is customary 1n the lnd1an society to show respect to the
supenor and to refra1n from cntic1sm of one's boss in a bl'
t' A
. . . . pu 1c rgan1sa 10n. ny vo1ce
aga1nst the supenors IS cons1dered as an act of msubordinatlon. In such a cultural
climate, even _the and conscientious employees do not speak out against
unethical practices peers and seniors. And the undue compassion occasionally
shown to the su?<'rd,nates on their errors of om1sslon and commission also tend to
strengthen the smews _of a Soft State. All this represents a mispl aced loyalty ana
magnanimity that Into the vitals of the ethical order in the public administrative
As lnd1an becomes more mature, it is hoped that whi stle-blowing
w1ll be cons1dered a leg1t1mate and rational activity in the future, and will be protected
under the laws and rules.
Trivial and Substantive Ethics
The conduct rules for civil servants emphasise upon meticulously following the norms of
good conduct. Some of these rules have remained unchanged since long and now
appear to be ridiculous. No wonder, these are ignored by all. Likewise, there is a stress
that official property; equipment and stationery should not be used for personal
purposes. These relate, inter alia, to the use of official vehicles and phone. Such rules
are 'conspicuous, more in their violation than in their enforcement, and compared to
broader issues of ethics and morality, these are at best, examples of trivial or petty
morality. Not that they should be ignored but they must not be permitted to repl ace the
more crucial ethical concerns of duty, fairness, objectivity and comm1tment. In matters of
administrative ethi cs, occasi onally we tend to be 'penny wise and pound fool1sh'. It
means we delve into the trivial rather than more relevant and serious i ssues of ethics.
We need to guard against this trend.
Empl oyees' Unions
Another impediment in the way of enforcing discipline and codes of conduct s the
tendency of empl oyees' unions to resist the managerial action against their members
even when they have blatantly violated ethical norms. Assertive or aggressive umons
can throttle any action, even a legitimate one, against their members. As a result, the
supervisory level leadership in public systems gets exasperated and starts ignonng the
unethical actions of their subordinates. In a political system, where employees' unions
are aligned with powerful political parties - whether in power or in opposition-
administrative leadership refrains from taking a tough stand even against the culpf\t
employees for fear of compulsive back-tracking or humiliation. It has been obseMtd that
collective bargaining agreements seriously jeopardise the authority of managers 10
discipline their employees. Occasionally, the courts also show greater concern tor f\e
protection of the so-called 'Constitutional' rights of the workers than thoM of 1M...._
------- VAJIRAM & RAVI
1 Issues Involved.
rrospoctlvo oltho oth C8
corruption al gains
Is betrayal of public ti'\Jat
ecrrupllon Is tho abuse of oftlcl81 autho: viewed as a universal
for prorecllng pnvate Interests. Co P
corruption differ from nation to nation
h the nature and quantum

phenomenon. atthOUO
ss are replete with Instance of corruption In
The International and tho are generally in league w1th each other In
govornmonr. PolitiCians Can,d thus become the VICtims of Immorality In governance. It
petJ)Otuatlllg corNptlon. 1 1zo .
also denotes the existence of corruption in crossnatlonal sell ngs.
In tho Middle East and
a, because of the Mughal influence, baksheesh is a t1p that
... to scok thO favours of an adm1mstrative functionary at the lower level ; 1IS name
IS USL-v . f d' t h
changes to dash in Wostom Africa 'Speed money' in India 1mphes a ee to expe 1 e t e
procosslng of a governmental favour; Ia mordida or ' the bite' are popular forms of bribes
In the Latin America; shtraflis the Russian version of a small bribe; Ia bustarella
connotes a lillie envelope (containing bribe) in Italy; while in Israel , protekzl" refers to the
explo1tal/on of personal contracts to achieve a favourable treatment from administrators
(Rosenbloom and Kravchuk, op.cit.). In the United States - a country rated high on the
Integrity Index of the Transparency International- one comes across strange terms such
as Watergate, lran-Contragale and White-Watergate which refer to carrying favours and
Unfortunately, In India the standards of ethics in the governance system have differed
staggeringly In proclamations and in practice. The Constitution, laws, policies, and
manifestoes ot polrtical parties and speeches of politicians are replete with direct or
indirect references to ethical basis of governance, but in practice, however, there Is a
gross vtolatlon of moral precepts tn the functioning of the politico-administrative system.
The cnttcal reasons behind administrative corruption are scarcity of what people want
from publtc administrators and the inconveniences involved in the normal channels of
admtmslrallve dec1s1ons.
As Michael Johnston (1982) explains: The demand for government's rewards frequently
exceeds the supply, and routine decision-making processes are lengthy costly and
uncertain rn their outcome. For these reasons, legally sanctioned
a 'bottleneck' between what people want and what they get. The
o ge around the bollleneck-to speed th'ng d
dec1sions more probable _ is built i t h' .
. s up an make favourable
SOCiety To get around the bottleneck n; t IS government and
wh;ch by definition cuts . , o e must use pohhcal mfluence and corruption
form of mtluence. across established and legitimate processes, is a most
Because of the scarcity of what people want fro
pay bribes In exchange tor J'obs land ,. m the government, they are willing to
se , , ICences quotas ad . .
fVICe connections etc., or even for ettin , , . mrsslons, passports, utility
a/so bnbe administrators tor g . g them speedily or illegitimately. They may
escapmg arrests p h
' ums ments, fines or major
------- VAJ I RAM & RAVl -------
Inconveniences. All these are exa

frl htenlng proportions whe mp es of transact1onal corruptiOn. Th1s acquires
g n it becomes an accepted trail of the socio-cultural system.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower who was the American President from 1953 to 1961
had once warned his nation of the existence of a 'military-Industrial complex' which
promoted a culture of 'transactional corruption' based on quid pro quo C Wright, Mills In
his monumental work The Power E:ltte (1956) had also broached Issue o1 such
alliances and their Impact on government dec1slon-maklng. In India, B.B. Vohra, the \hen
Home Secretary of India, had presented m 1995, a Report on the activities of crime
synd1cateslmafia organisations wh. h h d d 1
1c a eve oped links w1th or were be1ng protected
by government functionaries and poht1cal personalities. The conclusions of \he Vohra
Comm1ttee reflect a moral crisis 1n the Indian governance system. Not \hat the decline 1s
and honest efforts can sincerely halt the process ol decline. Certain
As1an have. already proven that it is possible to combat and curb corruption. It
requires effecttve pohllcal and administrative will to do so.
Alm.ost all of political systems are alfected by administrative corruption
{Hetdenhelmler, 1970). In Totalitarian societies and military regimes, corruption might
get concentrated at the higher echelons ol party, military or civilian bureaucracy while In
democracies, it might spread throughout the system. In Salt States particularly, political
as well as administrative corruption has greater chances of percolating the governance
syslem. Weak control and supervisory mechanisms cannot prevent corruption and
consequently, these become its catalysts.
In a civic culture or democratic society like India's, politicians who get elected on
people's support and vote, are primarily concerned with strengthening their
constituencies, and thus are keen to dole out benefits to those who are their supporters.
Administrators, on the other hand, are keener to follow the prescribed procedures. In
situations of conflict between the politicians and administrators, there i s either a
stalemate, or eventually, the politicians win. But the most convenient course tor the
politician is to win over administration to their side and make them partners or
collaborators in corruption. With the protective hands of politicians above them and With
a temptation for gaining extra (illegitimate) benefits, administrators consciously al1gn with
their political masters and indulge in corruption. Very rarely, do the honest and strong
administrators stand up to the politician and refuse to succumb to pressures and
cajoling. likewise, there may be only a few politicians who actually apply brakes to the
bandwagon of administrative corruption.
One can often witness Weather-cock' syndrome with regard to govemment corruption.
When the top rung of the political or administrative executive gets tough on corruption,
the middle and lower level hierarchy in both the systems gets cautious about 1ssues ot
ethics. Greed is curbed by fear but only as long as fear is genuinely feared.
While corruption is endemic in government organisations, there is another ethical
blemish that afflicts, though rarely, the administrative system. Certain government
. d anoe factories, .nuclear energy
. sensrtlve organisations like secrets to enemes In exchange
.ervanrs, worl<ing In ce forces. may pass on. en all In contemporary times ot
establshmenti and detentor the sale of extraremtonallofbyl YThere may be, Within the
benetts or b rs'on Is poss e.
tor ,.cvnrr . ven economic su ve
. th foreign countries. In extreme
global : to subvert friendly relations rammes like family or
govemmen, r, may subvert the government involving ethical Issues in
cases. CIVI serv Th can be many o . b
on of rllegal migration. ere d to devise strateg1es to com a sue
prevent . Attempts should be rna e
publiC adm.nstraton.
d h. Report on Public Administration in lndta 1n 1951, he
When A.D. Gorwala presente IS ne of the cardinal philosophical premises of good
had visible decline of moral standards in
admmtslraiiOn. ts P d . . trat've reforms have not focused on ethcal
If the mainstream reports on a m1n1s 1 r .
I ' e,es Except for the Santhanam Committee Report on the Prevention of Cocrrup IOnt. '"
ssu . d rt the theme the Railway orrup ton
India in 1964 and a specific segmente repo on ' o efforts at
Enquiry Committee by Acharya Kriplani in 1955, there have been no r
1 1 recommending strategies for integrating moral values with the
vanous levels True the ARC Report (1966) dealt with the constttutton o . I b
Lok Ayukta, that 'again was confined to structural changes rather than bnng ng a out
a new ethical order in public systems.
In 2005, with the announcement of the intention of appointing a. second
Reforms Comm
ssion by the Manmohan Singh government, ethtcal of .pubhc
ces are likely to be accorded a respectable place in the emergent mqUiry on
admmtstrative reforms in the country. The need is to go beyond the general statements
of admrmstrattve morality and be more meticulous in recommending modifications in
laws. rules, structures and behavioural patterns in the specific context of individual
departments or orgamsations. The issue of ethics in the Police Department, for Instance,
ca.nies a distinctive character and possible solutions than, say, in the Education
Department. Thts would further require a rigorous modification in the laws and
procedures pertamrng to specific functional areas.
How ts the admmistrative ethics of the 21st century likely to be different from that of the
20th century? The answer is to be found in the increasing convergence of ethical
concerns at the cross-national/eve/. Globalisation of the economic order is likely to pave
the way for the globalisation of governance issues. Not that there would be universally
uniform conf.gurations of the governance systems, much less the bureaucratic systems.
But with the mitigation of chasm among nations in the realm of the goals, philosophy
and strategtes of governance, the ethical concerns are likely to transcend international
These Wll reflect the c/asstca/ concerns of publt'c d 1 t Ilk
a m nrs ratron e efficiency,
------- VAJIRAM & RAVI -------
responsibility, accountability and integrity along with the emergent beliefs in equty
justice, openness, compassion, altruism, responsiveness. human rights and human
dignity. Hopefully, this would be Instrumental to the blossoming of a new 0\14enship
committed to the sustenance of admmistrative morahty. Even lor nurturing such a
positive Cttizenship, public administration facthtators and educators. That i s the biggest
challenge as well as an opportunity for the admimstrative system in the times to come.
Ethics is a comprehensive concept, encompassing all facets of admnistration.
Emphasis on moral and ethical norms has been an integral part of our tradition. Though
vices of corruption, malpractices and bureaupathologies have slowly creeped in our
system, the combat measures have riot been very effective. Admtnistratwe refonn
measures have to be holistic enough taking into thelf purview questions on nature of
work ethics, various dimensions of ethics, foci and concerns of ethics, and also the
nature of obstacles to ethical accountability.
For any governance system to be transparent, accountable, efficient and sensitive. a
Code of Ethics in the form of service rules, procedural norms, and admimstrative
strategies is the requirement of the day. It is not possible to bring into force a Code of
Ethics, if it is self-serving and is subject to constant external interference and
manipulation. A certain degree of autonomy is a pre-requisite for any code to be
successful. We are witnessing a change in the pattern of author;ty, abed ence and
discipline. Moreover, globalisation trends have brought in a kind of universalisation ot
ethical norms and values. Philosophy of governance has transcended ntemational
boundaries. Almost every rung of administration ts involved in The
conflict between individual values, organisational standards and sooetal norms s clearly
visible. Though the Code may not reflect a consensus of opinion on eth cal ssues, t can
still provide direction and advice with regard to ethical conduct and aSStst \he
administrators in analysing their options and alternatives '" the right perspective.
-------YAJIRANI & RAYl U
. 'Laws rules regulations and conscience
ed under the toprc
The major c_over . Ethical Framework' are outlined below-
as sources of ethrcal gurdance.
. Ethics And Politics
_ Recent Improvements
_ Issues In Political Reforms
4. Ethics In Public Life
5. International Approach
6. Ethical Framework For Ministers
7. Ethical Framework For Legislators
B. The Committee On Ethics Of The Aajya Sabha:
9. The Committee On Ethics Of The Lok Sabha
10. Office Of Profit
11. Code Of Ethics For Civil Servants
12. Code Of Ethrcs For Regulators
13. Ethical Framework For The Judiciary
A brief description of the above has been laid in the forthcoming paragraphs.
Any discussion on an ethical framework for governance in a democracy must necessarily
begrn wrlh ethical values in politics. Politics and those engaged in it, play a vital role in
the /egrslative and executive wings of the State whose acts of commission and omission
in working the Constitution and the rule of law become the point of intervention for the
JUdiC ary. Wh1le it 1s unrealistic and simplistic to expect perfection in politics in an ethically
UTJperfect erwonment, there is no denying the fact that the standards set in politics
profoundly influence those in other aspects of governance. Those in politics have a clear
and onerous responsibility. India was fortunate that high standards of ethical conduct
"''ere an ntegral part of the freedom struggle. Unfortunately, ethical capital started
ge ng after the transfer of power. Excesses in elections (in campaign-funding,
use of illegrt;mate money, quantum of expenditure, rmperfect electoral rolls,
mpersonalion boothcaptunng, violence. Inducements and lntimrdation), floor-crossing
after efections to get mto power and abuse of power in public office became major
a!f iC ons of the por tiCal process over the years. Political parties, governments and more
importanUy the ElectiOn Commiss1on and the Supreme Court have taken several steps
nee tho tars 1980s n an att
1 1 1

emp o e ,m,nate the gross abuses that had virtually
--------VAJIRAM & RAYl _______ _
become the norm. Yet there Is a "d
cleanse our political s;stem. W1 espread view that much more needs to be done to
Crtmlnallzatlon of politics . . .
is tho soli underbell of . . - parlletpaton of criminals In tho electoral process' -
to the point of encoy our pohtcal system. The growth ol crime and violence tn &Oele\'y
uragmg 'matia' in ma t ) d
Flagrant violation of law . ny ors rs ue to a number ot root causes.
1 1
b k s, poor quahty of serv1ces and the corrupl\Or. in \hem protecton
_or aw rea on polittcal, group, class communal or caste partisan
rnterference In rnvestigalion of ' . '
cnmes and poor prosecut1on ol cases tnordnate delays
tastrng_ years and high costs In the judicial process mass wtthdrawal ot cases
indrscrrmrnate grant of parole, etc., are the more the causes. .
It only needs to be here that , 1n this sttuation, the crrminal who, paradoxiCally. is
able to ensure speedy JUStice in some cases becomes almost a welcome character On
his part, the criminal builds on this "acceptance and is emboldened to enter pot.tics and
The opportunity to influence crime investigations and to convert the policemen
fro'?'_ berng potentral adversaries to allies is the irresistible magnet drawing cnmmals to
The elected position and the substantial protection that it can give, helps h m elher to
further and expand his activities or to evolve into an entity wilh higher political ambitiOns.
As for political parties, such tndividuals bring into the electoral process, ther abilty to
secure votes through use of money and muscle power.
This is a short-term win-win situation for all, except for pubrc good and good
governance. All this has not taken place everywhere, but to the extent that \ old, .t led to
a situation when the Election Commisston formally stated that one m SIX legislators In
India faced grave criminal charges. It was then time lor urgent correc\Ne ste?S.
Large, illegal and illegitimate expenditure in elections is another root cause o1 corrupt on
While there are formal limits to expenditure and some steps have been put \n place n an
attempt to check them, in reality, actual expenditure ts alleged to be tar htgher. Aboorma\
election expenditure has to be recouped 10 multiples to sustan the electoral
results 10 'unavoidable' and ubiquitous corruption altering the nature ol polit\ta\ and
administrative power and undermimng trust and democracy. Cleans1ng elona s
most important route to improve ethical standards m politiCS, to o.nb COffi.IP'ICM\
rectify maladministration.
Despite all the flaws '" the funct1omng ol a democracy
correction. As stated earher, signil1cant ef1ons have been mt11M
decades to bnng about meamnglul etectoral retonns Some havo

other large democracy llhe

. I dia than In any I t I . r
lirlcal reform 1n n
of the reforms re a e o .
decade has soon more ::efly stated, the more lmportan
the Second World War. r t Electoral Rolfs:
I Accuracy o . t t'
Improvement n
make voter reg1s ra on mo,,
. h made efforts .
n commiss1on as tent post off1ces m rev ston
Tho Eloctto d nvofve to some ex '
accesstbfo ro voters an ' '
Electoral rolls. de available tor sale.
lls/CDs have been ma
Printed electoral ro
oils of ovor e20 million voters has bee
11 Computerlsatton of entire electors r
Initiated. to-identity cards for all voters has been started. Studies
The provision of pho .
. s like Loksatta have shown considerable
. I society organtza ton 999
by ctvt d t'on in errors in electoral rolls between 1 and
mnrovement and re uc
, .. ,....
Disclosure ot Antecedents of Candidates: 2
. ndidate should declare any
The Supreme Court has that a ca . ending against him;
convtcrlon by a court or whether a criminal case IS P .
nd liabilities of the candidate and
The dlfectlon to file a declaratltm
lime of tho next elections.
family members would enable a chec a
d t c imlnaf t51tertM!
3. Disqualification of Persons Convlcte o r
I d 1 2005 that Section 8(4) of the Representation of
The Supreme Court ru a n . f 1 N 11
the People Act was unconatltutlonal as it violated equality be aw. ow a
convicted candidates stand t n elttcllon on the same footmg, whether at
the time of conviction theY wertJ Incumbent not.
during the term of a legislator, exempfiofi from dlsquahtrcaiiOn does apply if
an appeal is pending and sentence is
4. Enforcement of the Code of Conduct:
Using Its OVfl!ll powers to "superintend, control and direct" elections under
Artleltl :124 ot the Constitution, the Election Commission has made the Code
of Conduct tor elections binding In all respects, issuing directions regarding
timings of campaigns, prohii::Jition of festoons/cut-outs, insistence on daily
expenditure statements, appointment of a large number of observers,
ordering of re-poll in specific polling booths and other such steps.
5. Free and fearless polling:
Policing arrangements have been improved, including greater use of Central
Forces and holding of elections tor more than one day in a State, and
measures like sealing of borders, etc.
------- VAJ IRAM & RAVI ______ _
Electronic voting machines have been introduced throughout the country (in
the parltamentary elections of 2004).
has been decided that the death of an independent candidate would no\
the cancellatton of an election.
Reduction In size of Council of Ministers:
A re.comm?ndation to restrict the size to 10% was made by the lirst
Reforms Commission more than three decades ago. 'The
(Ninetyfirst Amendment) Act, 2003 restricts the size of the
Cou_nctl of Ministers to 15% of the strength of the Lower House in
Parliament/State legtslature. The amendment is a step towards moderating
the number of Ministers to some ex1ent.
Despite the measures taken, Improvements are marginal in the case of important
problems of criminalizalton, the use of money in elections, subtle forms of inducements
and patronage in the form of chairmanships and memberships of public units and the
anomaly of legislators functtoning as disguised executives. el1ective steps have,
therefore, been suggested and the second administrative relorms commission has deal
with the more important of them.
1. Reform of Political Funding
In India, one of the sources of funding of political parties has been through private
donations. Internationally, there are three broad patterns of state funding lor pelitical
parties and elections. One is the minimalist pattern, wherein elections alone are partially
subsidized usually through specific grants or state renderQd services. Candidates are
accountable to the public authority for observance, reporting and disclosure of
expenditure for the lim1ted electton period. The UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and
Canada are examples of this pattern, while the US is a variant of the same with election
funding being largely private and subjected to strict reporting and disclosure
requirements as well as limits on contributions.
The second, maximalist pattern of state funding involves public funding not merely lor
elections but even for other party activities, as in Sweden and Germany. This pattern
involves less detailed regulation of contributions and expenditure because parties are
dependent largely on state support and local requirements enforce internal democracy
as well as general transparency. In between, there are a variety of m1xed patterns
involving partial reimbursement for public funding ol elections on a matching grant basis
such as in France, Netherlands and South Korea.
While the Representation of the People Act puts limits on election expenditure, company
donations to political party were banned in 1969 but later allowed by an amenam.nt ot
the Companies Act in 1985. The Dinesh Goswami Committee on Electoral Retonna
up in 1990 recommended limited support, in kind, for vehicle fuel, hire chargea of
microphones, copies of electoral rolls etc., while simultaneously recommending 1 bin an
company donations. Subsequent developments include partes being forc.d tit
-------VAJlRAM & RAVI
W llh Tax Acts after the Supreme Court issueu
retums undor the income Tax and ea
h April
which effectively repeailld
notices and also passed an order on t t t' n of People Act and clubbed expenditure
Explanatlonl of Section 77 of the under the expenditure ceiling llmita
by third party(s) as well as by the pohtr': pI Act Another Commrttee, the lndran
prescr.bed under the Representation ct?op ehas ;ecommended partial statefundlno
Gupta Commrttee on State Funding of e rons f Review of the Constitution haa
mainly In kind. However, the Natrona! Commrttee m for political parties can be
expressed the view that untri better regulatory mec anrs
developed in India. state funding of elections should be deferred.
n 200
unanimously enacted the Election and Other Laws
(Amendment) Act in a spirit of bipartisanship. It took tnto the
recommendations of the commrttee on Electoral Reforms (Ornesh Goswamr Commtttee,
1990), the Committee on State Funding of Elections (lndrajit Gupta Committee, 1999)
and the Law Commission of India (170th report on Reform of Electoral Laws, 1999). The
law Minister whllo introducing tho Bill, acknowledged the recommendations of the Dr.
Manmohan Srngh Committee on Party Finances set up by the Indian National Congress
In 2002. The Act contains the following key provisions:
Full tax exemption to individuals and corporales on all contributions to
polltrcal parties.
Effective repeal of Explanation I under Section 77 of the Representation ot
the People Act. Expenditure by third parties and political parties now comes
under ceiling limits, and only travel expenditure of leaders of parties is
Drsclosure of party finances and contributions over As.20,000.
lndrrect public funding to candidates of recognized parties - including free
supply of electoral rolls (already in vogue), and such items as the Election
Commission decides in consultation with the union government.
Equrtable sharing of time by the recognized political parties on the cable
television network and other electronic media (public and private).
In order to eradicate the major source of political corruption, there is a compelling case
fundrng. of elections. recommended by the lndrajit Gupta Committee on State
Elecltons, the fundrng should be partial state funding mainly in kind for certain
Tightening ot anti-detection Jaw:
DefectiOn has long been a mal . f I . . .
the political system for furthe . arse pohtrcal life. It represents manipulation of
po/,tJca/ corrupt ron. The and has been a potent source of
malatse, fixed a certain nu b legrslallon that was enacted to combat this
Lega/rsrng such selective hove which in a group was permitted.
owever, provrded opportunities for transgressing
------- YAJIRAM & RAVl -------
pohtrcai ethics and opportunism The
or context rs a travesty ot eth' . re. rs no doubt that permitting defection in any term
ICS rn pohhcs.
The 91 st Amendment to lht. Constt
u ron was enacted rn 2003 to trghten the
Amendment makes it e Tenth Schedule enacted earlier in 1985. This
rn groups - to resign their lor all those SWitChing pohtlcal sides- whether singly or
the defect and cannot egis alive membership They now have to seek re-election d
Y th .
n olhce by engrneenng a 'split' ol onethrrd ol members
or 1n e gurse o a 'conr
lrom holding post def spht of a party' The Amendment also bars l egislators
. . . ec ron, any olhce ol proht. This Amendment has thus made
de ecllons v1rtua11y Impossible and
. . rs an 1mportant step forward in cleansing politics
Besrdes the Electron Comm1ss
h t
' .
n as a so rns1sted on 1nternal elections 1n political
parties to elect the1r leaders.
The Election Commission has recommended that the question ol disqualification ol
members the ground of defection should also be decided by the Presideni/Governor
on the advrce of the Election Commission. Such an amendment to the law seems to be
necessary in the light of the long delays seen tn some recent cases ol
ObVIOUS defeCtiOn.
3. Disqualification:
It has bee.n suggested that disclosure of past acquittals in respect ol serious criminal
charges wtll .be of value. Given the delays in our criminal justice system, disqualitication
after convtcllon for crimes may be an insufficient safeguard. There are candidates who
face grave criminal charges like murder, abduction, rape and dacoity, unrelated to
political agitations. In such cases, there is need
for a fair reconciliation between the candidate's
right to contest and the community's right to good
representation. As a rule, it would be rash and
undemocratic to disqualify candidates on some
pretext or other. An election outcome must be
decided by the people who are the ultimate
sovereigns through the ballot box. Election by
indiscriminate disqualification rs a stratagem
Sectron 8 ol the Representation o!
the People Act, 1951 needs to be
amended to disqualify all persons
facing charges related to grave ar.d
heinous ollences and corruPIIOil,
\ w1th the m001!ica\lon suggested b)'
the Elec\lon Commrss on.
sometimes resorted to by dictatorships to pervert the democrattc process However. m
the present situation, on balance, in cases of persons lacing grave cnmu'lal charges
framed by a trial court after a preliminary enquiry, disallowmg them to represent the
people in legislatures until they are cleared of charges seems to be a latr and prudent
course. But care must by exercised to ensure that no political vendetta ts involved m
such charges and people facing charges related to political agitations are not v1c\lmtzed
The draft Ordinance of July 2002 relating to disclosure of candidate detatls tallow ng a
Supreme Court judgment provided for disqualification of candidates tacmg charg
related to grave and heinous offences. The heinous offences listed wefe murder
abduction, rape, dacoity, wagtng war against India, organtsed cnme and na
. corruption charges, provtded th.,
le to disqualify persons tacmg rima facie evidence. the
II also seems reasonafbamed by a judge/magistrate paga,nst motivated cases II
s have been r h s a precaution '
c arge . n haS suggested t at a election would load to
Etectton comm1SSIO f'l d six months before an
may be provided that only cases ' e
False Declarations:
ded that all false decfarat1ons before the
The Election Commisston Officer or the Election
Retum,ng Officer Electoral Officer, Chle d Section 31 of the Representation of the
should be made an electoral offence un t emr ents relating to preparation/revision,
estricted to sta e f .
People Act (now r
) The proposed amendment will act as an ef ec!lve
inclusion exclusion In electoral ro s .
deterrent agamst false statements.
bllcatfon of Accounts by Political Parties:
5. u
. . . . . ccounts of their income and
Political parties have a to in the Election and Other
expenditure and get various reports will be strengthened if
Related Laws (Amen men c Th El ron Commission has reiterated this
this is made mandatory under law. 'audited accounts should be available
proposal. ThiS needs to be acted upon ear Y
for information of the public.
Coalition and Ethics
The phenomenon of coalition politics has emerged as a strong in the Indian
t '"'e very diversity and complexity of the lnd1an electorate and our
polity rn recen years , " ..
h ade tht's a familiar aspect of our electoral process. Coahtons
vrbrant democracy as m
are often necessitated by the fact that, in a RECOMMENDATION
multparty system such as ours, it is difficult today
tor a single party to obtain a clear majority in the
legislature. In order to make coalitions legitimate,
it is necessary tor the coalition partners to reach
an understanding based on broad-based
programmes to ensure that the goals of socio -
ecOf'omic development are met. Such an
understandmg needs to be translated into a
common m1mmum programme and announced
eitner prror to the electron or before the formation
ol ihe coalition government.
The Constitution should be
amended to ensure that if one or
more parties in a coalition with a
common programme mandated by
the electorate either explicitly
before the elections or implicitly
while forming the government,
realign midstream with one or more
parties outside the coalition, then
Members of that party or parties
shall have to seek a fresh mandate
from the electorate.
VAJIRAM & RAVI --------
etectton, or implicitly alter the election .
becomes nonexistent, and the power . but before the formatton of the government,
of the people, it is necessary t
gaven by the people IS abused. To maintain the wdl
exercises in opportunism lh
ay down an ethical framework to ensure that such
place. ' rough redrawing of coalitions between elections, do not take
6. Appointment Of The Chief Election Commissioner/Commissioners
The procedure of appointment of the
Ch1ef and other Election RECOMMENDATION
CommiSSIOners s la1d down in Article
of the A collegium headed by the Prin:e
Conshtulion and stipulates that they are to be M101ster Wlth the Speaker of the !..ol<.
eel Sabha, the Leader of Opposir.on 1n
appoint . . by the President on the advice of the l the Lok Sabha, the Law Mtnister
Pnme M1n1ster. and the Deputy Chairman of the
. I Rajya Sabha as members should
Dunng debates 1n the Constituent Assembly on .tor the
the procedure for appointment, there were cons1derat1on of the tor
suggestions that the person appo t d th appotntmcnt of the Ch1el Election
. . . . n e as e Commss1oner and the Election
Ch1ef Elect1on Commssoner should enjoy the Commissioners.
confidence of all parties and therefore his
appointment should be confirmed by a 2/3 majority of both the Houses. Thus even at
that stage, there was a view that the procedure for appointment should be a broad based
one, above all partisan considerations. In recent times, for statutory bodies such as the
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Central Vigilance Commission
(CVC), appointment of Chairperson and Members are made on the recommendations of
a broad based Committee. Thus, for the appotntment of the Ch1el Vigilance
Commissioner, the Committee consists of the Prime Mtnister, the Home Minister and the
leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, whereas tor the NHRC, the Com:nittee 1s
chaired by the Prime Minister and has as its members, the Speaker of the Loi< Sabha,
the Home Minister, the Leader of the Opposition tn the Lok Sabha the Leader of the
Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the Deputy Chairman of the Aajya Sabha. Given the
tar reaching importance and critical role of the Election Commission in the ol our
democracy, it would certainly be appropriate if a s1milar colleg1um is constituted for
selection of the Chief
the Election
7. Expediting
Disposal of
The ethtcs of coalition government is, however, seriously strained when the coalition Election Petitions
partr:ers change partnerships mid-stream and new coalitions are formed, primarily driven Election petitions in India
by opportuntsm and craving for power in utter disregard of the common minimum are at present to be filed
programme agreed lo for the realization of the goal of socio-economic development. The in the High Court. Under
common programme, 11h1ch has been explicitly mandated by the electorate prior to thf the Representation of the
Special Elect1on Tribunals should be constituted at the regional
level under Article 3238 of the Constitut1on to ensure speeoy
disposal of election petitions and disputes Wlthtn a sllpulated
period of six months. Each Tnbunal should compose a H1gn
Court Judge and a senior civil servant With at least 5 year:. ot
experience in the conduct of elections lnot below the riM ot
an Additional Secretary to Government ot lno a Prinapal
Secretary of a State Government). Its mandate ShoUld he to
ensure that all election petitions are dec1dod Wllh n period
stx months as provided by law. The Tnbunals sh04. a
be set up for a term of one year only, extendabl t
of 6 months in except1onat Clfcumstances.
VA.IIRA od of 6 months. In actu
f 'thin a pen h'l ct
ld be disposed o WI and in the meanw I e,
ch etitions shou dl g tor yoars f ctuous lh
People Act, su p etitions remain pen . n election petition .n ru . er,.
practice however, such p thus rendenng thO nd emment persons that
the full term of thO high level to Review tn:
have boon suggesttons a be required. The Nattona h t specral t:t!sction bencne.
sopamto Judicial (NCAWC} recommended I sively for the disposal
Working of thO Conslrtu ' H h Courts earmarked exc u
should be constituted ,, the ,g
,qleclion potii.Jns. . . . f the view that given the
S d Administrative Reforms CommiSSIOn IS ?ble to ensure speedy disposal 01
The.' ocon
ould be possr A
1 3 oxlsMg coso load m the High Courts, I "':I Tribunals as provided for under rtrc e 23a
C'foctior. pC'titions only by up Speca ld have to be specifically that
of thE' Constitution While domg so, rt I urisdiction being restncted to the
. 1 final wrth appea J h
decisions of such tnbuna s are d . th Constitution Such Tribunals may
I s already provide rn e . . . . b
Supromo Court a ono a d the other an admrnrstratrve mem et
two mombors, ono a Judge of the High Court, an th matter ;,ay be referred to the Hig
In case of difference of opinion between the two, e
8. Grounds of Disqualification tor Membership .
. f d' alification for membershrp of
Article 102 of the Constitution ISQU which are as follows:-
House of Parliament under certain specrfrc crrcumstances,
(1 J A person shall be disqualified for being chosen
as, and for being, a member of either House o:
Parliament -
(a) rf he holds any office of profit under the
Government of India or the Government of
any State, other than an office declared by
Parliament by law not to disqualify its

App.o;:-ri::l!e legislation may be
enacted under Article 1 02(e) of
the Constitution spelling out the
conditions tor disqualification o1
membership of Parliament in an
exhaustive manner. Similarly, the
States may also legislate under
Article 198 (e).
(b) if he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;
(c) if he is an undischarged insolvent;
(d) if he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a
foreign State, or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence
to a foreign State;
(e) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.
Explanation - For the purpose of this clause a person si .all not be deemed to
hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by
reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or tor such State.
------- VAJlRAM & RAVI _______ _
(2} A person shall be disqualif' d f .
h s sod' q I'll d le or be1ng a member of either House of Parliament 11
e I IS ua I e under the Tenth Schedule.
It is evident from Article
?2(e) that Parliament has also been authorized to pass a law to
include any further conditions for such disqualification. So far no such law has been
enacted In . VIew of recent development leading to ol some Members of
Parliament, It may be desirable to comprehensively spell out other circumstances under
which the Members Parliament can be disqualified. This could be done by enacting
such a under Article 102 (e). This would remove any ambiguity in the matter and
also the supremacy of Parliament in all such matters.
The proposals in the preceding paragraphs require serious discussion
amongst our political part1es. Whether these are adopted soonei or later, will depend
upon them. We are among a handful of democracies which sustained freedom and
stability for six long decades among nations liberateri after the Second World War.
Democratic maturity needs time, patience, and genuine efforts to find rational answers to
complex problems and willingness to reconcile conflicting views. All great democracies
went through the tortuous process of democratic transformation. The power of ideas,
high quality of leadership, inspiration and a spirit of idealism are the necessary
conditions to build a great democracy free from major distortions. India has the strength
and resilience to build such a democracy and our political parties should rise to the
Ethics is grounded in the notion of responsibility and accountability. In democracy, every
holder of public office is accountable ultimately to the people. Such accountability is
enforced through a system of laws and rules, which the elected representatives of the
people enact in their legislatures. Ethics provides the basis for the creation of such laws
and rules. It is the moral ideas of people that give rise to and shapes the character ot
laws and rules. Our legal system emanates from a shared vision of what is good and
The fundamental principle in a democracy is that all persons holding authority derive it
from the people; iil other words, all public functionaries are trustees of the people. With
the expansion of the role of government, public functionaries exercise considerable
influence over the lives of people. The trusteeship relationship between the public and
the officials requires that the authority entrusted to the officials be exercised in the best
interest of the people or in 'public interest'.
The role of ethics in public life has many dimensions. At one is the of
high moral values and at the other, the specifics of action for wh1ch a pubhc functionary
can be held legally accountable. Any framework of ethical behaviour must \nclude the
following elements:
(a) Codifying ethical norms and practices.
- between pubhc mterest an0
I 10
avoid conflict
. onal ;nteres
(b) Disclosrng
personal gam. . for enforcing the relevant codes.
(c) crestmg a mechanrsm . l'f ng a public functionary fro
l'f g and d1squa I Y
(d) Providing norms tor qua I ytn
provide tor all situations. It is no
er elaborate, canno h
A system of raws and rules. howev . rn the conduct of those w o occupy
maps poss1ble to gove B th h' h th
doubt des,rable. an pe ' . l'mited or no discretion. ut e 19 er e
cnalons and exercise
d'ff' It
ositions m the lower
. th ambit of discretion. And 1t IS I 1cu to
. ce the greater 1s e
1 echo/on tn publtc servt
that can comprehensively cover and regu ate the
provide tor a system and ru es
exorcise of discretion tn high places.
0 f the most comprehensive statements of what constitutes ethical for
of public office came from the Committee on Standa.rds in :ubhc L1fe tn
United Kingdom, popularly known as the Nolan Committee, wh1ch outlined the following
seven principles of public life:
1. Selflessness: Holders of public office should solely in
of public Interest. They should not do so in order to gatn fmanclal or other matenal
benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
2. Integrity: Holders of public office should not place any
financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that m1ght Influence
them in the performance of their official duties.
3. Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public
appointments. awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits,
holders of public offrce should make choices on merit.
4. Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable tor their decisions
and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate
to their off1ce.
5. Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all
the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and
restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
. 6. Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests
relatmg to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way
that protects the public interest.
. .
leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these
prmetples by leadership and example.
These principles of public fife are of
. . . .
of such ethical pnncipfes a set of apphc?brhty rn .ever.y democracy. Arising out
conduct Deco . g e rnes of pubhc behavrour m the nature of a code of
mes essentral for public funcfo .
narres. ndeed any person who is privileged
------- VAJlRAM & RAVI _______ _
to guide destiny of the people must not only be ethical but must be seen to practice
these values. Although all citizens are subject to the laws of the land in the case
of pubhc servants there must be t d . . '
. . . s an ards of behav1our more stnngent than those tor an
ordmary Citizen .It IS at the interface of public action and private interest that the need
arises for estabhshmg just a code of ethics but a code of conduct. A code of ethics
would cover broad gu1dmg pnnc 1 f
. . 1p es o good behav1our and governance wh1le a more
spec11tc code of conduct should n a .
I prec1se and unamb1guous manner. stipulate a hst of
acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and action.
By i.ts Resolution. 58/4 31st October, 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United
Nat1ons Convention agamst Corruption. Article 8 of the Resolution states:
Codes of conduct for public officials
1. In order to fight corruption, each State Party shall promote, inter alia,
honesty and responsibility among its public officials, in accordance
w1th the fundamental principles of its legal system.
2. In particular, each State Party shall endeavour to apply, within its own
institutional and legal systems, codes or standards of conduct for the correct,
honourable and proper performance of public functions.
3. For the purposes of implementing the provisions of this article. each State
Party shall, where appropriate and in accordance with the fundamental
principles of its legal system, take note of the relevant mitiatives of regional,
interregional and multilateral organizations, such as the International Code of
Conduct for Public Officials contained in the annex to General Assembly
resolution 51 / 59 of 12 December 1996.
4. Each State Party shall also consider, in accordance with the fundamental
principles of its domestic law, establishing measures and systems to facilitate
the reporting by public officials of acts of corruption to appropriate authorities.
when such acts come to their notice in the performance of their functions.
5. Each State Party shall endeavour, where appropriate and in accordance with
the fundamental principles of its domestic law. to establish measures and
systems requiring public officials to make declarations to appropriate
authorities regarding. inter alia, their outside activities, employmen\
investments, assets and substantial gifts or benefits from which a conl\tct ot
interest may result with respect to their functions as pubhc ofhctals.
6. Each State Party shall consider taking. in accordance w1th the fundament I
principles of its domestic law. disciplinary or other measures agrun t pubfi
officials who violate the codes or standards established tn accord n wrt
this article."
-------- VAJJ.RAM & RAVI . . ddressed the issue of prescribing a Code ot
f m ttme to ttme. a M' t I c
various countries have, ro . d civil servants. There IS a 1ntS ena Ode
ConducVEthtCS for its Ministers. leglslatords ant and in Canada a 'Guide for Ministers'. In
US S t a Code of Con uc . C . .
m UK, In the ena e bl' functionaries is prescribed 1n the onstttut1o
Belize tho Code of Conduct tor pu IC
As stated in the foregoing paragraph, a number of have prescrib=d a Code of
conduct/Ethics tor Ministers. In Canada, the 'Guide for M1ntsters _ets out core
principles regarding the role and responsibilities of Ministers .. This tncludes the. c.entral
tenet of ministerial responsibility, both individual and collecttve, as well as
relations with the Prime Minister and Cabinet, their portfolios, and Parliament. _It outlines
standards of conduct expected of Ministers as well as addressing a range of
administrative, procedural and institutional matters. In UK, the Ministerial Code provides
guidance to Ministers on how they should act and arrange their affairs in order to uphold
these standards. It lists the principles which may apply in particular situations drawing on
past precedent.
It also stipulates that:
"Ministers are personally responsible for deciding how to act and conduct
themselves in the light of the Code and for justifying their actions and conduct
in Parliament. The Code is not a rulebook, and it is not the role of the
Secretary of the Cabinet or other oHicials to enforce it or to investigate
Ministers although they may provide Ministers with private advice on matters
which it covers. Ministers only remain in office for so long as they retain the
confidence of the Prime Minister. He is the ultimate judge of the standards of
behaviour expected of a Minister and the appropriate consequences of a
breach of those standards, although he will not expect to comment on every
allegation that is brought to his attention."
Government of India has pre:scribed a Code of Conduct which is applicable to Ministers
of both the Umon and State Governments.
The Code of Conduct merits ,reproduction here.
1. In addition to observance of the provisions of the Constitution t he
of the People Act, 1951, and any other law for the
betng m force, a person before taking office as a Minister, shall:
(a) disclose to the Pnme Minister, or the Chief Minister. as the case may be.
details of the assets and liabilities, and of business interests of himself and
of bers of his family. The details to be disclosed consist of
pa JCU ars of all immovable rt d
shares d d .. prope Y an the total approximate value of (i)
an ebentures, (u) cash holdings and (Iii) jewellery;
VAJlRAM. & RAVI _______ _
(b) sever all connections h
' s ort of dive t'
con uc. :>nd managem s ng himself of the ownership with the
his appointment as Mine
sntt of any business in which he was interest'ed before
er; and
(c) with regard to a busine
ss concern wh'ch .
overnment concerned
supplies goods or services to the
or to undertak: f h
t e usual course of trad mgs o t at Government (excepting in
whose business primaril e d or business. and at standard or market rates) or
received or to be fepends on licenses, permits, quotas, leases, etc.,
all his interests in the sad the Government concerned, divest himself of
usmess and also of the management thereat
provided, however, that he may tra .
management, and in the case of ( ) In the case of (b) his interest in the
ember of his family or adult rei t c oth ownership and management, to any adult
a lve, other than his te ( h b d h
be), who was prior to his a . . . WI or us an , as t e case may
t h
ppolntment as Mmtster associated with the conduct or
managemen or owners ip of the said b T
. t rests would not arise he question of divesting himself of his
tn e th P . M . t
case of holdmg of share in public limited companies except
where e nme

er, Chief Minister, as the case may be, considers that the
nature. exte.nt of his holdmg IS such that it is likely to embarrass him in the discharge of
his oH1c1al duties.
2. After taking office, and so long as he remains in office the Minister
shall:- '
(a) furnish annually by the 31st March to the Prime Minister, or the Ch1ef
Minister, as the case may be, a declaration regarding his assets and
(b) refrain from buying from or selling to, the Government any immovable
property except where such property is compulsorily acquired by the
Government in usual course;
(c) refrain from starting, or joining, any business;
(d) ensure that the members of his family do not start, or participate 1n, business
concerns, engaged in supplying goods or services to that Government
(excepting in the usual course of trade or business and at standard or market
rates) or dependent primarily on grant of licenses, permits, quotas, \eases,
etc., from that Government; and
(e) report the matter to the Prime Minister, or the Chief Mimster as the case may
be, if any member of his family sets up, or joins 1n the conduct and
management of, any other business.
3. No Minister should:-
(a) personally, or through a member ot his family accept contnbut1on I r
purpose, whether political. charitable or If any purse or c
intended for a registered society, or a chantable body or n l
\ 1\,IIN 1\1 ---------...

>nrly /!'> prosnntt1d to hlrn, he
II 0 II)' or II pCl I ,, r I .
WCtl'llllr'l1 hy t pull/" Ill I r ' "hi to !Ito OriJilrll!'tlltUlll l or whlc: I II Ia
" " 0'11 ol!l I)O!i,ol I
j/lllul11 pnss 11 11
"'" ntld, llli1 lmnc>lit ol
villi tho r u:wtp ollunds u tor I he
(I ) 1 S<)I'IMil fl IllS I' \ 1
I lillll lll)cf\' Ol HI fOCOCjlliSOcl by
1 ('. 'l}' clr 1 IIIII I ' (i) n /1\lrSitIC< O:(J IC '
n oull/rt' .wthc1flh' lllld . .
I' sh,,uld howtwC'r. tnswt th,tt such conlnhullor.lS aro
(11) n fl<llrlrc ill I' utv. I c I lc ol 1111' socl tty or body or lll!>lrtullon
1'111 hl It <-prc'lflld nlfiC't' )1\lflll, I .
s 1 1 1101 In hmt Nothulq 11111ln h1low slt.tll p1ovonr a
Cllfllll\' t'Oil< t'lllt'< lllC d b 0 11 f
' t I "'O"Illt'<f With I/ HI Oflt'l 'lfiOrl fnt IS UrSOill I 0 MllliSh'l /1(11)1 lt'llhj I !h I
/lllltfS t.ll:lt'd liS .II>ClVl'
,, 11.1/lliSII'I 11ldttdlllt1 tllC' Union MltH$!OIS, lilt' Cllltl MllliSIOIS llllCI 011101' Ministers or s_rnto
t 11 , 1 ,.11m11 ;1l$ lln1on r r'lllhliiN;, should not pmnH! lllth $pousc and dl'pondo
nts. to
1 1 lndl t 01 tl>ron<1 01 In .1 oro1gn fiCC: nt t'lllPit)\lllll'lll lllldt>l II I Olt'tl'ltl ( oOVOIIllllt)ll II . 1
, 11 1 ) 1pprov 11 of Ill<' P111119 tli!JillliS11110/l (trldttcllll!l Ct11llllll'IC1cll CXIIlt'l'lllR) WI lOll Pill I
Wllt'Tt' l\lltJ 111 , 1 !>I 1 M1111stl'r 1s .llrl-'ildy in such amploytlll'lll. tho mul!or
:-hOuld 11
1c1 lhtl 1'111110 l\1uustN lor dt:>ciSIOil whtlh<"r IIH omploymont sltould or
1\ s 1 tlt'llCt.tlllllt'. !ht'ft' should bt' p1ohtb1!10il on employment
1\ Ill .\ fotofgn MISSitm.
4. A Minister should
(n) 1101 .tcr.l'pt valtmblc 9111s t'XCC'pt hom clost' 1clntiH'$. nnd he or members ot
his t.tnllh' should not :tcccpt .tn} Qtfls <11 :til from .1ny porson with whom he
lll:t} ll:t1 o otfrcmt dealings: .wd
(b) not pctrntt 1 ol h1s contract debts ot ,1 nnturo likely to
or uHiucncc h11nm tho drsch,lmo ot his off ictal dutios.
A Mln1S!f!t rt'COII 11 Qtfls when ho goes .tbrond or It om fororgn dignitoties in India.
'uc:h gtfrs I nil rnto 1\vo catO!lOiies I ho first cntopo1 y w111 111cludo gifts, which nro ot
S) mholic llllhuc llkt' n sword of honour. commonitll r ol>c$ otc. nnd which cnn be
rct.unN1 b\ tho ll'Ciprrnts. 1 ht' socond c:-ttogot y of gilts would bo tho so which aro not of
S)mholtc: nntutt\ If its vnluo rs tess than Rs. 5.000 it tOhlinod by tho Minister. If.
llO"C\Ct, rs any doubt about the cstunatcd v,11u0 of thC' gifts, tho tnl'lttC'r should be
rcfcmxJ to the Toshnkhantt tor valuation. If the valuo or the gift, on assessment is round
to bo WJthm tho prescnbcd llmtt ot the gift will bo returned to tho Minister.
I t exceeds Rs 5,000 lhc rcc1prcnr will hnvo lhc option to purchase it from the
Jo khana tw pnymg tho difference between tho vatuo ns by the
o kh na and Rs 5,000 . Only grfls ot household goods which mo rotarnod by the
li uch as cnrpets, pnmtings, turntturo otc. exceeding Rs.S,OOO/ in value, wi ll
htrap '' Bhavan Pnmo Mlnrstor's Houso or Ha
Ohnvnn as Stnto property.
-------- & RAVI -------- fho vnluo ol tho gilt rotors
1 0
Its approximate market value In the country of
111 co<>o or ornnt ol nn nwnrd by an
stN's stntus/r,tnk, tho followmn P Y orgnntsntton to a Minister/a porson holding the
" rocoduro may be followed:
(n) tho crodontlnls ot tho orgnm ..
. sntron QIVtnq aware may h" into:
(b) 1f lllo credentials ot tho b d
awarc1 as such mn bo
Y Qlvrng the award., nrc ''ntmnench"h'"
Y accepted but tho cash part should not hn 1'" ted:
(c) tl 1110 nwnrds rotnto to lho k d . . . .
olflco ol Mlnisto wor one by tho lndtvtdual prio.r to his holdmg the
r, such awards may bo t d b h
spociflc npprovnt of
. . . accep o ut tn all sue casos,
1o Pnmo Mlntstor or the Chief Minister as lho case may
bo, should bo Obtained. fho Chief Minister and other Ministers shall have to
l oko permission of tho Primo Minister and the Union Home Minister: and
(d) lltoso instances whore Ml
. . n n1stor Is to roco1vo any award by any
orgonrsatton which has connections with any Foreign Agencies/
o;gonlsatlons, such a Mtnistor/ a person holding the M1mstor's status/rank,
Will havo to sook prior approval of the Prime Min1ster of India.
In addition to tho existing Code of Conduct lor Mmisters, there should be a Code ot
Elh1cs to prov1de guidance on how Min1sters should uphold the highest standards or
conshtutronal and ethical conduct in the performance olthorr duties
Dt'dicated units should be sot up rn tho offices of the Prime Mmstcr and the Chtel
M1111sters to monitor tho observance of the Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct
The tllllt should also be empowored to rece1ve public complatnts regardng volaton
of tho Code of Conduct
Tho Primo Minrstor or the Chtef Minister should be duty bound to ensure the
observance of tho Codo of Ethics and the Code of Conduct by Mtmsters. This would
bo appltcRblo ovon in the case of coalition governments whore tho Mmtsters may
bolong to dllloront pnrttes
An annual roport with regard to the observance of those Codes should be submitted
to tt1c nppropriato logislnturo. This report should mclude specific cases of vtolaltons,
if any, Hnd tho action tnkon thereon.
Tho Codo of Ethics should intor alln include broad principles ot tho Mintster avtl
sorvant relationship.
Tho Codo of Ethics. tho Code of Conduct and the a.nnunl report should bo put m th
public domain.
A Minister should follow tho instructions given from tunc to time by tho Pnme M ntstcr In
matters relating to attending functions arranged by foreign m1ssions tn lndta or br d
and also tor ncccptrng tho membership of any foreign trust. mstitutton or orgnn at
other than UN Organisations of which India is a Member.
--------y,.\ J IRAM & H.AVJ
s. A Minister should .
in accommodation belonging
tar as practtcable, s ay k' bl '
( ) whilo on official tour. as
Government underta 1ngs, pu IC
a . ed by Governmen .
to htmself or matnlatn . ., houses dak bungalows e c or tn
bodies or instltultons (such as ClfCUI '
recognised hotels; and . . . h'
sible ostentatious or lavish parties given m IS
(b) avoid attending, as tar as pos '
honour. f C duct w' IJ
ng the observance of the Code o on I
6. The aut hority tor ensurr
bo- .
. of Union Ministers, the Prime Minister and the Unron
The Prime Mlnrlstehr In the Ministers and the Chief Minister concerned in the
Home Minister n I e case ' Th 'd thority would
case of Stale Ministers except where it is otherwise specified. e sar . au
follow such procedure as it might deem fit, according to the facts and of
each case, for dealing with or determining any alleged or suspected breach of thiS e.
Explanation: In this code, a Minister's family shall include. his (or husband, as the
case may be) not legally separated from him (or her), mmor .and any other
persons related by blood or marriage to, and wholly dependent on the Mrn1ster.
The Code of Conduct is a starting point for ensuring good conduct by
However. it 1s not comprehensive in its coverage and is more in the nature of a hst ?f
proh,bitiOns, it does not amount to a Code of Ethics. It is therefore rn
addit1on to the Code of Conduct, there should be a Code of Ethics to prov1de gurdance
on how Mm1sters should uphold the highest standards of constitutional and ethical
conduct in the performance of their duties. The Code should be based on the
overarching duty of Ministers to comply with the law, to uphold the administration of
justice and to protect the integrity of public life. It should also lay down the principles of
minister-civil servant relationship.
The authority for ensuring the observance of the present Code of Conduct is the Prime
Minister in the case of Union Ministers, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister
in the case of Chief Ministers, and the Chief Minister concerned in the case of Ministers
of the State Government. The Second ARC is of the view that dedicated units should be
set up in the offices of the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of the states to monitor
the observance of the Code of Conduct. An annual report indicating violations should be
to the appropriate legislature for consideration. Besides, the present Code of
Conduct is not in the public domain and, as a result, members of the public are perhaps
not aware that such a code exists. Further, the second ARC recommended that the
Code of Conduct for Mm1sters, duly amplified, should be put in the public domain as
some other countnes have done. As coalition politics has become the order of the day it
Particularly appropriate to ensure that the ministers from the coalition partners both at
the Centre and :he State also adhere to the Code of Ethics/Conduct and the Prime
.------- VAJIRAM & RAVI -------
. srer and the Ch1ef Ministers a d
re uty bound to put violation of these Codes in public
Ethical Framework' ' r Legislators .
n Oth C .
er ountnes:
Among the

of <- ideal democratic structure, the legislature has the most
.'s the expression of the will of the people and the executive is
answerable to II. Thrs demands that the requirement of ethical standards tor the
executive must be preceded by an equally emphatic requirement of ethical standards tor
The US Constitution, in Article I, Section 5, grants broad authority to Congress to
discipline its Members. However, the present Congressional Ethics Committees and
formal rules governing the conduct of Members, officers, and employees did not exist
until the 1960's. Earlier disciplinary actions by Congress against Members too" place on
an ad hoc basis. In 1964, the Senate adopted s. Res. 338, 88th Congress, which
created the Senate Select Committee on Standards and Conduct. This six-member
committee was bipartisan with advisory functions and investigative authority to "receive
complaints and investigate allegations of improper conduct which may reflect upon the
Senate, violations of law, and violations of rules and regulations of the Senate." In 1968
the Senate adopted its first official code of conduct, with substantial revision and
amendment of the Code occurring in 1977. The Committee's name was changed to the
Select Committee on Ethics. The Senate Code of Conduct regulates financ1al
disclosures, gifts, travel reimbursements, conflicting interests, post employment
restrictions, employment practices etc.
The UK House of Commons adopted the present Code of Conduct for its Members vide
their Resolution dated 19th July, 1995. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to ass1st
Members in the discharge of their obligations to the House, their constituents and the
public at large by providing guidance on the standards of conduct expected ot Members
in discharging their parliamentary and public duties. It is also stated that the obhgat1ons
set out in this Code are complementary to those which apply to all Members by VIrtue ol
the procedural and other rules of the House and the rulings of the Chair.
Chapter XXIV of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct o.f Busmess In tho Council at
States, provides for constitution of the Committee on to oversee the morn\ \nd
. f M b s The Committee on Eth1cs was hrst constttu\cd by
ethtcal conduct o em er h d
. on 4th March 1997. In its First Report. the Commt\toe mt r
Chatrman of the House . br lif crimtnahsat
n of pot t ld
alia, dealt with matters such as values m t pu de. at Conduct tor M mb of
electoral reforms. It suggested a framework or a
YAJIRAM & IV\VI ---------
--------- h slzod the procedural aspects
rhe committee amp a .
Rawa Set.ha. In liS Second Report, I din the First Report, tncluding mamtenance
of onforcmg the Code of Conduct of interests by Members, procedure for
of 'Register of Members Interests . dec h Committee dealt With issues germane to
mqulry and penalties. In the Third Report I :,, as outside of II. In the Fourth Report, the
tho behaviour of Members in the House as w the Council declaration of assets and
h d pllne and decorum rn ' .
Commrlloo dealt Wit IS':I C de of Conduct and the Committee s power to
liabilities, reglstrauon of rnterests, o
recommend sanctions.
[ nclplos of public fifo as enumerated. The
The Code of EthiCS should also reflect countries and is of. the view that a
Second ARC has oxacmldned ,'hce Ministers should Include the following:
Code ol EthiCS and R o e o on
a Ministers must uphold the highest ethical standards;
b. Ministers must uphold tho principle of collective responsibility; . .
c. Mlnlslers have a duty to Parliament to account, be held to account, for the poliCies,
decisions and ac11ons of their departments and agonc1es;
d Mrnlstcrs must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears ro arise. between their public
dulles and their private interests;
e Ministers in the Lok Sabha must keep separate their roles as Minister and constituency
f Minrstors must not use government resources tor party or political purposes; they. must
a'cceptrosponsibllity for decisions taken by them and not merely blame it on wrong adv1ce.
g M1msrers must uphold the political 1mpart.iahty. of the Service and. ask
servants to act m any way, which would conflict Wlth the dulles and respons1b1ht1es of c1v11
h. Mrn1sters must comply with the requirements wh1ch the two Houses of Parliament lay
down from tme to time;
r. Mrnisters must recogmze that misuse of official pos1tion or information is violation of the
trust reposed rn them as public functionaries;
J. Mrnrsters must ensure that public moneys are used with utmost economy and care;
k. Mrnisters must funct1on in such a manner as to serve as instruments of good governance
and to prov1de services for the betterment of the public at large and foster socio-economic
development; and
! Ministers must act objectively, impartially, honestly, equitably, diligently and in a fair and
JUSt manner.
The following is the existing framework of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Rajya
The. Members of RaJYa Sabha should acknowledge their responsibility to maintain the
public trust reposed tn them and should work diligently to discharge their mandate for the
common good of the people. They must hold rn hrgh esteem the Constitution the Law
Partamentary Institutions and. above all, the general public. They should
ve 10 translate the ideals latd do .

stn . h . . wn tn the p
1118 (olfowtng are
e pnnc1ples Which th reamble to the Constitution mto a reality.
ey should abid b . . .
(i) Members must not do e Y m thetr deahngs:
f h
. . anythtng that b . .
af ects t elf credibility. nngs dtsrepute to the Parliament and
(ii) Members must utilize thetr pon
general wellbeing of the P
IOn as Members of Parliament to advance
(iii) In thelf dealings if Memb .
I . . ers find that the .
persona Interests and the br re ts a conflict between their
such a confltct in a t'chtr.ust . they hold, they should resolve
duty of their public office. a
elf pnvate mterests are subordinated to the
(iv) Members should always see tha . . .
the members of ther .
their pnvate ftnancial interests and those of
I lmmedtate family d t . . . .
interest and if any such conflic .
no come m confhct w1th the pubhc
conflict in a manner that th
anses, they should try to resolve such a
e publtc tnterest is not jeopardized.
(v) Members should never expect
a vote given or not g b or accept any fee, remuneration or benefit for
f . lven Y them on the floor of the House for introducing a
' moving a resolution, putting a question or abstainlng from asking a
ques IOn or partie' r .
. lpa tng tn the deliberations of the House or a Parliamentary
(vi) not take a gift, which may interfere with honest and
of their official duties. They may, however accept
InCidental g1fts or inexpensive mementoes and customary hospitality.
(vii) Members holding public offices should use public resources in such a
manner as may lead to public good.
(viii) If Members are in possession of confidential information owing to their bemg
Members of Parliament or Members of Parliamentary Committees. they
should not disclose such information for advancing their personal interests
(ix) Members should desist from giving certificates to individuals and institutiOns
of which they have no personal knowledge and are not based on facts.
(x) Members should not lend ready support to any cause of which they have no
or little knowledge.
(xi) Members should not misuse the facilities and amenities made available to
(xii) Members should not be disrespectful to any religion and work for the
promotion of secular values.
(xiii) Members should keep uppermost in their mind the fundamental duttes hsted
in part IV A of the Constitution.
high standards of morality, dignity,
cted to maintain
(xiv)Membcrs are expe .
decency and values in publiC life.
THE COMMITTEE ON ETHICS ee the moral and ethical
Lok Sabha to overs
Thera is a Commillee on Ethics of t e . Ethics (Thirteenth Lok Sabha) in
The Committee on h b
conduct of Members of that House. . I behaviour for members ave een
its First Report observed that norms of ethlca d Conduct of Busin:-ss in the Lok
adequately provided for in the Rules of Procedure an,. s which have evolved over the
S k and in the conven IOn C .
Sabha, directions by the pea er . de b various Parliamentary ommlttees.
years on the basis of recommendations that the members should
Apart from the existing norms, th.e .rec
abide by the following general ethical prmclples. .
. . d rce general well be1ng of the
(i) Members must utilize their position to a va
nterest and public interest, they
(ii) In case of conflict between their persona I. subordinate to the
must resolve the con;tict so that personal Interests are
duty of public office.
r t st should be resolved in a
(iii) Conflict between private y m. ere
manner that the public interest is not 1eopard1zed.
(iv) Members holding public offices should use public resources in such a
manner as may lead to public good.
(v) Members must keep uppermost in their mind the fundamental duties listed in
Part-IV of the Constitution.
(vi) Members should maintain high standards of morality, dignity, decency and
values in public life.
As per available information, only a few State Legislatures such as Andhra Pradesh,
Orissa etc. have adopted Codes of Conduct for their Legislators. A Resolution was
unanimously adopted at the 'All India Conference of Presiding Officers, Chief Ministers,
Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs, Leaders and Whips of Parties on Discipline and
Decorum in Parliament and Legislatures of States and Union Territories' held at New
Delhi on 25th November, 2001. The Resolution included adoption of a Code of Conduct
for Leg1s1ators. It was also recommended that Ethics Committees be constituted in all
legislatures where these have not already been constituted for enforcing the Code of
Disclosure of Interest
One way of avording conflict between public and private interest is through disclosure of
ones nterest Th1s by itself cannot resolve the conflict of interest but is a good first step
as t ac:Y.navlledges the posstbrlrty of such a conflict. Legrslatures rn different countries
-------VAJIR.AM & RAVl ______ _
have adopted different approa h . .
outcome of such a disclos .c es to

1ssue. In some countries the automatic

process, whereas in other cure

participation in the decision making

ountnes, the deCISion is left to the Chair.
The disclosure of one's interest . .
public service career
can be done 1n d1fferent ways and at different stages of a
when such a clash is. system could be an ad-hoc disclosure of a private
d"an p r paled. The rules of the US Congress and the Australian and
A atrhlaments do not allow a legislator to vote if they have a direct pecuniary
interes . no er system is prior e t .
d . . r QIS rat1on of 1nterest. This again can cover a variety ot
persona an pecuniary Interests including those of close family members.
In India, disclosure of interest is provided in both
Houses of Parliament, in different ways. It has
been ruled by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
that a Member having a personal pecuniary or
direct interest on a matter before the House is
required, while taking part in the proceedings in
_ that matter, to declare the nature of interest.
The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of
Business in the Lok Sabha prescribe that if the
vote of a Member in a division in the House is
challenged on grounds of personal, pecuniary or
direct interest in the matter to be decided, the
Speaker may examine the issue and decide
whether the vote of the Member should be
disallowed or not and his decision shall be final.
Furthermore, the Handbook for Members
provides that a Member having personal,
pecuniary or direct interest in a matter to be
decided by the House is expected, while taking
part in the proceedings on that matter, to
declare his interest.
Register of Interests
a. An Oflice ot 'Ethics
Commissioner' may be constituted
by each House ol Parliament. This
Office, functioning under the
Speaker/Chairman, would assist the
Committee on Ethics in the
discharge of its functions, and aclv1se
Members, when requ1red, and
maintain necessary records.
b. In respect of States, the
Commission recommends the
i. All State legislatures may adopt a
Code of Ethics and a Code ot
Conduct for their Members.
ii. Ethics Committees may be
constituted with well defmed
procedures tor sanctions in case ot
transgressions, to ensure the ethical
conduct of legislators.
iii. 'Registers of Members Interests'
may be maintained w\th the
declaration ot interests by Members
of the State legislatures.
A specific mechanism for disclosure of private
interests is maintenance of a 'Register of
Interests'. Legislators are expected to record in
the register all their interests periodically. In
order to make the system practical, the types of
interest, which requi re disclosure, are
prescribed. A closely related mechanism is
declaration of the assets and liabilities of the
members at regular intervals.
iv. Annual Reports providing deta1ls
including transgressions may be
placed on the Table of the rcspocl1Ve
v. An Office of 'EthiCS CommiSSioner'
may be constituted by each House
of the State legislatures Thls ot1 ce
. would function under \he
Speaker/Cha1rman. on the same
L as suggested 101 Pa
J\'1 & fL4Vl
--------- VAJJRft In itS First Report (31-S.(
th Lok sabha), h Member of the Lok Sab Oo11
The CommrNoo on Ethrcs tor ea; recommended that a regis ha
recommended that II may be mad; habrlitieS II turth9 bha secretariat, which sho te, ()I
disclose h1Sihor Income, Assots an . d In the Lok sa
should be made av 11 lllo
Members lntorosts may be maintarne. n contained there n er in its Second R a
rreatod as confidential and the speaker. ent of financial
any person only with tho permlssron o t srnce thO requrrem them in their F sclosure
f 1 2002), the Committee obsoNed tha recommended bY rrst RePQ;
and doclaralion of rnterests by members. ash ordinance, there was no need for furth
htls boon fully met w1th the promulgation ol

(RuleS of Procedure a.nd Conduct er
actron at that stage by the commrttee. Au Register of Members Interests h 01
Business m the Council of States) committee on of the Raas
to be maintarned by the Committee on EthrCS t to start with the followrng intereS1 lYa
Sabha rn ils Fourth Report, recommended tha s 01
Members should be entered in the Register
(i) Remunerative Directorship;
(ii) Regular Remunerated Actrvity;
(iii) Shareholding of Controlling Nature;
Paid Consultancy; and
(v) Professronal Engagement
Filing Assets and Liabilities Statement
The Representation of the People Act, 1951, has been amended by the Representation
of the People (Third Amendment) Act, 2002. A new Section, 75A, has been inserted
which stipulates that every elected candidate tor a House of Parliament or the
Legislature of the State, shall, within ninety days from the date on which he/she makes
and subscribes an oath or affirmation, tiles the details of his/her assets/liabi lities to the
Chairman of the Council of State or the Legislative Council, or the Speaker of Lok Sabha
or the Legislative Assemblies as the case may be. Accordingly, the Members of the Lok
Sabha (Declarat.ion of Assets and Liabilities) Rules, 2004, and the Members of the Rajya
Sabha (Declarat1on of Assets and Liabilities) Rules have been formulated.
From the above it is evident that both Houses of Parliament have provided for Codes of
and also norms tor disclosure of intere->i and declaration of assets and liabilities :
of therr Members. The Committees on Ethics of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya
Sabha have been mandated to oversee the moral and ethical conduct of members.
Enforcement of Ethical Norms in legislatures
In India, both Houses of Parliam t h .
ethical principles. As earl as in

ave on occasions acted firmly against violation ol
by lhe Provisional I I . ' an ad CommiHee of the House was appointed
Committee came to the coenncl rnvhestJgate. rnto the conduct of Shri H G Mudgal. The
us1on t at Shn Mudgal's d . . and
other benefits from the Bombay Bullion A . . con uct tn accept1ng money
for extending certain favours to them
VAJlRA.M & RAVl -------
in Parliament, was deron
ted ,atory to the d"
standards ot behaviour
.9nity ol \he House and inconsistent with \be
succrnctly, as follows:- Pnme Minister Nehru summarized the issue
"The question arises wneth
I d
b "t h er In \he present
o su m1 t a\ it is pertectl
case \his should be done or some\hinn e
II d a
. Y c ear that \h\ . "
ca e marg1na1 case, Where eo s case 1s not even a case which might be
have doubts it a certain course pie have two opinions about it, where one may
is as bad as it could well be.
IS much too severe. The case it t may say so,
one where perhaps a cert . nsider even such a case as a marginal case or as
unfortunate from a variety ot'n. amount of laxity might be shown, 1 think i\ w\\\ be
case ol its kind coming up bpofm\s of VIew, more especially because this being the lirs\
e ore the House 1 th '
such matters in clear unamb
e House does not express i\s w\\\ \n
in the public mind to wh and forceful terms, then doubts may very we\\ arise
Therefore I do submit \hat her House is very definite about such matters or not.
precise and definite The
ct as ecome a duty tor us and an obligation to be clear
a s are clear d '
clear and precise and un b. an prec1se and the decision shou\d a\so be
after accepting the lindin a:, And I submit the decision ol the House should be, .
from the House." g s report, to resolve that the Member should be .
Similar issues came to the 1 .
of improper conduct d again hall a century later. In December ' 2005., al\egatioM
. 'rna e 10 news telecasts ot the ' Aaj Tak' (12\h Oec '2005) television
c the acceptance of money by ten Members ot LoK Sabha tor
as mg quest1ons or raising o\he tt .
. r rna ers m the were enquired into by an Eno,uiry
Comm1ttee of the House tC tt \ omm1 ee to 1nqu1re mto allegatiOns ot improper conduct on
the of some members). The Committee came to the conclusion that the conduct of
the sa1? Members was unbecoming of a Member ot Parliament and also unethica\. The
Comm1ttee recommended the expulsion of the Members trom the House, a proposal that
was accepted by the House.
As already mentioned, the 'Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council
of States' stipulate that the Committee on Ethics would oversee the mora\ and ethical
conduct of Members and examine cases concerning the alleged breach o\ the Code of
Conduct by Members as also cases concerning allegations ot any other ethical
misconduct of members. The Committee may also take up matters suo motu. It, upon
enquiry, it is found that a Member has indulged in unethical behaviour or that there 1S
other misconduct or that the Member has contravened the Code/Rules, the Comml\tee
may recommend the imposition of an appropriate sanction. The Chairman o\ the Raiya
Sabha referred the incident regarding the telecast b'J 'Aai TaK' channel, \nvo\'Jing one
Member of the House, to the Ethics Committee. The Committee came to the conclusiOn
that the Member had contravened para 5 of the Code ot Conduct tor Members o\ \t\e
Rajya Sabha and acted in a manner, which seriously impaired the digm\'j ot \he House
and brought the whole institution of Parliamentary democracy mto disrepute. The
Committee recommended the expulsion of the Member trom the House and t\'\e House
accepted the recommendation.
y,\.11 RAM & RA YJ
- of conduct puts moral pressure
0 I atues and codes . d f n
While tho onunclalion of othlca v od b an ottactlvo monllonng an en orcernent
public functionanes, they need to bo backado:,od dfttoront models tor this purpose. l'he
rogtmo. Loglslaturos the world over loymont Codo tor office .holders (2006)
Canadian Conflict of Interest and Pos p tho Code and to provide advice. The Ethles
rolles on an Ethics Commissioner to oversee olnted under Section 72.01 of the
Off/ of Parliament app . . h
Commlsslonor is an cer mmissioner reports on tho lnqumes e COnducts
Porliamont of Canada Act. The Co nnual reports to the House of Commons on
b rs' Code and makes a . f h
pursuant to tho Mom o .
ed on the recommendations o t e Nolan
h1s nctlvrtles in rotation to liS Members. established the office of Parliamentary
Commlttoo, tho House of Commons . 'oner's main responsibilities are:
Commission or for Standards. The CommiSSI

. and monitoring the operation of the Register Of
Overseeing the mamtenance
Members' Interests.
P .d. d c on a confidenti?l basis to individual Members and to the
f0VI mg a VI 0 t f
Select Committee on Standards and Privileges about the mterpre a lon of the
Code of Conduct and Guide to the Ryles relating to the Conduct of
Preparing guidance and providing training for Members on matters of
conduct, propriety and ethics.
Monitoring the operation of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules and,
where appropriate, proposing possible modifications of it to the Committee.
Receiving and investigating complaints about Members who are allegedly in
breach of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules, and reporting his
ftndings to the Committee.
In addition, the Commissioner's office is responsible for maintaining and
monitoring the operation of various registers and lists; providing advice about
them; and receiving and investigating complaints about them.
The constitution of the Office of Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has helped
the House by bringing greater transparency in matters relating to ethical standards.
It has also helped the Members by providing them timely advice in matters relating to the
Code of Conduct. Both the Houses of Parliament may consider creation of a similar
office. It is envisaged that this Office would function under the Speaker. It could also
assist the Ethics Committee in the discharge of its functions, provide advice to the
Members when required and maintain records.
The Constitution of India lays down that legislators would be disqualified for being
chosen as, and for being, a member of the legislature if they were to hold any office of
VAJIIU.M & RAVI -------
profit under the governrne
1 f n Other than
dtsqua ' Y tiS holder, The Und r1 an Of1tce declared by the legislature by law not to
dulles of off tee and leg el Ytng tdea was to obviate a conflict of interest between the
I I d h ts attve functio ....... . .
pro I un er t e govemrnent
ns. "'e pnnctple debarring holders of ollice of
h f ct 1 rorn a leg 1 t
1S un 1ons ndependenuy
ts a or ts that such a person cannot exerc
traced to developments
nlheB of which he is a part. The principle can be
constitutional history in th nttsh
h . e course of
wChtc II to established that the RECOMMENDATIONS
rown an tis officers shall h a. The Law should be amended to dellne ottice
. p
ave no say
1 1
. b
tn ar 1ament. The Constitutlo ._ o pro tt ased on the following principles.
't . htl n rna"ers
qu1 e

Y wanted the legislative office I. All oflices In purely advisory bodies where the
to be Insulated. from executive Influence experience, Insights and expertise of a legislator
1 1 t would be inputs In governmental policy, shall not
an man pu a IOn. be treated as offices of profit, Irrespective of the
Constitutional theory envisages th t th
legislature exercises
funct1ons over government. The making
of laws, approval of the budget and
monitoring of ali government actions
are within the purview of the legislature.
The executive branch of government
should implement the laws, utilize the
publ ic money for the approved
purposes and be accountable to the
legislature in its functioning. Therefore,
if the legislators are beholden to the
executive, the legislature can no longer
retain its independence and loses the
ability to control the Council of Ministers
and the army of officials and public
servants. From this perspective, the
Constitutional embargo on office of
profit for legislators Is both necessary
and welcome.
remuneration and perks associated with such an
ii. All offices Involving executive decision making
and control of public funds, Including poslttons on
the governing boards of public undertakings and
statutory and non-statutory authorities directly
deciding policy or managing Institutions or
authorizing or approving expenditure shal\ be
treated as of1ices of protit, and no legislator shall
hold such offices.
iii. If a serving Minister, by virtue of office, is a
member or head of certain organizations like the
Planning Commission, where close coordination
and integration between the Council of Ministers
and the organization or authority or committee Is
vital for the daytoday functioning ot
government, it shall not be treated as office ot
We accepted the Westminster model
because of familiarity and historical
association. In this model, the
executive (Council of Ministers) is
drawn from the legislature. While in
theory, the legislature holds the
government to account, in reality it is
often noticed that the government
(The use of discretionary funds at the disposal ot
legislators, the power to determine specific
projects and schemes, or select the beneficiaries
or authorize expenditure shall constitute
discharge of executive functions and Will lnv1te
disqualification under Art'tcles , 02 and 191,
irrespective of whether or not a new otlice is
notified and held.)
b. Schemes such as MPLAOS and MlAlAOS
should be abolished.
c. Members of Parliament and Members ot Su.te
Legislatures should be declared as 'PUbl c
Authorities' under the Right to Information Act
except when they are dtschargmg legtsllllve
controls the legislature as long it has a majority in the House. The key lssue t
h of the struggle for power
'ty Muc .
. I I Is sustaining Its maJon . linked to this need to satisfy the
governments surv va . . and patronage are II of Ministers beca
compromise on cabinet composition, ize of the counc . me
majority of legislators. This is the reason whY to the Constitution .enacted in
unwieldy over the decades. Finally, 91 st o 15% of the Lower House.
2003 limited the size of Council of Mlmsters. t . s ministries, and other offices of
. S t ryshlpS of vanou d .
of Corporations Parliamentary ecre a . . fons for rank, status an pnvl ege
profit are often to legislators to satisfy thM I undoubtedly a perversion of the
and a way of buying peace for the government. Th s s ersion is integral to our model of
theory of separation of powers. Sui as long as discussion only to technical and
democracy, It would be very inadequate if we limite
legal Issues relating to office of profit. MLC E .
. . nless he is an MP/MLAI . ven If a
Constitutionally, a person cannot be a Mrmster u e an MP/MLAIMLC within six
d Minister he must becom
non-MP/ MLA/M 1s ma e a . . e fused in our system. But in
months. Given this context, the executive large leading to corruption
covntries like Britain and Germany, such fusron rs not, by
ed 'in which public office
or patrC111age That Is because a political culture has been evo v .
Is a means promoting social good and not for private or family gaJn. nTohurt
. xt of one's property. a IS w y
times public office is perce1ved to be an e ens1on . .
t'on and a means of extendmg
sometimes, public off1ces are a source of huge corrup I
Given this proclivity and the compulsions under which any government functions, there is
need to reexamine the definition of office of profit. Articles 102 and 191 of the
Constitution relating to office of profit have been violated in spirit over years
when the letter is adhered to. As a result, the Legislatures kept on expandmg the hst of
exemptions from disqualification under Articles 102 and 191. For instance, the Act 1 0 of
t959 listed scores of offices in the exemptions from disqualification under Article 1 02.
There does not appear to be a clear rationale to such a list, except perhaps the
8"xpediency to protect holders of certain offices from time to time. Similar laws have been
enacted by State Legislatures under Article 191, exempting hundreds of offices from
disqualification for the State Legislature. Each time a legislator is appointed by the
executive to an office which might be classified an office of profit, a law is enacted
including that office In the list of exempted categories.
Often, tre crude criterion applied is whether or not the office carries a remuneration. In
the process, the real distinction of whether executive authority is exercised in terms of
decsion making or direct involvement in deployment of public funds is often lost sight of.
The Supreme Court's clarification about the appointment and removal being in the hands
o1 the executive branch of government does not help either, because many
as:J)Otntments made may be in advisory capacities.
.Mor do the existrng norms apply to Local Area Development Schemes under which
legs ators are empowered to sanction public works and authorize expenditure of funds
graRted under MPLADs and MLALADs schemes. Several party leaders and legislators
VAJIRAM & RAVI _______ _
feel the need for discretionary ubr
ublic works to satisfy the P tc funds at their disposal in order to quickly execute
erode the notion of. their constituencies. However, these schemes do
xecutive. The argume t
d separation of powers, as the legislator directly becomes the
e der these schemes n vanced that legislators do not directly handle public funds
un fact no Minister d: astl ese are under the control District Magistrate is \\awed.
In cash exce Y handles money. Even the officials do not personally
han. ons

exp: dl e treasury officials and disbursing of1icers. Making day-to-day

deCISI . f t' n ture after the legislature has approved the budget, is a key
execut1ve unc 10n.
Several. c.onsti.tutional experts and legal luminaries have pointed out the
the above schemes. A report, "MPLAOS: Concept, Contusion and
ContradiCtions wntten by former Public Accounts Committee Chairman Era Sezhiyan,
states that the scheme (MPLADS) distorted the MPs' role in the tedera\ system and
diverted funds should have actually gone to agencies like the Panchayati Rai
Apart from infringing on the rights of the local governments, the most serious objection to
the scheme is the conflict of interest that arises when legislators take up executive roles.
A similar issue was examined in 1959 by a committee ot the Congress party In
Parliament, chaired by V K Krishna Menon, which went into the question ot
parliamentary supervision for state undertakings. At that time the issue ot nomination ot
Members of Parliament on governing bodies ot Public Sector Undertakings came up.
The V K Krishna Menon Committee held that "the overwhelming weight ot
considerations" must be against such appointments.
Therefore it seems necessary to sharply define office of profit to ensure_
separation of powers. Legislators who are not Ministers often do have .s1gn
expertise from their own personal or professional background. In add1\10n,
experience in public service gives them unique insigh.ts and understanding
policy. Such expertise and insights would be valuable mputs to the executwe In po Y
,ng Therefore Committees and Commissions of a purely adv1sory nature can
ng certa1n
constituted with legislators. The mere fact of such pos1\1ons carry' . .
k th
urve of1ices The Cons\ttutton
remuneration and other perks does not ma e em exec
recognized that holding of such offices in expert and advise": bodtes does not
separation of powers and left it to Parliament and .state to
non-executive offices from disqualification. But appomtment In statutodry or notre\ of \\e\d
Kng powers and day-to- ay con
executive authorities with direct deciSIOn ma I f bl' sector undertakings or as
't' on the governing boards o pu 1c
personnel, or post . . arl car direct executive responslbl\\\ es
government nominees m pr.tvate enterpnses Y . would undoubted\y V\O\a\
and involve decision Sue legislators to sanctton or approve
separation of powers. GIVIng function whether or not tit govemmen
public works is clearly an exerctse. o ff \t is to d t\tngu h
appoints the legislators to a designate o ICe .
-------- VAJJRAM & RAVI &
live authority while defining otrice of Profit
execulive functions and exercise of rles remuneration and perks. '
Irrespective of whether such a role or ofttce car
. riate to amend the Jaw on the followtn
Gtven these circumstances, it would be approp g
. bodies where the experience and insights Of
All offices in
alley will not be treated as otti q
legislator would be mputs m p arks associated with sue ces
of profit, Irrespective of the remuneration and P h an

All offices involving executive ddcision making and control of pub.lic funds,
including positions on the governing boards of public and
statutory and non-statutory authorities directly, deciding policy or managing
Institutions or authorizing or approving expenditure shall be treated as offices
of profit, and no legislator shall hold such offices. (Discretionary at the
disposal of legislators or the power to determine specific projects and
schemes, or select the beneficiaries or authorize expenditure shall constitute
discharge of executive functions and will invite disqualification under Articles
102 and 191, irrespective of whether or not a new office is notified and held).
If a serving Minister, by virtue of office, Is a member or head of certain
organizations like the Planning Commission, where close coordination and
integration between the Council of Ministers and the organization or au!hority
or committee is vital for the day-to-day functioning of government, it shall not
be treated as office of profit.
The Supreme Court has held that members of legislatures are public servants under the
Prevention of Corruption Act. Members of
Parliament and the Members of State .--------------
Legislatures should be declared as 'Public
Authorities' under the Right to Information Act
except when they are discharging legislative
The Committee on Prevention of Corruption
Committee'-1964) had remarked:
"For a country like India, development of her
.......,., resources and raising the standards of
.. ol al classes are, indeed imperative. At the
....., lime the deterioration in the standards of
JIIUI* ,. has to be arrested. Ways and means
,_. lo be found to ensure that idealism and
a) 'Public Service Values' towards
which all public servants should
aspire, should be defined and
made applicable to all tiers of
Government and parastatal
organizations. Any transgression of
these values should be treated as
misconduct, inviting punishment.
b) Conflict of interest should be
comprehensively covered in the
Code of Ethics and In the Code of
for officers. Also, serving
offrcraJs should not be nominated
on the Boards of Public
undertakings. This will, however,
not apply to non-profit public
institutions and advisory bodies.
VAJl RA.M & R.A: -------
patriotism have the prope YI
estness whl h r place in th
earn . c has been a con . e ambition of our youth. ihe lack of moral
factor which hamper:Pcuous feature of recent years, is perhaps the
elftctency. the growth of strong traditions of integrity and
The inculcation of values f T .
good. and engendering a ascptlt.attmg the subordination of the self to a larger societal
. t rt of emp th .
tnterven tons are not skills wh h a Y for those m need of ameliorative state
tft d c could be e:t 1
Sue a t u es need nurturin st Y tmbtbed after joining the civil
successive generations . the 'rig not merely individual lite-times, but th h
accepted that our civil servic
thos takes long to evolve. Nevertheless, it must be
which sets examples to be e e has a tradition of attitudes and achievements
also be accepted that the a;ed current and prospective civil servants. It must
'right conduct' cannot be e f tng ramework for maintaining and promoting the norms ot
n orced through a d d
rules. It is all a question of st lk' . ngt mm less enforcement ol laws and
formal, enforceable codes r the nght balance. Within the civil services there are
prescribed for unacceptabl sed tng out norms of expected behaviour with 'sanctions'
conventions of propriety a:d epartures from such norms. There are also inchoate
nonobservance of such ra behaviour without tormal sanctions but with
stigma. P ctlces and conventions attracting social disapproval and
The current set of 'enforceable
S . es (C d t norms are 'Conduct Rules', typified by the Central Civil
S . on uc ) Rules 1964 and analogous rules applicable to members ot the AI\
In ta ervtces or employees of various State Governments. The norms prescribed in
such rules are much older th th R
. . . an e ules themselves. Thus specli1c acts were
from ttme ttme through notiilcations under the Fundamental Rules and the
Some examples are the disapproval o1 habitual \ending and
borrowtng (1869), and the banning o1 various actions - accepting gifts
(1876), buytng and selling property (1 881 ), making commercia\ investments t1885),
promoting companies (1885) and accepting commercial employment atter retirement
(1920). The breach of such prohibitions entailed punitive actions like removal hom
service. There were, of course, provisions like 'illegal gra\i1ication' or bribery - Sections
161 to 165 of the IPC - or 'criminal breach of trust by a public servant' - Secti on 409 \PC
- which provide for terms of imprisonment. In 1947, with \he enactment o1 the Prevention
of Co.rruption Act, a new set of offences was also created.
In the 1930s, a compendium of instructions containing 'do' s and don'ts' was issued and
collectively called ' Conduct Rules'. The compendium was converted in \he 1orm ol
distinct rules in 1955. The Santhanam Committee recommended considerable
enlargement of such rules resulting in the 1964 version. These ru\es have subsequently
been updated to include additional norms of behaviour. Some at the additions are: the
requirement of observing courtesy, prohibiting demanding and accepting doWfY,
prohibiting sexual harassment of women employees, and, recently. prohibition to emptoy
children below 14 years of age as domestic help. This is understandably a conuoumg
------- VAJIRAM & RAYI %
. en Increasing expectations of society, from the
process, and reflects the changrng, ofl
civil services.
. . the conduct Rules, whrle containing sollle
The code of behaviour as rn b lute devotion to duty' and not lndulgln
general norms like 'maintaining rntegnty and a so ant' Is generally directed toward g
m conduct unbecoming of a government ' overnment servants. There is
cataloguing specific activities deemed undes!rab e. such codes exist in Othno
Code of Ethics prescribed tor civil servants

lndra da ct Rules which prohibit a set er

countries. What we have In India are several Con u ose but they do not constit Of
common activities. These Conduct Rules do serve a purp ' 'eneric norms' need t Ute
a Code of Ethics. There Is, of late, a concern that more 9 be
added to the list of accepted conduct.
In this context conflict of Interest Is an important area which should be adequately
addressed In these codes. It is necessary to build safeguards to prevent conflict of
Interest. A draft 'Public Service Bill' now under consideration of the Ministry of Personnel,
Public Grievances and Pensions seeks to lay down a number of generic expectations
from civil servants, which are referred to as "values". The salient 'values' envisaged in
the Bl/1 are:

Allegiance to the various Ideals enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution
Apolitical functioning
Good governance for betterment of the peopK! to be the primary goal of civil
Duty to act objectively and impartially
Accountability and transparency in decision-making
Maintenance of highest ethical standards
Merit to be the criteria in selection of civil servants consistent, however, with
the cultural, ethnic and other diversities of the nation
Ensuring economy and avoidance of wastage in expenditure
Provision of healthy and congenial work environment
Communication, consultation and cooperation in performance of functions
i.e. participation of all levels of personnel in management.
l1re dtaft Sill also envisages a Public Service Code and a Public Service Management
Dolfe aa,fng down more specific duties and responsibilities. Violation of the Code would
..., JQJIIIhrnenfs akin to the current major and minor penalties by the heads of
.,.,.,.., organizations. A 'Public Service Authority' is also envisaged to oversee
ol the Code and values indicated above and to render advice in the
uU. d,.WIIIue8andtheCode.
VAJIRA.M & RAVl --------
The various Issues discussed abo
are Important for all segments ot thve are not slgoiticant onty tor the civil services. \hey
their employees. After the 7
rd a and, eGually so, tor all local bodies and
bodies now have an Important r \he

of the Constitution, the local
executive powers. It Is essen to play In the nation's development and have ma\or
their employees, and tor any publ' at the tor relevant codes tor these bodies and
IC authonty, IS recognized.
In 1999, the Government ot Au
prescribes a set of Public S . stralia enacted the Australian Public Service Act, wr
of intent, but all employeeservlce Values. These are not merely aspirational stat"ments
Code even as senior expected to uphold these values and comply with the
the Service .are expected to promote these values. Interestingly,
t d h SSioner IS authorized to evaluate the extent to which agencies
incor.pora e an up old the values, and the adequacy ot the systems and procedures
requ1red to ensure compliance i'' h h
. . . w ' t e Code. He has both statutory powers and poi\C'J
These include an annual report to Parliament on the state ot the
includmg an evaluation ot the extent to which various agencies ot Government have
incorporated the values.
There should be a set of Public Service Values which should be stipulated by law. As in
the case of Australia, there should be a mechanism to ensure 'hat civil
constantly aspire towards these values. The values prescribed In the dratt Public
Services Bill, 2006 is a step in the right direction.
' .
It has been noticed that normally codes of conduct are prescribed tor a Along
with this, it would be desirable that organizations also prescribe codes of conduct. This is
particularly true of organizations having public interface.
The prevailing practice of nominating serving officers on the boards ot public sector
bodies may compromise with the desi red objectivity and independence necessary tor
decision making in these bodies. Also, the government is both the owner and \he
sovereign authority controlling the public undertaking. It would be unrealistic and
i mprudent for an official to sit in judgement of a decision taken by a Board ot whtch he 1s
a Member. There is a case for not nominating nor permitting serving to be
nominated on boards of public sector bodies since there could be a contllct ot 1nterest
There are codes of conduct tor professionals and other trades. In such
existed in society since time immemorial. For example, Hammurab\ s code P .
If a builder builds a house, and constructs it well, the owner w\1\ pa'f w.o
shekels for each surface of the house .
. . house tor someone, and does not construe\ l\ pcoperty
If a butlder bUtldshlah he built fa\ls down and ki\1 its owner, then that bU\\def
and the house w c '
shall be put to death.
C duct for diHerent sections of society
Tho proscription and enforcement of Guilds are the oldest Of
gonorally through Internal regulatory mac. of of the same Ira e or Pursuits
a mechanism. A guild was an standards. With the emergence oi
formod to protect mutua/ Interests an e or less ceased to exist. Howeve
I guilds have. mor ' f I . r,
competition and lndustrlallzat on, i number of pro ess ons, especially
tho last century has seen the emergence of a arg;hese professions Initially
what Is today termed as the services sector. der to pursue common objectives and
themselves Into different types of associations In to enforce them. In some
also to evolve acceptable norms of statutory backing. The Indian Medical
cases, such mechanisms
Counoll Act, 1956 (1 02 of th xlstence of a plethora of Codes of Conduct
1956) prescribes that the fi n professions, It Is often pointed out
' or a mo thl
norms has been generally
Council may prescribe that adherence to e ca hlcal values In the professions
standards of professional unsatisfactory. Decline din et the governance of the country
conduct and etiquette and a has Increasing corruption In public
Code of Ethics for medica/

The rolt of external regulators would also Increase as

practitioners. The Medica/ government's functions are thrown open. In such cases,
Council has accordingly prescribing ethical norms tor the regulators themselves as
11 for the service providers would become essential.
made regulations relating to we as
rt t would be evolution of objective
Even more mpo an ,
the Professional Conduct - transparent and fair decision making processes and
'Etiquette and Ethics for enforcement mechanisms.
Registered Medical L..:=:.:=::.:.:.:::.:.:...:.:.:.:.::.=_:_ ____________ -.J
Practitioners'. The Advocates Act, 1961 Incorporates the functions of the Bar Council of
India, which Include laying down standards of professional conduct and etiquette for
advocates. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 stipulates the creation of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants of India for regulation of the profession of chartered
accountancy in India. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Schedules to the
Act also set out the acceptable forms of behaviour of members of the profession. The
Press Council of India functions under the Press Council Act, 1978. It is a statutory,
quasi-judicial body, which acts as a watchdog of the press. It adjudicates the complaints
against and by the press for violation of ethics and tor violation of the freedom of the
press respectively. The objects and functions of the Council include laying down a code
of conduct for newspapers, news agencies and journalists in accordance with high
professional standards. The Press Council of India has issued the Norms of Journalistic
Conduct, to which the media is supposed to adhere. The Institution of Engineers
(Incorporated under the Royal Charter, 1935) has prescribed a 'Code of Ethics for
Cotpotate Members. '
Apart fiDm Internal regulators, there is another category of regulators, which may be
fletiiW 'External Regulators'. An example of an external regulator is the All India
Dllld d Technical Education (AICTE), which is a statutory body, established for
... I plllnnJng & co-ordinated development of the technical education system
... .,., lhs country. The introduction of competition in erstwhile governmental
anw '*...,the emergence of a number of 'External Regulators'. The Telecom
VAJlRA.l\1 & RAVl -------- Regulatory Authority of India a d
examples. n the State Power Regulatory Authorities are some other
Independence of tho judiciary

judiciary enjoying public contrd: mextncably linked with iudicial ethics. An independent
on the part of a judge, which de nee IS a necessity ol the rule ol law. Any conduct
the trust reposed in the a ol integrity and dignity, will undermine
therefore, always be above the Citizens. The conduct ot a judge should,
In the United States, Federal J d .
Judges, a set of ethical rinci u ges ?Y the Code ot Conduct tor United States
h United States. The p C pies and guldehrtes adopted by the Judicial Conference at
integrity and ind Ode of guidance tor judges on issues ol
!u d:cial activities, and and impartiality, permissible extra-
JU . . e avoidance of 1mpropnety or even its appearance. In Canada
there IS no Code of Conduct for federally appointed judges but,
pubhshed the Canadian Judicial Council over the years describe the
ethiCal to Which judges aspire. The Canadian Judicial Council was created in
1971, w1th a broad legislative mandate in the area ot judicial governance. The main
of is to promote efficiency and uniformity and to improve the quality
of jud1c1al serv1ce m all superior courts in Canada.
The Supreme Court of India in its Full Court Meeting held on May 7, 1997 unanimously
adopted a charter called the 'Restatement of Values of Judicial Life'. genera\\y known as
the Code of Conduct for judges. It reads as under:
a. Justice must not merely be done but it must also be seen to be done. 'The
behaviour and conduct of members of the higher judiciary must rea\\irm
the people's faith in the impartiality of the judiciary. Accordingly, any act ot
a Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, whether i n ollicial or
personal capacity, which erodes the credibility of this perception has to be
b. A Judge should not contest the election to any ottice of a club, society or
other association; further he shall not hold such elective office except in a
society or association connected with the law.
c. Close association with individual members of the Bar, particularly those
who practise in the same court, shall be eschewed.
d. A Judge should not permit any member of his i mmedi ate fami ly,
spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law or daughter-in-law or o e
relative, if a member of the Bar, to appear him or even be
associated in any manner with a cause to be dealt With by him.

membor of tho Bar, shall bo Porrtllt
hi familY whO
n ld h

o. No membor of s I w'hlch tho Judgo actually ros os or ot or facluu ..
to uso tho rosldonco n .. a
f professional work.
of aloofnoss consistent with tho dig .
A Judgo shOuld pracllso a degro l"llly
of his offico.
d doc/do 0 mattor in which a mombor of hi
g A Judgo shllll nor hear an concornod. s
., " close relation or a friond Is
am1y,.. h'
. bile dobolo or oxpross IS v1ews In PUb!'
h. A Judgo shall not en tor Into that are pending or are likely to arise fie
on political matters or on ma Or
judicial detorm/natlon.
I. A Judge is expected to let his judgments speak for themselves. He shau
not give interviews to the media.
j. A Judge shall not accept gifts or hOspitality except from his family, close
rotations and friends.
k. A Judge shall not hear and decide a matter in which a c
ompany in Which
he holds shares is concerned unless he has disclosed h s interest and no
objection to his hearing and deciding the matter is raised.
I. A Judge shall not speculate in shares. stocks or the like.
m. A Judge should not engage directly or indirectly In trade or business,
eith&r by himself or in association with any other person. (Publication of a
legal treatise or any activity in the nature of a hobby shall not be
constructed as trade or business).
n. A Judge should not ask for, accept contributions or otherwise actively
associate himself with the raising of any fund for any purpose.
o. A Judge should not seek any financial benefit in the form of a perquisite
or privilege attached to his office unless it is clearly available. Any doubt
in this behalf must be got resolved and clarified through the Chief Justice.
p. Every Judge must, at all times, be conscious that he is under the public
gaze and there should be no act or omission by him which is unbecoming
of the high office he occupies and the public esteem in which that office is
lheee are only the URestatement of the Values of Judicial Life" and are not meant to be
8lhauative but Illustrative of what is expected of a Judge.
nt. two Resolutions were also adopted in the said Full Court Meeting of the
._.... Coutt ol India; "RESOLVED that an in-house procedure should be devised by
a. HGn1llt Chief Justice of India to take suitable remedial action against Judges who by
their acts ot omission or co . . l -
1 I I rto I I dl mm
ss1on do
jud c a
nc u ng those indicated . not follow the universally accepted values ol
m the "Restate
Resolved further that eve ment ot Values ol Judicia\ Lite".
1 1 ry Judge should
form o rea estate or Investments (h make a declaration ot all his/her assets in \he
his/ her spouse or any persol\ d eld by him/her in hlslher own name or 1n the name ot
assuming ollice and In the case
on him/her) within a reasonable \\me ot
this Resolution and thereafter sitting Judges within a reasonable time of adoption ot
it shall be disclosed within a acquisition ot a substantia\ nature is made,
Chief Justice of the Court. The The declaration so made should be to the
purpose of the record. The de

Justice should mal<.e a similar declaration tor the
case may be, shall be made by the Judges or the Chiet Justice, as the
The Restatement of Values of J d' . . .
of ethics. As stated earlier u ICial IS a comprehensive but not exhaustive cocte
Along with tho Code
C mere prescnptlon of a Code of Conduct is not an end In itself.
I d
onduct, a mechanism for enforcing the code needs to be
evo ve .
It would be to designate a senior Judge of the Supreme Court as \he 'Judicial
Values ?ommlsstoner' The Judicial Values Commissioner should be empowered to
tnto of violation of the Code of Conduct and report the matter to the Chief
Justtce of India for taking action. The Judicial Values Commissioner should have
jurisdiction over the judges of the Supreme Court and members of other iudicia\ and
quasi-judicial bodies. '
A similar institution should also be constituted at the state level. Closely \inked with this
is the issue of judicial accountability. The need for an e11ective mechanism \or the
enforcement of judicial accountability cannot be overemphasized.
Judicial independence and accountability should go together. Article 235 o\ the
Constitution of India provides for the 'control' of the High Court over the subOfdina\e
judiciary, clearly indicating that the provision of an effective mechamsm to en\orce
judicial accountability is a part of our constitutional philosophy. But this does not in an-y
way compromise the Independence of the iudiciary at that level. In tact. it respects and
strengthens the directive principle of separation ot the iudiclary from the executive as
enshrined in Article 50 of the Constitution. It cannot be doubted that the independence ot
a subordinate judge is as important as that of a Judge in a High Court or in the Supreme
Court. If this is accepted, then there should be no reason not to an
accountability mechanism for the higher iudiciary. What then should be that mechamsm'?
Article 124 vests the power of appointment of the Chief Justice ot India {CJ\) and the
Judges to the Supreme Court in the President. It is stipulated \hat the President $ha\\
a oint a Judge of the Supreme Court, atter consu\\ation with such ot the JuQg s o' \h
:Up remo Court and of the High Courts as the President may deem necessary The
of Judges of the High Courts is o\
President has to consult the CJI, the o 23rd Ju\y 1998 \o the Supreme Coun
High Court . A Presidential reference was m;5 eon '
ld at/on by the Supreme Court. One
01 f ed for cons er J t1 f I di
fn which nme questions wore re err rt was that the Chief us ce o n a has to
the principles laid down by the Supreme Judges of the Supreme Court This is
form a collegium of four senior-most pus S eme Court or to transfer a High Court
dges to the upr 111 h
necessary tor appointments o u . on of the colleg1um w ave Pnmacy In
Chiof Justlco or a High Court judge, and _the if is open to the executive to inform lhe
the matter of appointments. It further clanfled
collegtum of its objections. .
. . d es are still of the v1ew that there is
However, if the Ch1ef Justice and his

,;at appointment should be made as

no reason to withdraw their recommendation,
., udges have serious reservations
a mattor of healthy convention. However, even 1 two J
about a particular appointment, then it should not be made.
Tho system of appointments to the higher courts, as stipulated by the and
as interpreted by the Supreme Court has always placed the highest premium on JUdicial
independence. In India, It Is only a coilegium of judges that to. the
names for elevation to the bench and there is no outs1de adv1ce for th1s
purpose. Judicial pronouncements have made the bindmg. in
no other country In the world does the judiciary have a final say '". 1ts appo1n_tments.
In India neither the executive nor the legislature has much say 1n who IS appo1nted to
the Sup;eme Court or the High Courts. The current system of appointments is not open
to public scrutiny and thus lacks accountability and transparency.
A closely related aspect of the accountability of judges is the mechanism for removal of
judges for deviant behaviour. Other than impeachment under Articles 124(4) and 217(1 ),
there is no mechanism to proceed against any inappropriate behaviour or misdemeanour
of judges. At the time of framing the Constitution, it was felt that judicial conventions and
norms would constitute strong checks. However, the impeachment provisions have
turned out to be impracticable as it is virtually impossible to initiate any impeachment
proceedings, let alone successfully conclude them. There are five stages, all of them
difftcult to accomplish.
First is a mandatory presentation of not less than hundred Lok Sabha members or fifty
Rajya Sabha members for giving notice. At the second stage, the Speaker or the
Chairman has to admit the motion; if he does not admit it, the matter ends there. In the
third s!age, if there is one, a committee is appointed to conduct an enquiry. The fourth
IS that the committee makes a report and forwards it to the Speaker or the
Chatrman. The fifth and final stage is reached wheri the two Houses of Parliament
proceed to act in the manner prescribed by Section 6(3) of the Judges (Inquiry) Act.
Inadequacy of the mechanism was affirmed in the K Veeraswami case, 1991 (3)
SCC 65536 and the mfructuous impeachment proceedings in the case of V Ramaswami
even after adverse findings of the Judges' Committee under the Judges Inquiry Act
The of appointment and removal of judges was examined by the National
CommtSslon to Rev1ew the Working of the Constitution. The Commission recommended
VAJIR..\M & RAVI -------
the constitution of a Nation
1 f bo a Udfclal c
partlclpat on o th the executlv ommlsslon which would have the et1ectlve
scheme for the machinery for ap e ,and the ludiclal wings of the State Mas an Integrated
po ntmem of ludges
The Government Introduced the C . .
sabha in 2003 This Bill sought t onstltutlon (Ninety-eighth Amendment) Bill in the Lok
bY the Ch1ef Justice of India a National Judicial Commission (NJC) headed
seniority; the Union M1nlster for L
Judges of Supreme next the CJI In
nominated by the Pres1dent in co aw and_ Justtce; and one emment c1t1z.en to be
also proposed to empower theN nsultatlon the Prime Minister, as members. The Bill
tor judges, and to inquire Into atlonal Commission to draw up a code of ethics
unishable with his/her remov I) Tca.ses_ of misconduct of a judge (other than those
a his Btll could not be passed.
The Law Commission in Its 195th R .
It stated: Judicial inde e ep?rt exammed the draft Judges (Inquiry) Bill, 2005.
untability are two 'd p ndence IS absolute. Judicial independence and
acco h 'th Sl es of the same com. The present proposals in the Bill of 2005
toget er

our_ recommendations for enabling the Judicial Council to impose 'minor

measures lncludmg stoppage of assignment of judicial work are constitutional. They
ought not to be viewed as an en h
. croac ment on Jud1c1al Independence by the Execut1ve
or by the Legislature.
The observed that the Bill of 2005, which provides tor the
of a National Judicial Council consisting only ot judges is constitutionally
valid and IS consistent with the concept of independence of the judic1ary. judicia\
accountability and doctrine of separation of powers.
While supporting the idea of a Code of Conduct for the Judiciary, it recommended tt'lat
the Code should be published in the Gazette of India, and til\ such time the Judicia\
Council publishes a Code of Conduct, the Bill must provide that the 'Restatement of
Values of Judicial Life' adopted by the Supreme Court in its Resolution dated May 7\h,
1997 shall be treated as the Code of Conduct for the purposes of the proposed law. 1\
also favoured the suggestion that a breach of the Code ot Conduct could be treated as
Government is contemplating introduction ot The Judges' (Inquiry) Bill, 2006. The Bill
seeks to establish a National Judicial Council to undertake preliminary investigations and
enquiring into allegations of misbehaviour and incapacity ot a Judge of the Supreme
Court or High Court and to regulate the procedure for such investigation, and
proof, and for imposing minor measures. It further provides the ?ounc1\ m the
interest of administration of justice, issue a code of conduct contamm.g gu1de\mes tor the
conduct and behaviour for judges. The Bill also provides that every 1udge at \lme o\
appointment and annually thereafter, shall give of h1s assets and \1ablll\i:
the Chief Justice of India or the Chief Justice of the High as may . \
h b
'ded that any person may make a comp\amt m wntmg IJwo\vmg any
as een prov1 . . f . d to the Counc
1. The Counc I
allegation of

that the charges proved Oo

thereafter may 1nqU1re tn o
e the prescribed minor In case
dge It may lmpos been proved are of senous natlJ
not warrant removal of the t cl,arges which the President accordingly. re
the Council Is satisfied tha } d e then it shalf adVISe
warranting the removal of the u g
BL-- ith univorsalfy accepted prlnclplos
hould be constituted. In Uno w ld be by a collegium havin
a. A National Jud!cial of the judiciary. shou The Council should have
where the appomtmont o . legislature and judiciary.
representation of tho oxecuuvo,
following composlllon: .
. f tho Council
Tho VlcePrcsldont as
The Pnme Mlnlstor
Tho Spoakor of tho Lok Sabha
The Chief Justice of India
The Law Minister
The Leader of the Opposition In the Lok Sabha
The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha .
ht f H'gh Court Judges, the Counc11 will
In matters relating to the appointment and overs1g o
also include the folloWing members:
The Chief Minister of the concerned Stale
The Chief Justice of the concerned High Court
b. The National Judicial Council should be authorized to lay down the Code of Conduct for
judges, including the subordinate judiciary.
c. The National Judicial Council should be entrusted with the task of recommending
appointments of Supreme Court and High Court Judges. It should also be the task
of oversight of the judges, and should be empowered to enquire into alleged m1sconduct and
impose minor penalties. It can also recommend removal of a judge if so warranted.
d. Based on the recommendations of the NJC, che President should have the powers to
remove a Supreme Court or High Court Judge.
e. Article 124 of the Constitution may be amended to provide for the National Judicial Council.
A similar change will have to be made in Article 217. Also, since the Council is to have the
authority to oversee and discipline judges, funher changes will need to be made to Article 217
(Clause 4).
f. A Judge of the Supreme Court should be designated as the Judicial Values Commissioner.
He/she should be assigned the task of enforcing the code of conduct. Similar arrangement
should also be made in the High Court.
the constitution of the National Judicial Council is a positive development in the
of ensuring greater judicial accountability, the composition of the Council needs
to be. broad based, and its powers enhanced so that it can exercise the necessary
_overs!ght of _judiciary. It is necessary to ensure that only candidates of the highest
ability are appointed to these courts and that, once appointed, they perform
the1r wtth htghest standards of integrity, honesty, dedication and competence. This
VAJlRAM & RAVl _______ _
requires most meticulous scrur
ensured if the National at the. time of appointment. Such scnrtiny would be
legislature and the judiciary. Counctl has represtlntation from the executive, \he
AS pointed out, the lmpeachm
the vital position of higher Co process for removing errant iudges has failed. Given
courts are playing to correctuths
scheme, and the critical role higher
organs of state, it is of para e "' the functioning of other institutions and
the higher judiciary In all mou.nt Importance to ensure both competence and integrity in
ma1or democrac e d b h ....
executive directly, or with th .
s, appotntments are ma e y e1t er ue
process by the legislature. e advice and consent of the legislature or through an e\ective
Appointment of judges in higher
slature and the Ch' f J . court.s should be with the participation o{ the executive,
. Th f le ustlce and 1t should be a bipartisan process above day-to-day
politiCS. t f ere the proposed National Judicial Council should comprise
a IVes
all three organs of State - the legislature, the iudiciary and the
Such a devise its own procedures in identi{ying and screening the
candidates for the h1gher JUdiciary .
Further, NJC should be entrusted with the responsibility of recommending removal ot
judges of higher courts. Such recommendations should be binding on the President, and
Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution should be amended accordingly. This rev\sed
procedure for removal of judges is necessitated by the failure of the impeachment
process in India. According to Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution, the President,
Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed trom ottice or
impeachment for, and conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and
misdemeanours. So far, 17 federal ofiicials including two Presidents, one Cabinet officer,
one senator and 13 federal judges faced impeachment proceedings. While the two
Presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were acquitted, one other President.
Richard Nixon chose to resign in the face of certain impeachment and removal. The
preponderance of judges among those who faced impeachment is ev\dent in the US. Out
of the 13 judges who were impeached, 9 were removed from office and 4 were
acquitted. Thus, the impeachment process worked satisfactorily in the US. But the failure
of the impeachment process in India, as well as the inability of the system to address
serious questions of probity in the judiciary necessitate a revised. transparent,
accountable and a bipartisan process tor enquiry into judicial misconduct and remova\ of
A bipartisan body compnsmg high dignitaries of great standing would be the kiea'
institution which can be entrusted with the grave responsibility of enc;u\nng tnto
complaints and charges against judges and recommending remova\. Accordmg\y' th
National Judicial Council , constituted as above, should have the power to enqutr ln\o
judicial misconduct and recommend to the . removal ot 1udges Su h
recommendations should be binding on the Pres1dent. Art1c\es 24 and 217 hou a
amended suitably. The NJC should have the power to devise 1ts own pro
discharge of its onerous functions.
------- VAnRAM & RAVI
be done by providing for It under Article

The Constitution of a NJC would
8). Simultaneously, changes would <I Of
the Constitution (and also Articles
) Act
8. The creation of such a Councu aJao
have to made In the Judges (lnqu ry e laws. Any change In the proce \Viq
require changes In three places In re ulre that Article 124 of the Constltuu
appointment to the Supreme Court
1 1
6 nell A similar amendment will hav n be
amended to provide for a National Judie a have the authority to overs e to be
made to Article 217. Also, since the Counc s e to Article 217 (Clause 4 ee and
discipline judges, further changes will need to be mad ).
VAJIRAM_ & RAVl _______ _
The major sub-heads covered
outlined below- under the topic Institutional tor\cs' are
1 . Existing Institutions/A
2. Evaluation Of The A
ntiCorruptlon Machinery In India
3. The Lok Pal
4. The Lokayukta
5. Ombudsman At The Local Level
6. Strengthening Investigation And Prosecution
A brief description of the above h b .
as een la1d in the forthcoming paragraphs.
Union Government
The Administrative Vigilance Division of the Department o1 Personnel&. iraining \s tne
nodal agency for dealing with VIgilance and Anti-corruption. Its tasl<.s, Inter alia, are to
and provide necessary directions to the Government's programme of
ma1nte.nance of discipline and eradication ot corruption trom the pub\\c seNices. ihe
other mstltutlons and agencies at the Union \eve\ are - ti) ihe Central Vigilance
Commission (CVC); (li) Vigilance units In the Ministries/Departments ot Government o1
India, Central public enterprises and other autonomous organ\sat\onsi and the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Central VIgilance Commission
In pursuance of the recommendations made by the Committee on Prevention ot
Corruption, popularly known as the Santhanam Committee, the Central V1gi\ance
Commission was set up by the Government of India by a Resolution dated '\' .2. \ l\
was accorded statutory status, consequent upon the judgement of \he Hon'b\e Supreme
Court in Vineet Narain v. Union of India, through the Centra\ VIgilance Commission Ac\
2003. The CVC advises the Union Government on all matters perta1n\ng \o \M
maintenance of integrity in administration. It exercises superintendence over \he
of the Central Bureau of Investigation, and also over the v\g\\ance adm n\atfdOn ot
various Ministries and other organizations ot the Union Government