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9: The PIO is just about any officer who is designated to give information
under the RTI. He has no extra powers. He has no business adjudicating on any
matter. He is essentially a post office. He has only to see whether the
information being sought falls within the purview of the RTI Act or not. Some
information, for example, being sensitive or personal in nature, is exempt from
the RTI. But this question makes it clear that the information being sought is
within the ambit of RTI otherwise he would have been concerned.
Now the question is that the information pertains to himself and some other
colleagues. Does not matter. The RTI is being sought from an officenot from
an individual. Hence even if the man chooses to go on leave or resign, the
information would still have to be given. If he does not give, somebody else will
be designated the PIO and he would have to give.
Option 3 is obviously unethicalit cannot be thought of.
Option 4 is absurd. Other colleagues have no locus standi in the matter.
That leaves Options 1 and 2.
Option 1 is what most people in real life would do. Let the boss decide what is
to be done. The boss is fully competent. He can decide what reply is to be given.
He may also decide to appoint another PIO altogether.
Option 2 appears attractive but the issue is how many times one could go on
leave or seek the matter to be transferred to another guy? There could be a RTI
application everyday and it could pertain to him directly or indirectly. Transfer
of the RTI to another man is the same thing as the boss appointing another PIO.
But there are limitations to this option for the boss also. How many people
could he keep on rotating amongst his officers for the post of PIO? There could
be RTIs involving all of themeven himself. What he would do then? He
cannot quit the office. Somebody has to bear responsibility at some point of
Thus option 1 with the above comments is the best option.
RTI is just informationit does not mean a decision. The PIO and others must
not bother about consequences. The law has no scope for this. One can always
contest in court if someone tries to abuse the information. And if they have
really done something wrong, they are bound (in an ideal scenario) to be caught
some dayevery department has a system of internal and external audit by
internal teams and AG/CAG etc.
Q. 10: Your primary responsibility as a human being is towards other fellow
human beings, Moreover, in a democracy, everything is done in the name of the
people? How can one compromise with the safety and lives of the people.
From this question, it is apparent that the chief engineer has given the advice
verbally. It has no value at all. This reminds me of Jaane bhi do yaaron. When

the flyover collapses, the chief engineer will wash his hands off the whole thing
and you will be crucified.
If the chief engineer is stupid enough to give his opinion in writing on the file
then you have every reason to go by his advice.
But if it is verbal, then you have to decide for yourself.
The public pressure for a quick completion be damned. There will be a
departmental inquirythe juniors will be punished. You may also be hauled for
supervisory lapse. But you cannot allow a moral crime as well as a
professional mistake to be committed knowingly. Why should you bother
about the loss to the contractoryou can, at best, bother about delay.
Option 5 is absurd.
Option 4 is vaguewhat is highlightingin government, there is nothing
called highlighting. If you take it to the media, you may be hauled
departmentally for violation of conduct rules.
Option 1 would not apply because it is apparent that the advice is verbal.
The immediate course of action would, to some kids, appear to be Option 3
because it would indicate that you have the interest of the people in mind and
you do not want the public to suffer because of the delayvery ethical sort of
guy. After all, you are in a responsible position. You cannot claim that every
decision will be taken by your bosses. You are an engineer. If you are competent
enough to detect a professional mistake, you are also competent enough to order
for its rectification.
But that does not end the matter. Government service demands more. It should
be followed immediately by action on Option 2. As you are morally
responsible towards the public, you are legally responsible towards the
department. You are bound to report the matter to the boss at length. You, in any
case, cannot skip this route whether you take Option 3 or not.
But there may be delay in disposal of the file by the chief engineer. He could
fall sick, just sleep over the file or whatever.
Hence when you put up the file you must mark it urgent and mention in the
note that since in your opinion going ahead with the defects would have
jeopardized the safety of the people, you have, in your considered opinion,
asked such-and-such corrective action to be taken and thats what you
recommend against the JEs.
Now there is a catch. The boss could argue that by ordering for certain
demolition and reworking on your own, you have caused delay. Hence the
safest course would be to stop the work for say two days and mention it in
the file that before going ahead with demolition and reworking, you are
seeking orders from the chief engineer. You may also mention that the
matter is urgent and hence the chief engineer may be pleased to take a
decision at the earliest.

You shall, of course, be prepared to face public criticism on account of stopping

the work. But the positive side of public outcry is that the chief engineer would
not find it easy to sleep over the file.
Thus Option 2 with the above comments.
Q11: You cannot be swayed by the fact that the industry has improved the
general economic condition in the area. Child labor is a crime. It has to be
stopped. It is not for you to bother about the consequences. The legislature must
bother over such larger issues.
This question does not clarify who you are. If you are an officer of the
government, you are duty bound to institute or ask for a detailed probe or
inquiry to be instituted by one who is competent to do so. If it is not your
department, you may write to the concerned department. Let the owner defend
himself in the inquiry and establish the truth. The inquiry will hinge on the legal
definition of the term relative. If the kids turn out to be some sort of relative by
some stretch of definition, he is in the clear. You must then forget about the
matter and attribute it to some unavoidable grey areas in the laws. If they are
not, he will face the consequences.
You cannot keep on sulking that this would deprive their families of whatever
little they bringit is for the legislature to think overif the argument is
carried a bit too far, even child prostitution will have to be allowed.
If you are a private person, you can only raise it in the media. One Dr. Kailash
Satyarthi had led a campaign against child labor in carpet industry of Bhadohi.
Q 12: This is too simple a question. You cannot let organizational interests,
however great they be, come in the way of an ethical consideration. You cannot
afford to be unethical even if the recommended candidate is otherwise meeting
the minimum required qualificationsafter all, there is going to be a
competition amongst various candidates.
Organizational interests will be taken care of by themselves in due course
otherwise also, there are many forums where you can raise themmeetings,
conferences, seminars. You can deftly drop a hint even during official press
conferences that such-and-such proposals of the institute are pending and once
they are cleared, the institute will make great progress. You will not have
committed any violation of conduct rules. But that would mount media pressure
on the government.
Q13: Same as above. The builder might have an excellent track record. Does
not matter. You cannot be unethical. There could be somebody better than him
in the fraythere has to be fair competition.
Q. 14: Rather simple. What this man has done is an offence under the new Act.
Vishakha guidelines are also there. You have no option but to proceed according

to the Vishakha guidelines and the Act otherwise you would be committing the
same mistake as Shoma Choudhary. His being a star performer does not make
any difference. The Romans had a saying: ruat justitia fiat caelum: let justice be
done, the universe may perish.
The woman has made a complaint. You have to proceed according to the Act.
Read the salient features of the Act. Incidentally, it also provides for a
compromise. If a compromise is brought about, the man could be let off with a
warning. He could also be counselled that he has a bright future in the
organization and he should not throw it all away for this weakness of character.
May be he would come round. That way organizational interests would also not
But no such counselling can be done before initiating action under the Act.
Incidentally, I had read somewhere that thought he President gave his
assent in April, the GoI is yet to notify the Actyou may check the
As for the womans resignation, you need not accept it immediately. You can
always call her and tell her that action is being taken. Once action is taken
against the erring man, this would, most probably, satisfy the woman and she
would take back the resignation.
However, in the situation that the woman is so much disgusted that she would
neither take back the resignation even after action is promised, nor does she go
ahead with a police complaint, then you are helpless. You would still go through
the motions of the inquiryit is a different thing that charges may not be
In the scanned copy, the options for this are not there.