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UPSC Mains 2022

The Supreme Court has banned mining in the Aravalli Hills to stop degradation the forest cover and to maintain ecological balance. However, the stone mining to still prevalent in the border district of the affected State with connivance of certain corrupt forest officials and politicians...

General Studies Paper - 4, Topic: Case Studies

Jan 06, 2023

5 min read

Question

 

The Supreme Court has banned mining in the Aravalli Hills to stop degradation the forest cover and to maintain ecological balance. However, the stone mining to still prevalent in the border district of the affected State with connivance of certain corrupt forest officials and politicians. Young and dynamic SP who was recently posted in the affected district promised to himself to stop this menace. In one of his surprise checks with his team, he found loaded truck with stone trying to escape the mining area. He tried to stop the truck but the truck driver overrun the police officer, killing him on the spot and thereafter managed to flee. Police filed FIR but no breakthrough was achieved in the case for almost three months. Ashok who was the Investigative Journalist working with leading TV channel, suo moto started investigating the case. Within one month, Ashok got breakthrough by interacting with local people, stone mining masia and government officials. He prepared his investigative story and presented to the CMD of the TV channel. He exposed in his investigative report the complete nexus of stone mafia working with blessing of corrupt police and civil officials and politicians. The politician who was involved in the mafia was no one else but local MLA who was considered to be very close to the Chief Minister. After going through the investigative report, the CMD advised Ashok to drop the idea of making the story public through electronic media. He informed that the local MLA was not only the relative of the owner of the TV channel but also had unofficially 20 percent share in the channel. The CMD further informed Ashok that his further promotion and hike in pay will be taken care of in addition the soft loan of 10 lakhs which he has taken from the TV channel for his son’s chronic disease will be suitably adjusted if he hands over the investigative report to him.

 

A. What are the options available with Ashok to cope up with the situation? 

 

B. Critically evaluate/examine each of the options identified by Ashok. 

 

C. What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by Ashok? 

 

D. Which of the options, do you think, would be the most appropriate for Ashok to adopt and why?

 

E. In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for police officers posted to such districts where stone mining illegal activities are rampant? 

 

Answer

 

A. The options available to Ashok to cope with the situation include:

 

  • Handing over the investigative report to the CMD of the TV channel as instructed: This option would allow Ashok to avoid any potential negative consequences for his career and personal finances, but it would also mean compromising on his professional ethics and potentially allowing corruption and illegal activity to continue unchecked.

 

  • Refusing to hand over the investigative report: This option would allow Ashok to stand by his principles and expose the corruption and illegal activities of the stone mafia, but it could result in negative consequences for his career, including the loss of his job and potential promotions.

 

  • Seeking guidance from superiors or external sources: This option would allow Ashok to seek guidance on how to handle the situation and potentially get support for his actions, but it may not guarantee any specific outcomes and could still result in negative consequences for his career.

 

B. If Ashok chooses to hand over the investigative report to the CMD of the TV channel as instructed, he would be compromising on his professional ethics and potentially allowing corruption and illegal activity to continue unchecked. This option would also potentially expose Ashok to criticism from his colleagues and the public for going against his journalistic principles.

 

If Ashok chooses to refuse to hand over the investigative report, he would be standing by his principles and exposing corruption and illegal activities. This option could potentially have positive consequences for Ashok's reputation and credibility as a journalist, but it could also result in negative consequences for his career, including the loss of his job and potential promotions.

 

If Ashok chooses to seek guidance from superiors or external sources, he could potentially get support for his actions and find a way to expose the corruption and illegal activities without risking his career. However, this option may not guarantee any specific outcomes and could still result in negative consequences for Ashok's career.

 

C. The ethical dilemma faced by Ashok is the conflict between upholding his professional ethics as a journalist and exposing corruption and illegal activities, and avoiding negative consequences for his career and personal finances.

 

D. The most appropriate option for Ashok to adopt would be to refuse to hand over the investigative report to the CMD of the TV channel. While this option may be the most difficult and potentially risky for Ashok, it is the only one that allows him to maintain his integrity

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