DAY #119- Free GS Answer Writing Practice

1)You come across a report in the newspaper wherein during the drive undertaken by a Municipality to demolish dilapidated buildings one of the government servants has been assaulted publicly by the local MLA. The MLA belongs to the ruling party in the state. The MLA has blamed the official for taking bribes to illegally demolish houses, which are in good condition in the pretext of the drive to demolish dilapidated buildings. The MLA has claimed that few families were living in the houses and that the demolition drive was at the behest of some vested interests to grab the land.
(a) What are the issues involved in the case in your opinion?
(b) What are the options available in your view with the relevant actors to redress their concerns?

The given case relates to assault on a government servant in the course of his/her duty by a
representative of the people i.e. MLA. Further, the allegations of bribery have been levelled against the officer.

(a) The issues involved in this case are:

Assault on a government servant: This will lead to obstruction of official work and will affect the morale, self respect and dignity of the officers as a whole. Further, it may set a wrongprecedent of domination of government officers by elected representatives.

Allegation of bribery and corrupt practices against the government servant: Corruption erodes the faith of the people in the public service. However, charges need to be proven in the court of law. In the given case, the MLA has acted on the charges of corruption without verifying the claim.

Resorting to violence: Use of force by the local MLA on a public servant on duty is a violation of the law of the land.

Violation of right to adequate housing: Demolition drive may violate the right to adequate housing of the families living in the houses, which were demolished if the houses are in good condition and if it was done out of vested interests of the officer.

Creating fear psychosis: Lack of adequate security of the government officers discharging their official duties creates an atmosphere of fear.

(b) The relevant actors and the options available to redress their concerns are:

Government officer and his/her association:
o File a police complaint against the local MLA: It will ensure that the law takes its course and the MLA is punished for his/her unlawful behaviour by the court of law. It will also repose the faith of the public in the democratic institutions of the country.
o To go on a strike pending action against the MLA: However, this will lead to disruption of government work and also sensationalize the issue. Thus, it hampers the greater good in the long run and should be avoided.

Municipal Commissioner/ District Administration:
o Immediately file a police complaint against the local MLA under relevant laws.
o Enquire into allegations of houses being in good condition and land grabbing and take suitable action as per the findings of the enquiry.

Local MLA:
o Issue clarification regarding the use of force against a government official on duty.
o File a formal complaint about the alleged wrongdoings by the government officer involved in the demolition drive.
Residents of houses which were to be demolished:
o File a complaint with relevant documents to support the claim that the houses where they are living are in a good condition.
o Approach the appropriate authority seeking annulment of order of the demolition drive. Political party of which the MLA is a member:
o Launch an internal investigation into the incident and if found guilty, punish the MLA as per the rules of the party.

Interference in the functioning of government servants and their ill-treatment by those who hold political office undermine the efficacy of the institution of public service and dilute the faith of the public in the administration. Thus, there should be adequate safeguards and institutional mechanisms to ensure that public servants function without interference and intimidation.

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