Ethics Case Study – 6:
Ajay Mishra, a senior IAS officer has come to be known as an eccentric officer thanks to his show of brutal honesty in public service. But his friends and colleagues who know him personally respect and love him a lot for his vast knowledge and affability.
Recently he was shunted out of a prominent department as a punishment transfer as Managing Director to an ailing state cooperative milk federation. It was his fifth transfer in three years. Not able to cope up with her husband’s frequent transfers to east-west and north-south parts of the state, Ajay’s wife is sick for many years now and the children have moved out to foreign countries on the pretext of higher studies never to come back.
The chairman of state milk federation is a powerful politician very close to the Chief Minister. Ajay, in his first month of duty itself comes to know about many irregularities in the functioning of the federation and high-handedness of the chairman in financial matters.
A board member belonging to a political party opposed to that of the chairman and who has a good chance of becoming chairman once the incumbent steps down or resigns, meets Ajay privately and hands over few documents and a secret video recording where the chairman appears to be demanding huge bribe for releasing funds to district milk unions. The video clearly shows that it is indeed the chairman asking a director of a district union for bribe.
As soon as Ajay took over incharge as MD, the chairman was demanding speedy disbursal of funds to district unions which was pending for many months.
Ajay confronted the board member why he didn’t go public with the video himself. The member told him that he is actually blackmailing the chairman for some time now and he is not yielding to his threats as he is being shielded by the CM. The board member now wants MD to confront the chairman and go public himself as this would give the MD fame and public support. The board member has had requested leader of the opposition party to pressurize Ajay and it had worked too. Ajay is now being pressurized by prominent leaders of the opposition parties, privately, to go against the chairman. They are offering him a lucrative post in the capital once they come to power. And they want to embarrass the government.
Ajay, if he confronts the chairman, is sure to be transferred immediately to a distant district again. His wife whose mental status is deteriorating day by day is not in a condition to move again to a new place.
On the other hand, the opposition party is gaining ground in the state and is sure to come back to power soon. The board member wants to use Ajay for his political gain by using him as pawn.
What should be Ajay Mishra’s course of action in the present situation? (250 Words)