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ETHICS CASE STUDY: Following are the options before you. Examine their merits and demerits. Also suggest which course of action you will take apart from those mentioned below:

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration; Ethical concerns and dilemma

9) You are posted as Deputy Commissioner of a backward district. In recent years a farm crisis has hit poor farmers in this district and many are resorting to suicide pushed by debt burden and other factors. There were many protests outside your office demanding waiver of their loans. You were officially told by Chief Secretary not to personally meet agitating farmers as there was risk to your life if situation went out of hand. You were asked to go for field visits on occasions of such protests. In a recent protest, a farmer tries to commit suicide by consuming poison in front of your office despite the presence of  police force. Even though he was rushed to hospital, he could not be saved. Next day, media and farmers’ organisations accuse you of causing the death of this farmer. They accuse you that you did not appear and hear his grievances personally. They are calling for your  suspension by the government. The district in-charge minister promises these organisations that the state government would be soon taking action against you.

Following are the options before you. Examine their merits and demerits. Also suggest which course of action you will take apart from those mentioned below:

a) Take a leave and abscond for two months

b) Submit resignation accepting responsibility for the farmer’s death

c) Seek an independent probe for the death of farmer and continue to work in the office ignoring media accusation

d) Go before the media with an explanation and apologise publicly to farmer’s family and agitating organisations

The Hindu