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Mains Practice Questions

  • Case Study

    Recently, in a tragic incident occurred in west Delhi where a 20-year-old woman was found naked and dead. She had been dragged beneath a car for 12 kilometers. According to reports, the occupants of the car, which included the son of a ruling party president, were aware that the woman was trapped under the car but chose to keep driving in order to avoid getting caught. Additionally, there is reported pressure on the police by the ruling party to resolve the case quickly and protect the accused.

    As a IPS officer you were given responsibility to handle the case, what would you do in this scenario?

    20 Jan, 2023 GS Paper 4 Case Studies

    Approach

    • Start your answer by briefly introducing the about various stakeholders involved in the case.
    • Discuss ethical issue and ethical dilemmas involved in the case.
    • Discuss the course of action that should be taken by IPS officer.
    • Conclude by giving suggestions so that these types of incidents could be curtailed.

    Introduction

    • Stakeholder involved:
      • All the accused who were in the vehicle
      • Local Police
      • Local administration
      • President of ruling party
      • Family members of the victim
      • Family of all the accused
      • Society at large
    • Ethical issues involved:
      • Empathy: Empathy of IPS officer, society and individual for the victim.
      • Impartiality: The need for IPS officer to do his duty without any fear or favor and not taking any sides despite facing pressure.
      • Insensitivity for human life: The fact that the woman was dragged beneath a car for 12 kilometers, and that the occupants of the car were aware of her presence but chose to keep driving, is a clear indication of their disregard for human life.
      • Gender-based violence: The fact that the victim was a young woman and that her body was found, suggests that the crime may have been motivated by a desire to control and subjugate women.
      • Injustice: The fact that the accused is the son of a ruling party president also raises questions about privilege and power.
        • If the accused is found guilty, it is likely that he will receive special treatment and leniency due to his connections, which is unjust and undermines the principle of equality before the law.
      • Sensitization of media: Additionally, the case raises questions about the role of the media in reporting such incidents. If the media is not careful in how they report the case, it could perpetuate stereotypes and perpetuate the victim-blaming culture.
    • Ethical Dilemmas involved:
      • Rule of Law vs Political pressure: The potential pressure from political figures or other influential parties to protect the accused or to resolve the case quickly, or whether to follow rulebook and do proper investigation of the case.
      • Private life vs professional life: There is possibility of potential for bias or prejudice to influence the investigation or the handling of the case.
        • This could include any preconceived notions about the victim or the accused, or any personal or professional relationships that may exist between the officer and the parties involved.

    Body

    • Choices in front of IPS officer:
      • As an IPS officer, my first choice would be to ensure that justice is served in this case, regardless of any political pressure. My actions would include:
        • Protecting the integrity of the investigation by ensuring that it is not influenced by any external pressures or influences and follow code of conduct of IPS officer.
          • Merits: This step could lead to justice being served and could help to restore credibility to the police department.
          • Demerits: The IPS officer may face serious repercussions in their professional life, such as being denied further promotions or facing other consequences.
      • My second choice as an IPS officer would be to hush up the case and to give in to the political pressure created by the ruling party. This would involve:
        • Helping to fudge evidence and ignoring society, my conscience, and empathy for the victim.
        • Attempting to calm down the pressure of society by finding poor people to act as scapegoats and portraying them as the victims, in order to save the real culprits.
          • Merits: This action could benefit the IPS officer personally, as they may gain transactional benefits from the President of the ruling party. They may also be able to secure easy promotions and good connections within the system.
          • Demerits: This action would dent the justice system and could lead to people losing trust in the government, as justice would be denied to the victim through manipulation of the rules and regulations by the accused. Additionally, it would go against the IPS officer's code of ethics and moral principles.
      • My third choice would be to ask my seniors to transfer this case to someone else or ask for transfer in service, so, that I could get relief from highly controversial case.
        • Demerits: As it would be unethical on the part of IPS officer to run away from challenging situations in life and could harm the justice process. Further, running from situation could harm his decision-making capabilities.

    Conclusion

    • As an IPS officer, it is important to prioritize justice and integrity in the investigation of a case. While the first choice may result in potential consequences for the officer, it ultimately upholds the integrity of the justice system and serves the best interest of the victim and society.
      • On the other hand, succumbing to political pressure and manipulating evidence to protect the accused would ultimately damage the credibility of the justice system and go against the officer's code of ethics and moral obligations.
      • Therefore, the best option for an IPS officer in this case would be to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation to ensure that justice is served.

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