Ethics Case Study No 2 by ClearIAS.com related to Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude (Civil Services Mains Paper 5): Readers can post answers in the comment-space provided.
Ethics Case Study No 2 : Your Son In Trouble
Question: You are in a top administrative position in a state. You have a loving family – wife and son being the other members. You have reputation of commitment towards work and public service. You love your son so much and have high regard for the bright future for him.
Your son got an offer to study abroad when he was around 18, and when it was only weeks left for his travel, on a pleasure trip in car with his friends, he accidentally ran over a pedestrian. It was your son who drove the car and as per his friends he was under mild influence of alcohol. The pedestrian was killed, and you are shocked to hear the news.
You are not sure if your son can handle the subsequent mental torture by police and court proceedings. The victim’s relatives who utilize the situation to earn some quick money approach you and offer to settle the case without much complications and court proceedings, if you give them 10 lakh rupees.
You are now in an ethical dilemma that, if you move as per the legal course, it will take time for a solution. As there was fault with his son, there is every chance that the verdict will be negative to him. Besides he will lose his higher education possibilities in US. The pedestrian who got killed, as per his relatives, was a nuisance to the society when he was alive, and there are not many who weep over his death. They are happy to close the case for the mentioned amount.
In this situation, what will you do?
Hint and areas to be touched: For this ethics case study, analyse the situation well. Does a utilitarian approach suit this case? Should you move ahead on practical lines or as per rule book? Are there other solutions?
sarah mallick says
This seems to be a herculean situation and with such temprament of the relatives it is posed as a more daunting task.according to me i would go by the legal procedures and would request the court to lessen the punishment and would also present the offer of the family which may be taken into consideration for an out of court settlement,if the law permits.but being a responsible
administrator i would opt for the legal procedures and abide by the law rather than provide the sum of money and close the case.
YOU rather have many choices here being a civil services officer you can only show concern towards your son and let the court decide what and how to punish him and being a father hire a good lawyer and defend your son on the same side knowing that he is a good person who will definately be a good part of the society later.
It will be critical towards my duties if I would get influenced by emotions only.I would help the victims’s family as humanity as well as leave the decision on the court so that my son can learn a lesson for future….along this will try my level best to help him in career making after completing punishment.
1. I will reject the offer of relatives to settle the case. If my son has committed a heinous crime he will have to bear the consequences.
2. I will also try to convince my son that if he was guilty then don’t try to waste time of investigating agencies and Court. He should rather cooperate them.
3. I will convince my son that it’s not end of life for him. He will have to be prepared for the new one after completing the terms of punishment.
It is practical answer indeed. If you notice that you are not only his father but also a top administrative officer. As You’re actions will also will also affect your reputation as you also hold the position of top administrative officer.
i wil keep that matter to the legal proceedings because i have a faith in legal system and our judiciary ….in this case my son is good person and the matter of this accident is directly influence of the situation of his freinds circle and age factor..court decide the appropriate punishment for him..by considering his previous record..but as a father i will manage a good lawyer for him……
Firstly being a father i will check the whole incidents followed by hiring a good lawyer. As we have faith in our judicial & legal systems of country which is now becoming more real from virtual , i will leave the case on court. Being a father i know the reactions of my decision, i will tell him to take this as a lession and dnt do things which can take you to be unhuman.
Secondly i will support to the victim family with full-fleged economically as well as personally.
considering the facts ,under my influence I would ask investigating authority to make special investigation as my son found guilty of crime according to his friends and I have firm faith in what I have taught to my son in his early life..
Here pedestrian who killed on a road accident,
The family who is dependent on pedestrian need money for there future.
So, I will give the money TO THE DEPENDENTS OF PEDESTRIAN and settle the issue.
also , The son being a responsible citizen has to be punished for the cause/ guilt.
I would go by the court proceedings. As I’m not only the father but also a administrative officer. My actions will define actions of a administrative officer.
As my son has committed a serious crime, though unintentionally but still has committed. I would offer a amount of money to the family of the victim but only after the end of the case or in front of authority. As father I can only hope for short sentence and guide my for future.
In such incidence i will take following steps
1. will provide some monetary relief to family member of deceased,as per govt rule or from my side.
2. Will hire a good lawyer for my son.
3. will cooperate with law and order agencies as well as court.
Conclusion: As a whole this will maintained the image of a bureaucrat and father both and will set a good example among people. this incidence will give a flavor of life to my son also.
According to me i will give mentioned money to the family because victim familys willing to take money and my son is nearer to juvenile age killing is not his intension after due court process may be my son not convict but i can surely lessen the pain of the victim family by giving money
Dharampal Choudhary says
according to me there are two things to consider-
1. being a father , its my responsibility to protect my son
2. being a top administrator of the state , its my duty to provide justice to deceased and punishment to the culprit
now if i go with the legal way , it’ll take time and the most probabily the decision will go against my son even if i hire a good advocate .so his future will get destroy and he will not be able to do study in US again.
second thing if i provide money to the deceased’s relatives , they will close the case and the problem will be solved but this will give the neagtive thinking of society towards bureaucrates.
so finally conclusion is i’ll go with the legal way but at the same time will try to convince the court that the deceased was nuisance to the society (according to the relatives) and the death was unintentional and in the court i will offer economical help to the deceased family. rest i’ll leave on the court
URVIBEN KISHORBHAI VADI says
S. Aravind says
I will go for legal proceedings. Either being a top Administrator or a layman, I should abide the law of the land. No one has the right to harm others. But taking others life is a crime indeed. That too consumption of alcohol and driving over a pedestrian is not an accident. Rather it is an incident that is induced. Giving the family the money they demand may devalue the person’s life. Also backing my son could not be the right choice as he can repeat the mistake again. So, being a father i will face the legal proceedings and support him legally for the betterment of his future. Also this can be a good example for being a good father and a Human Being among the society.
Akshay kumar says
Here the case is all about invincible ignorance(which is unintended action) I’ll follow the following procedures: 1)as the father I’ll always intended to protect my son even he is accused of something but as an Administrator it is my professional obligation to ensure justice to victim’s family as this case mentioned that the deceased person as anti social element so I’ll arrange a good Lawyer to defend this case however this is happened suddenly if the victim is a bread winner of a family I’ll provide a monetary assistance to their family as per law ….
2)it’s my duty to punish the culprit as a good administrator as it no where should lead to loose hope on administrators,and our Legal judicial system ,,,I am confident that judicial view on my son’s case is it doesn’t affect his future studies as he acted upon invincible ignorance
Bhai Mai to Apne Launde ko bachaaounga..kaddu se pedal yatri mara ho.. kaddu k liye road par chal Raha tha.. usko Paidal waale road par Chala chaaiye tha…
What would my stands-:
1- I will give money to victim and sort out matter.
2- after that I will give lesson to my son that accident must be in very unique manner next time.. means when you committ accident make sure you should not catch by police.
3- afterwards i will send him to US and with lesson that if you drive in US than please do not drink desi Alcohol, you would rather drink High quality alcohol so that you will not committ accident.
Vijayalakshmi D says
In this case, there is no clarity why my son ran over pedestrian. There is two possible way for this accident 1) Unintentionally my son met with an accident and fault might be on son 2) Pedestrian may be the reason for this accident.
Secondly, we need to investigate clearly fault on which side. If fault on my son, i would convince pedestrian relative that i will take care of pedestrian family such as education, food and all. And i will deny to give 10Lakh rupees. If fault on pedestrian, i would talk with pedestrian relative and will explain accident happened due to pedestrian.
Thirdly, If pedestrian family are convinced i will ask them to cancel the filed case. If they are not convinced, i will let them to take with legal course of action. Because, this action will not affect my son US studies as he has not done any fault. Till judgement, i will let my son to be faced this issue legally.
Hence, Balanced approach goes to pedestrian family as well as to son.
As a loving father, I should engage myself to my son’s future. But It’s not enough for a good father who had to help his son to be in ethical manner as don’t consume alcohol or atleast don’t drunk and drive.
However, In this situation I will obey the law. Make my son to accept his guilty to escape from police torture. Court may sentence him that will spoil his future so i will engage myself more to regenerate my son’s future after his release. In this situation The court may direct my son to pay some amount to benefit the dead person’s family. So, I need more money to pay courts order, fine and to improve my son’s future.
But the dead one is nuisance to the society and even his family also wants his end.
As per my personal ethics, The person engaged nuisance to society and his own family is not need to live and worthy. so I will pay the amount the family claim & make this case withdraw. Make my son free & also make him to ethical person by his guilt before his U.S. future.
Aakanksha chaudhary says
As I am an administrator and also a dad of my son who got an opportunity to go abroad and complete his higher education there, but unfortunately he has done a crime whose case is petitioned in the court now.
As an administrator i will choose legal approach to deal with the guilty and i would not prefer to give money to the relatives of the victim.
And as a parent i would love to teach my son a lesson that the life is giving him.. And make him understand that the rules and regulations are made for us, to abide them and not to break them.
As these kind of cases is mostly done by youths so wherever i get a chance to make them understand the social norms i will love to do that.
Lastly i make the victims’ relative realize that a human being is much bigger than money, so never ever make that exchange offer.
Ad i will also make my son understand that start a new life as challenges ae meant to be challenged and our life is a beautiful challenge.