Ethics-Law connect
Editorial

Ethics-Law connect

December 20, 2019

Both the citizens of the land and the civil servants of the executive wing in administration are required to comply with the stipulations stated in the Constitution as well as the Acts that spell the rules and regulations enacted as amendments in order to enable the diaspora to live orderly life, particularly in a democratic set up such as ours. In addition to the Constitutional provisions, the life of people at large shall get enriched if the civil servants adhere to ethics and conform to humane behaviour with all who seek the services from the persona in administration. However, no law mandates civil servants to be humane and accessible, the two shortcomings of administration, although the expectations from the citizens are often not met.

Ethics and humane outlook on the part of officials in the entire hierarchy as they carry on their duties and responsibilities, whether these are stated explicitly or not, while the attributes give an enormous amount of satisfaction to the officials also results in gratification to the citizens. The two components of governance, namely ethics and law in intimate contact, is debatable as well as a question that is begging for a cogent answer.

Elected representatives of people are administered the oath of loyalty to the nation as they are formally inducted as members of various legislative bodies as well as to the offices such as members of the Cabinet in the Government. Public image of these worthies being what it is, conduct of each officer not only sets example to others but also impacts law and order in the land.

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Rules and regulations reflecting the authority of the official machinery virtually setting the proper conduct of the citizens in a civil society require their formal codification while ethical behaviour has to conform to certain socially acceptable conduct that may not be codified. Violation of law in the form of rules and regulations invites punitive measures consistent with the nature and extent of violation while compromising ethical behaviour at best invites distasteful remarks from those who are witness to such unedifying conduct. The terms, business and ethics, seem to serve as a good example of the figure of speech oxymoron according to English grammar. While civil servants are governed by the principle of impartiality, as required in the conduct of elections to the various legislative bodies of the country, protecting the interests of the organisation to which one belongs is the duty of all who work for the organisation.

Lastly, the influential citizens are known to twist and turn the course of laws, the poor are at the mercy of the officials who interpret and implement the law, upholding the attribute of ethics. Money in large amounts plays spoilsport in the work-life of civil servants, as reported in the media and talk of the town.

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