[Answered]“Non-performance of duty by a public servant is a form of corruption”. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual introduction.

Body. Discuss arguments in favour and against the non-performance of duty as a form of corruption.

Conclusion. Way forward.

Transparency International regards corruption as abuse of power which erodes the fabric of society. It undermines people’s trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. Non-performance of one’s duty is considered to be next to corruption depending upon the situation and intent. One can’t judge just non-performance of duty as corruption without analysing the reason behind it.

Non-performance of duty as a form of corruption:

Dedication towards the job is one of the core expectations from a public servant and not performing that act is considered to be next to corruption. But the reasons leading to not performing the duty has to be taken into account before conclusion.

Arguments in support:

  1. Misleading public: Not doing duty is like hiding something from the public domain. By non performance one is creating a sense of misleading acts that is equal to corruption.For example, A public official fails to clear pension of a citizen leading to failure to perform his duty.
  2. Going against the order: A public official is expected to follow the rules and regulations according to the government. It is necessary to do as instructed in order to keep the sanctity of the institution intact. Failure to follow instructions can be compared to corrupt practice. For example, A public official is ordered to evict illegal construction and failure to do so will create a perception that the official has taken a bribe to avoid eviction.
  3. Unprofessionalism: Professionalism is one of the major features of a public official and he/she needs to maintain it at all levels. Not keeping up with work expectations can be considered to be corrupt. For example, A police official failing to reach the site of the crime deliberately.
  4. Against basic rights: All civil servants are entrusted with public duty for the welfare of the masses. Negligence to the public duty cost masses by loss of their freedom, health, education, rights and even life sometimes, and hence, nonperformance of duty by a public servant is also a form of corruption. For example, A doctor not reaching hospital on time threatens the life of the patients or a teacher not performing his duty not only endangers the future of children but of society as a whole.
  5. Illegal: Prevention to the Corruption Act considers non-performance of public duty as an offence. Thus, non-performance of duty by public servants for which they are morally, legally and constitutionally mandated to do, is a form of corruption.
  6. Wastage of resources: It is the duty of all public servants to ensure that the public’s money is spent as efficiently as possible and that programs are provided effectively, without discrimination or prejudice, with transparency and without waste of money or resources.

Arguments against:

  1. Inner consciousness: Sometimes the duty a public official is expected to perform may not be ethically right. In such case the official may decide against doing his duty. For example, public servant may reject to follow some orders as it may harm community interests.
  2. Technical problems: Unintentional situations may arise that may prevent official from performing his duty. This does not mean that he/she is practicing corruption. For example, connectivity problems may prevent official from doing his/her duty.
  3. Other bottlenecks: Non-performance of duty by a public servant may be due to lack of coordination, lack of human power and budget.

Thus, we can conclude that in all cases not performing duty doesn’t translate to corruption. But not performing them deliberately without a valid reason can be considered a grave offence. Therefore, it is essential for every civil servant to perform their duty as mandated in order to uphold the constitutional values and become a vehicle for change in the life of masses, so that common public can enjoy what they are entitled to.

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