Bureaucrats Duty-Bound to Preserve Dignity of the Country: HC

New Delhi
Bureaucrats Duty-Bound to Preserve Dignity of the Country: HC

The role of bureaucrats in the Haryana teachers recruitment scam today came under sharp attack from the Delhi High Court which said those guilty were essentially the "authors of the crime" who had "flagrantly" violated the law and "betrayed the trust" reposed in them.

Observing that the magnitude and ramifications of the crime warranted a strict view, Justice Siddharth Mridul said, "Authors of the crime were essentially public servants who were duty bound to preserve and uphold the dignity of India. Yet they chose to flagrantly violate law, betraying the trust reposed in them by citizens and Constitution."

Quoting American activist Martin Luther King Jr, the judge said, "Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless."

He observed that the five convicts --O P Chautala, his son Ajay, Sher Singh Badshami and the two IAS officers Vidya Dhar and Sanjiv Kumar-- offended the duties of their office and forced other public servants to become part of the crime.

The court observed that bureaucracy cannot escape the "excitement and the responsibility of this immense social commitment of the Welfare-State".

"Today the bureaucracy in this country carries with it, in a measure never before dreamt of, the privilege and the burden of participation in a great social and economic transformation in tune with the ethos and promise of the Constitution for the emergence of a new egalitarian and eclectic social and economic order-a national commitment which a sensitive, devoted and professionally competent administrative set-up alone can undertake.

"A cadre comprised of men inducted through patronage, nepotism and corruption cannot, morally, be higher than the methods that produced it and be free from the sins of its own origin. Wrong methods have never produced right results. Nepotism and corruption are gnawing at the vitals of our country," it said.

The court also noted that the convicted public servants succumbed to the pressure of their bosses. "I am of the opinion that being public servants they have a bounden duty to uphold the law and fiercely protect confidence bestowed upon them on taking charge of their office.

"They, however, were pressurized by their bosses to aid and assist in preparation of another list devoid of any merit.

"They succumbed to the pressure and resultantly this scam was able to have far reaching effect in all 18 districts in Haryana. As fate would have it, the scam was unearthed and the guilty have been convicted," it said.

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