Solved Ethics Papers

Q2(a) Positive and Negative Interpretation of Rules and Regulations

   Q 2 (a): The Rules and Regulations provided to all the civil servants are same, yet there is difference in the performance. Positive minded officers are able to interpret the Rules and Regulations in favour of the case and achieve success, whereas negative minded officers are unable to achieve goals by interpreting the same Rules and Regulations against the case. Discuss with illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10


The intention (niyati) of the civil servant is often more important than the rules (niti). Almost every rule and regulation can be interpreted in multiple ways. Good officers interpret the rules to provide justice and deliver the result most efficiently. However, the negative-minded officers try to find loopholes in the law to delay the matter to show their power, please their bosses or make illegal money. Good officers use their discretion to help people, while bad ones use their discretion to harass and exploit people.

For example, a  good tax officer detecting a case of tax evasion tries to recover full taxes using his discretion including a reasonable fine and penalty, while a bad tax officer threatens the assessee with the highest fine, penalty and arrest to make illegal money and harass taxpayers. Similarly, a  good police officer focuses on major criminals and makes petty accomplishes approver, while a negative-minded police officer arrests the petty criminals while protecting the major criminals due to extraneous consideration.   

Q2(a) Positive and Negative Interpretation of Rules and Regulations

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