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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-II :
  • 22 January, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Code of conduct for Ministers

Syllabus subtopic:

  • Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; Pressure Groups and Formal/Informal Associations and their Role in the Polity.

  • Probity in Governance: Concept of Public Service; Philosophical Basis of Governance and Probity; Information Sharing and Transparency in Government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work Culture, Quality of Service Delivery, Utilization of Public Funds, Challenges of Corruption.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the new code of conduct for Ministers at both national and state level: its need and significance

News: A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the possibility of enforceability ought to be explored if a new code of conduct is framed for Ministers at the Centre and in the States.

What is the SC examining?

  • The Bench, led by Justice Arun Mishra, is examining whether “greater restrictions” should be imposed on Ministers’ right to free speech.

  • The issue, which was referred to a Constitution Bench in April 2017, was based on a petition filed by the family members of the Bulandshahr rape case victim, who were enraged by then Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan’s statement that the case was part of a conspiracy against the Akhilesh Yadav government.

Way ahead

The government and the legislature should be asked by the court to formulate a voluntary code of conduct with respect to the personal and public lives of Ministers and to publish it after finalising the same based on due deliberations.

Arguments in favour of new code of conduct for ministers at both Centre and State level

  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs has already a code of conduct for Ministers, which essentially is concerned about financial discipline. Nothing is emanating from the code which addresses the private and public activities of the Ministers in general. This is too narrow and inadequate.

  • The code of conduct should reflect constitutional morality and values of good governance. The acts of the persons holding public offices can be thus subjected to better and meaningful public scrutiny, which in turn would ensure democratic accountability.

Note: to read more about the code of conduct for ministers at Union and State level, click on the link below

https://mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/CodeOfConduct-280513.pdf

Source: The Hindu


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