ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politics-BJP s Perambulations

January 17, 1987 by government for placating the mercenary and compromising conscience? And the price is not inconsiderable. First, since seizures can be effected only by those in the preventive branch, those who happen to be in other jobs like that of say. appraisers, cannot but feel like second rate citizens in the same department, although their contribution to the collection of government revenue may not be negligible, and may indeed be more substantial than that of those who nab smugglers, True, appraising involves no risk to life which risk officers pitted against smugglers do often run. But the rewards under the present dispensation arc not related to risk but primarily to the value of the goods seized. There is, of course, the caveat that rewards can be paid only in suitable cases and can- not be demanded as a matter of right. But how does one determine which case is suitable? It will require a stout (and foolish) heart to sit in judgment and deny favours which can be granted to subordinates at no cost to oneself especially when denials might mean disaffection. Discretion is quite large also in the matter of valuation of the articles sci/ed. Guidelines notwithstanding, figuring out the value of goods seized will of necessity remain a matter of opinion. A boss who refuses to toe the line laid down for him in dispensing rewards cannot possibly expect his commands to carry weight. Not surprisingly ordinary cases detected in the normal course are also fetching handsome rewards. However, a rich reward officially bestowed is doubly blessed. For one not troubled too much by conscience, a reward is the best talisman against the evil eye of vigilance. One or two rewards like these, and illgotten wealth ceases to be a burden for a civil servant. Promotions cannot but look a little paie when going above a certain rank (assistant collector) means disqualification for rewards. The damage to morale and discipline is of course of no consequence if rewards do the job.

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