2018 Case Study -2

Actors in the case: I as a Judge, Other two judges, Referee, My son, Opponent of my son in the match.
Ethical concerns in this case:

  • Conflict of Interest: I being a judge of a match wherein my son is playing a competition is a cause of concern. This adversely affects the ethical atmosphere because it is necessary to project the ethical standards. Fair play will be put at question due to my dual role as a father and a judge in the case.
  • Emotional management: Inadvertently pressing the bell shows lack of competence on my behalf to act in an impartial rule bound manner when my own interests are involved.
  • Attitude of refusal: Not accepting the fact that pressing the bell was an inadvertent mistake I acted in a haste manner which is unbecoming of a Judge.
  • Nepotism: Even though my son has fought the match with great courage I myself proposing my sons name even after the inadvertent mistake of pressing bell make it a clear call of nepotism. I should have left it for two judges to recognise and judge the performance and courage of my son.
  • Preconceived Notion: Rather than seeing the situation in terms of the rules of the game I tend to perceive that personal issues led to non referral of my son’s name for best loser.

Wrongs in the case:

  • Non-withdrawal from the role of the judge even after knowing that my son is one of the participants.
  • Allowing emotions to take over objectivity of the rules during the match leading to an adherent mistake of pressing the bell. This is unbecoming of my role as a judge.
  • Recommending my sons name for the best looser award portrays the situation as a case of nepotism.
  • Thinking in a biased manner about the fellow judges for not recommending my sons name.

Rights of the case:

  • Care and concern for my son during injury.
  • Standing firm and fighting spirit of my son upholds the sportsmanship.
  • Appreciating my son’s courage of fighting even with injury.

The primary duty of the judge must be to keep all my personal interests aside when sitting on the seat of the judge. Allowing emotions or personal interests to take over is a case of incompetence.

Question for UPSC Mains:
You are a judge in an inter-school boxing match. There are three judges in a boxing match. You son is a participant in the boxing match. A match is currently being played by your son and his opponent. While the match is being played, your son gets badly injured. The opponent hits him on face and your son starts bleeding. You inadvertently press the bell. When the bell is pressed, the match stops. The bell is pressed only when some serious violation of rule takes place or one of the players falls down losing consciousness. Everyone including the referee and the other judges and audience wonder why the match was stopped. The referee comes to consult you. You said that your son was hit on the back of the head which is a violation. When the match is on, a player's score is deducted for playing foul which the individual judges take into account without pressing the bell. If every foul play stops the game, the bout cannot run smoothly. So, even if the opponent in your perception plays foul, the bout cannot be stopped in the ordinary course. The other judges and the referee are of the opinion that no foul was played. The match resumes. Your son keeps fighting the opponent with great courage despite his injury. It is obvious that your son is no match for the opponent. At the end of the match, as a judge you recommend your son's name for the best loser award. The other two judges do not recommend your son's name. You come to think that the other two judges are not in good terms with you in school. Evaluate the case for ethical concerns. What in your opinion was right and wrong in the case? Also give reasons for the same.

Published: April 2, 2018 | Modified:April 2, 2018

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