XAT 2012 Question 55

Instructions

based on the case given below.
Ethical – a person is called unethical, when he deviates from principles. The principles and their use is often guided by two definitions: Moral: society’s code for individual survival Ethics: An individual’s code for society survival Naresh was a small time civil contractor in a small city. His major clients were the residents who wanted ad-hoc work like painting, building extensions to be done. His just prices had made him a preferred contractor for most of the clients who preferred him over other civil contractors. Always he followed the principle that client had to be kept happy – only by doing so it would be a win-win situation for both. However due to the unpredictability of such orders from residents, Naresh used to be idle for substantial part of the year. As a consequence, he could not expand his business. His two children were growing up and his existing business could not support their expenses. The medical expense of his elderly parents was another drain on his resources. The constant rise of prices in medical care and medicines was another issue. For Naresh, family’s concern was predominant. Naresh was, therefore, under pressure to expand his business. He was the sole earning member of his family, and he had to ensure their well being. He thought that by expanding his business, not only would he be able to care for his family in a better way, as well as offer employment to more number of masons and labourers. That would benefit their families as well. Naresh drew the boundary of his society to include himself, his family members, his employees and their family members. For expansion, the only option in the city was to enlist= as a contractor for government work. Before deciding, he sought advice from another contractor, Srikumar, who had been working on government projects for a long period of time. Srikumar followed the principle of always helping others, because he believed that he would be helped back in return some day. Srikumar had just one advice “The work is given to those who will win the bidding process and at the same time will give the maximum bribe. Prices quoted for work have to include bribes, else the bills will not get cleared and the supervisors will find multiple faults with the execution of work. This ensures survival and prosperity for contractors”. When asked about other contractors, Srikumar said “The government contractors are like a micro-society in themselves, almost like a brotherhood. Within that, they are highly competitive; however towards any external threat they are united to ensure no harm happens to any of their members”.

Question 55

Lankawala, another contractor, when faced with the new supervisor’s demand to reduce prices for government work, asked him to guarantee that no bribes would be taken, and only then prices would be reduced. This was said in front of everyone. At this the supervisor forced Lankawala out of the meeting and threatened to black-list him. Lankawala did not say anything and walked away. Blacklisting of a contractor by one government department implied that Lankawala would not be able to participate in any government departments’ works. In late evening, the city was abuzz with the news that the supervisor’s dead body was seen on the
railway tracks. In the investigations that followed, no one who attended the meeting recounted the happenings in the meeting to the police. Getting involved in murder cases could lead to unpredictable outcomes such as becoming the potential suspect, or an accessory to the crime. Furthermore, cases could drag on for years, and one would have to appear in court as witnesses in response to court’s summons. This, for a contractor, was a serious threat to his business due to the disruptions created. However, Naresh wanted to speak out but was pressurized by Srikumar and other contractors not to, and as a result he did not. Due to this, the case was closed unresolved with no one found guilty. In this situation, it can be concluded that:



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