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‘Honesty Always Comes With a Price,’ Writes EC Ashok Lavasa

Under IT scanner for alleged tax discrepancies, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa addresses the price of honesty.

Updated
India
2 min read
Ashok Lavasa.
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In an opinion piece for The Indian Express, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, weighs in on the pros and cons of honesty as he states that ‘honesty as a policy always comes with a price’.

‘Honesty Always Comes With a Price,’ Writes EC Ashok Lavasa
(Photo: The Quint)
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Ashok Lavasa and his family have been under the Income Tax department’s scanner for alleged non-declaration of income and disproportionate assets. This comes just a few months after Lavasa opposed the Election Commission’s decision to give a clean chit to PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on charges of violating the Model Code of Conduct during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

Expressing his dissent, Lavasa had recused himself from the ECC meetings on the same.

Questioning whether honesty should be an obsession and whether it should drive itself so hard that nothing survives save itself, Lavasa adds,

‘Honesty Always Comes With a Price,’ Writes EC Ashok Lavasa
(Photo: The Quint)

Lavasa writes that honesty is not a fetish to be preserved and worshipped without being practised. “Civil servants have to solve problems without being shackled by the fear that their discretion in resolving a difficulty could be regarded as acts of undue benevolence. If their ability to resolve problems is curbed by such a shining armour around them, civil servants may end up as an unscathed army of defeated warriors,” he writes.

In what could be a reference to the ordeals faced by his family, Lavasa writes, “There is a price for honesty as for everything else in life. Being prepared to pay that price, directly or by way of collateral damage, is part of the honest act.”

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‘Honesty Always Comes With a Price,’ Writes EC Ashok Lavasa
(Photo: The Quint)

Lavasa concludes his piece by observing that however lowly or mighty the protagonist might be, “he is convinced that his honest deed, whether instinctive or a conditioned response of his character, is the best policy after all.”

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