If the doctrine is to be universally applied, the issues that need to be debated are whether the office of the chief minister is an integrity institution, what constitutes integrity, whether Narendra Modi has been charged (not whether he is guilty) and whether this debars him from occupying office. The Gulberg Society case places this moral burden on the public discourse, and on the apex court, to refine further its doctrine of â€œintegrity institutionsâ€. Since the court is seized with several issues of corruption that involve high offices and it is fairly active in its monitoring of these cases, it is perhaps apposite for it to tell us to which institutions the â€œintegrity institutionâ€ doctrine applies.
It belongs to another age. So let us move from the personal ethic of â€œaccepting responsibilityâ€ to the public ethic of the â€œfixing of responsibilityâ€, by political, social or legal process, on a person when a major crime has been committed by the institution or agency of which they are the head. The argument is simple. They could have prevented the crime from taking place, since they had all the necessary instruments at their command, and yet they did not. We have to consolidate this process of â€œfixing responsibilityâ€ for major crimes which requires us to initiate two exercises immediately.