Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo is Latin, and means “What for what’’ or ‘’Something for something’’. The mutual consideration that passes between two parties to a contractual agreement, thereby rendering the agreement valid and binding.

In politics quid quo pro can refer to the use of political office for personal benefit. For instance, an elected official might promise favorable governmental treatment to a person in exchange for something of value. This form of quid pro quo would be a violation of the law.

The former Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice P Sathasivam, was appointment as the Governor of Kerala August 31, 2014, post retirement.


The former CJI was responsible for quashing an FIR against BJP President Amit Shah in April 2013. The professional dictum is that “judges do not speak, they speak only through their judgments”.  Justice Sathasivam had gone out of the way to justify and defend judgement in the Amit Shah case in media interviews, thus clearly violating this particular value of judicial conduct.


The 1978-batch IRS officer K V Chowdary, was appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) of India on June 8, 2015, immediately after retirement.


As Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBTD) Chief, when the CBI handed over the documents in the now famous Birla and Sahara Papers, K V Chowdary did not persue the matter. Ideally, the CBI should have investigated the contents of the documents found in its raids. Instead, CBI handed over the sensitive information to the IT department and the CBTD Chief quietly buried the evidence that ‘Gujarat CM’ was paid a sum of Rs. 40 crore and 7 lakh by Birla and Rs. 55 crore by Sahara, in several instalments.

Former CBI Director R K Raghavan was appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Cyprus on August 30, 2017, post retirement.


As Special Investigation Team Chief, R K Raghavan had cleared the then Gujarat Chief Minister Modi of complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots. He was appointed as head of a Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) that probed the Gujarat riots, after allegations of bias against the state police. In the case relating to Modi, SIT said in 2012 that “it had found no evidence to back allegations that the then CM had done nothing to stop some of the worst massacres in 2002”. The court accepted the SIT findings. In April 2017, the Supreme Court approved Raghavan’s request to resign from his post in the SIT and on 30 August 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs  announced that Raghavan had been appointed the next High Commissioner to Cyprus.

Y C Modi, Special Director CBI was appointed Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 17, 2017.

y-c-modi.jpgY C Modi a 1984-batch IPS officer was another member of the SIT which probed the Gujarat riots, which gave clean chit to the then CM Narendra Modi. He was part of the CBI team that investigated three cases during the Godhra riots – the Naroda Gam, Gulberg Society and Naroda Patiya cases. This appointment comes at a time when in June 2017, NIA & its special prosecutor in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, Rohini Salian,  spared over going ‘soft’ to protect Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. The fate of other terror accused like Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Swami Aseemanand, Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu are dependent on NIA taking the investigations to logical conclusion.

With these example hope you understand the meaning and usage “Quid Pro Quo’’.

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