Liability of a Corporate Criminal in India
By Team Legistify / 2016-03-30
Large multinational corporations have come to dominate the national and global economic scene. The scale of their operations is enormous. The largest have grown into enterprises of astonishing magnitude that in their economic dimensions are fully comparable to nation states. Imposing adequate controls over the multinational conduct and achieving accountability by multinationals for their conduct both at home and abroad should be a major objective of every industrialized power.

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A corporation is a separate legal entity established through some legislation or registration process. They have rights and liabilities separate from that of their shareholders. Some of these corporations have assets and facilities in other countries apart from their home country as well and such corporations are known as multinational corporations (MNCs). Multinational corporations have come to play a huge role in most aspects of human life today.

Their powers have grown at an astonishing rate over the last couple of centuries, so much so that they are often compared to entire nations. Therefore, imposing some sort of means of accountability and control over these multinationals and corporations is of paramount importance and should be extremely high on the list of priorities for every nation.

Development with the Time

Throughout the ages, the evolution of the doctrine of corporate criminal liability faced many major issues, the main ones being:

  • The failure to identify or prove criminal intent of a juristic, fictional being. As corporations are intangible legal entities, finding the mens rea necessary for the commission of a criminal act proved to be quite the obstacle.
  • Sanctions were the second problem. A corporation cannot be imprisoned or put to death and hence the threat of imprisonment which plays a major role in criminal law could not be applied here. This lead to speculation that criminal law was not appropriate for the enforcement of this doctrine.
  • Courts required the accused in a criminal case to be physically brought before them for proceedings to take place. This was obviously not possible in the case of corporations.
Large multinational corporations have come to dominate the national and global economic scene. The scale of their operations is enormous. The largest have grown into enterprises of astonishing magnitude that in their economic dimensions are fully comparable to nation states. Imposing adequate controls over the multinational conduct and achieving accountability by multinationals for their conduct both at home and abroad should be a major objective of every industrialized power.

Have a Legal Issue?

Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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