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Corporate Criminal Liability: Why Corporations are Preferred and Not the Employees?

Company Law Journal, Vol. 4, p. 11, 2008

12 Pages Posted: 16 May 2010  

Kartikey Mahajan

National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ) - Centre for Advanced Research & Training in Arbitration Law

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Apart from the problem of identifying a rational basis of assigning liability to the corporation (whether by vicarious liability or identification theory), another hurdle which seems to have escaped controversy is the fact that whether it is justified to make the corporation liable for the acts done by its employees or is it the employee itself which should be punished? Why it is that corporation is liable when it was the employee who was solely responsible for causing harm to the public?

As an answer to the above question, the author through this article will try to demonstrate the reasons for indicting the corporation for the crimes committed by its employees. For this the article is divided into three parts. The author shall delineate in Part I of the article, a brief introduction about the corporation and a summarized history of corporate criminal liability. Part II identifies the basis of liability of the corporations, which can be either by Identification theory or Vicarious Liability theory. Notably, since there has been no Supreme Court or High Court judgment which sets out the rationale for indicting corporations for the crimes done by its employees, it becomes germane to analyze the basis of indicting corporations in other countries. Due to this, an analysis of such a justification as given by many noteworthy authors in this field of law has been provided in Part III of this article. Thus Part III discusses the various reasons for holding the corporation liable for the crimes committed by its employees.

Keywords: Employees, Corporation, Liability & Crime

Suggested Citation

Mahajan, Kartikey, Corporate Criminal Liability: Why Corporations are Preferred and Not the Employees? (2008). Company Law Journal, Vol. 4, p. 11, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1608905

Kartikey Mahajan (Contact Author)

National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ) - Centre for Advanced Research & Training in Arbitration Law ( email )

India

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