Making a mockery of Background checks

Recently there is news about many relatives of known international terrorists as well as those who are openly advocating secession from India for Kashmir as well as other terror sympathizers being provided with plush Government jobs (besides security at Government cost).

While we leave the political debate of the issue to Arnab Goswami, Rahul Kanwal or Zakka Jacob and others, there is one aspect of this accommodation which I feel creates a problem for private sector in rest of India.

We emphasize as part of “Due Diligence” in any Company under Section 79 of ITA 2000 as well as other laws, that a Company must conduct a proper background check on people whom they recruit as employees. We believe that failure of a proper back ground check could result in “Vicarious liabilities” on the organizations.

In such background check it is not only checking of educational qualifications and previous employment details which are checked but also any information available on the “Character” of a person and his likely involvement directly or indirectly in any offences. Now if some body is a son a known terrorist or even a petty criminal, it is often considered as a disqualification for employment. In such a scenario, it is unthinkable for some body to be employed in any part of India if he says that he is the son of Yasin Mallick or Dawood Ibrahim or Hafeez Sayeed.

Now when we learn that the J&K Government does not consider such relationship as a disqualification, a precedent is being created that even in other parts of India, some of these tainted persons may claim a constitutional right to employment under the Indian constitution and seek Government jobs. State Governments like Kerala and West Bengal may even provide reservations and privileges to the kith and kin of the freedom fighters of Kashmir.

If therefore we donot oppose the recruitment of such persons in Government employment in J&K Government, we will create a very undesirable precedent for the entire country of which J&K is an integral part. Continuation of these practices would result in making the present back ground checks and any adverse action based on past involvement in fraud or other crimes completely untenable. This will make a mockery of our current back ground check policies.

I therefore urge the Government of India to take a strict view of the recruitment of alleged sympathizers of the secession of Kashmir by the Mehbooba Mufti Government and also send out a general circular across the country that

“Any person suspected to have been involved in any anti social activities including terrorism or sedition shall not be recruited in any Government or Private sector jobs without a specific clearance by the Central Government Home Ministry”.

Any violation of the above rule should be treated as an “Abatement” to the associated anti social act. The Home ministry should create a proper administrative set up to approve requests in eligible cases where there is a “Rehabilitation program” under a proper Government initiative and a proper monitoring of such individuals.  Rules should also be laid down on what kind of employments can be provided to such persons and whether any specific types of jobs such as “Police or Security or Judiciary” should be barred for such persons.

Even when we await Government action in this regard, a clause as indicated above should be part of the HR policy of every private organization with the proviso that the clearance would be required by a high level body at the Director’s level in the Company.

Looking forward to the response from the Government.


About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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