An Analysis of Criminal Liability of Companies Under Indian Law

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Aaftaab Dhabhar
Published On: 20/03/2023
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
First Page: 109
Last Page: 118
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Aaftaab Dhabhar, An Analysis of Criminal Liability of Companies Under Indian Law, Volume 9 Issue 2, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 109-118, Published on 20/03/2023, Available at


Companies have now become a dominating figure in the economic, political legal and social world. The growth of companies has been increasing at a tremendous rate and thus the urgent need for regulation of companies has also increased. The principle of companies being a separate legal entity is now widely recognized around the world.  In India, there are two types of corporate criminal liability: organisational and derivative. Vicarious liability and the identification doctrine are parts of the derivative model. The corporate culture that aids in the commission of a crime is the focal point of the organisational model. Employees are subject to corporate criminal culpability if they do not act in the course and for the advantage of the company. The question of whether a company can be indicted of any criminal offence has repeatedly arisen in courts in India. The courts initially believed that a company cannot be charged under any crime but have since changed their outlook. However, there are still areas where Company law has not been able to regulate companies and may be required to do so in the near future. Though a few laws have been enacted to hold companies accountable for crimes, many grey areas are arising which require legislation.

Keywords: Criminal Liability, Corporate Liability, Unregulated Legal Framework, Liability of companies, Criminal liability in India, Seperate Legal Entity, Corporate Criminal Liability

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