Maximum 'criminal staff' is in Mumbai and Pune

The alleged links that a woman IT professional working in Pune had with LeT has brought into sharp focus the poor screening process applied in hiring of employees across industries especially in western India.

Central investigating agencies probing Saturday’s blast at German Bakery in Koregaon Park are studying intercepts of phone conversations between a J&K-based LeT operative and a female IT professional working in Pune.

Reports released by two leading background screening companies — First Advantage, a California-based company with presence across Asia Pacific, and AuthBridge — have revealed that western cities have a higher number of employees with a criminal past than the rest of India.

The cities include Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Jalgaon in Maharashtra and Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Ashish Dehade, the managing director of First Advantage, said this trend has come to light after several companies started background screening to find out if any member of the workforce has a criminal past.

“Background screening as a practice amongst companies has picked up post-26/11 with companies across sectors — infotech, financial services, hospitality and even NGOs — not wanting to take any chances,” he said.

While the report released by First advantage reveals nearly a 40% growth in the number of employees with criminal background, the Authbridge report says the over half the employees screened in these cities from October 2008 to July this year had past criminal records.

These cases may vary from criminal intimidation, spending a night in the police lock-up and obtaining bail, sexual harassment, duping, burglary, attempt to murder and sale and purchase of pirated CDs and DVDs.

Ajay Trehan, CEO of Authbridge, said most of these cases involved IT/ITES employees working in BPOs. The crime, he said, includes carrying weapons, intimidating, and forging documents. Most cases were reported from Mumbai and Pune, he said.

“Earlier, companies would just want us to check previous professional records of employees. Now, they are emphasising on past criminal records, if any,” Trehan said. Not just big IT firms, requests come from small and medium-sized enterprises too.

Source: DNA India