Criminal records check is part of the comprehensive background verification conducted prior to the hiring of a candidate. It reveals the criminal history, if any, of the candidate by checking various records available in the public domain. According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), 69% of organizations conduct criminal records checks of candidates. About 52% of organizations said they conduct criminal records checks to ensure the prevention of negligent hiring. Surprisingly, criminal record check have revealed 75% failure rate of candidates in some parts of India. Let’s delve deeper to understand this better.
Criminal Records Check
Criminal records check involves litigation searches across court records for cases of civil or criminal cases. This is conducted using data released by courts in public domain. These include data provided by
•District Civil Courts & Tribunals
•Criminal Suit – Magistrate Court
•Criminal Suit District Court
•Criminal Suit State Court Criminal verification of candidates is done by using the online database links shared publicly by the District Court, State’s High Court, and also the Supreme Court of India.
Before you conduct Criminal Records Check, here are the 7 questions you should answer:
1.Why conduct criminal records check?
Extensive criminal records check becomes absolutely crucial to ensure a completely secure workplace- free from criminal intent. With criminal records check, one can rest assured of hiring individuals with a clean past. This also involves Litigate database searches. A litigation database check verifies if any proprietary or public database such as civil litigation database, criminal database, and/or regulatory compliance database features a candidate’s name. Both Indian and global databases can be checked to reveal any link the candidate might have to organized crime or have been mentioned in any litigation. When criminal records check is not carried out by a competent professional agency, such crimes can lead to the company’s reputation being damaged beyond repair. A study showed that in India, discrepancies related to criminal records and references were to the tune of 19.5% in 2016.
2. Who should we conduct Criminal Records Check on?
Criminal Records Check should be conducted on every incoming employee to ensure that no criminal can enter your workplace. A single element of discrepancy can impact your workplace safety, motivation, and brand reputation. Irrespective of the level of the hire, a criminal background check is mandatory!
3. Are there laws pertaining to criminal records check?
A solely dedicated law pertaining to criminal records or background screening does not exist in India. But the Indian Contract Act, Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Acts of 2000 and 2005 are commonly taken as benchmarks for conducting criminal records check. Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005 can penalize companies on failing to keep personal data collected on employees confidential.
4. What databases are available for criminal records check?
Apart from district magistrate, state and the Supreme Court’s public records, litigation-related information can also be obtained from National Crime Research Bureau and CBI’s Most Wanted Lists. Defaulters’ list can be obtained from databases of SEBI, RBI, Registrar of Companies and Central Vigilance Committee’s list of corrupt officials.
5. How to conduct a criminal records check?
It is important to consult a professional agency that has access to indexed criminal records and litigation databases. Before conducting criminal records check, it is important to disclose to the candidate that such a check will be carried out and obtain the latter’s written consent. We, at AuthBridge, have been helping employers conduct exhaustive criminal records check for years now!
6. Can an employee be suspended based on the criminal records check?
In India, a government employee will be suspended by default if he or she has spent 48 hours or more in police custody. The reason for such custody could be any crime, including dowry death charges. Private companies have their own disciplinary committees and policies. They can decide on a course of action after reviewing each individual case.
7. What should you do if you discover something negative?
Criminal records check is one of the basics of hiring the right candidates. The decision on hiring should be made after a detailed review of the background. It would be prudent to give the employee a chance to explain the negative finding before making a hiring decision.