Elite white-collar criminals getting away, says NR Narayana Murthy

Elite white-collar criminals getting away, says NR Narayana Murthy

Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy calls for quick probe into corruption cases and heavy punishment for the guilty.

Software icon NR Narayana Murthy has bemoaned that the "elite" are going unpunished even though they commit "huge crimes" in the country.

Murthy, chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, made the remark while responding to questions after a panel discussion on entrepreneurship and social change. The event was organised by the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB) at the Infosys campus on Tuesday.

Asked about white-collar crimes in the country, Murthy said there should be quick investigations based on data and facts.

"There should be very heavy punishment commensurate with the benefit that those people have indeed gained. If you have quick, commensurate punishment, things will be alright," he felt.

"Today, we have so many cases where the elite...they just don't get punished even though they have committed huge crimes. That's the problem with this society," Murthy said.

Murthy did not discuss specifics but his remarks come at a time when corruption issues continue to dominate the country's political landscape.

He also emphasised on the need for all businesses to enforce a code of ethics. "Whether there are scams or not, it's extremely important to run your business legally, ethically. That's the only way to run businesses," Murthy said.

"It's like saying: should I follow the rules of the road when I am driving? It's good for you, good for others, for everybody."

On tackling corruption in general, Murthy said: "We will have to get more transparent, fairer and have a more open set of rules and implementation of rules so that you know there is no chance for corruption."

He also said that those who occupy positions in the eye of the public - whether they are corporate leaders or academic leaders or politicians or bureaucrats or journalists - have to conduct themselves as good role models "for our children because we want a better society".