New Delhi: Stressing on a “zero-tolerance” policy towards corruption, the government of India on Tuesday said that it will investigate the allegation against firm’s legal representatives for their role in allegedly bribing Indian officials.
Directing the e-commerce giant to punish those breaking the law, the government officials as quoted by NDTV said, “As far as the government of India is concerned there is ZERO tolerance towards corruption of ANY kind in the government. Amazon has been spending more than Rs 8,500 crore in legal fees. It’s time to think where all it is going. The whole system seems to work on bribes and that is not the best of business practices.”
According to media reports, the US e-commerce giant is also believed to be probing into the complaints raised by a whistleblower of bribing Indian government officials.
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News agency IANS quoted an Amazon spokesperson said, “We have zero tolerance for corruption. We take allegations of improper actions seriously, investigate them fully, and take appropriate action. We are not commenting on specific allegations or the status of any investigation at this time.”
As reported by Reuters, the company has been investigating the matter for about two months after a complaint was received against Amazon India legal team employee, Rahul Sundaram who allegedly had dealings with outside counsel working for the firm. It is to be noted that the company’s senior corporate counsel has reportedly been sent on leave.
According to a report by website The Morning Context, legal fees paid to an independent lawyer hired by the company was in part “funnelled into bribing government officials”.
Meanwhile, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a letter to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal demanded a CBI inquiry into the allegations. The CAID said that it involves the credibility of the government and is counter to the vision of removing corruption at all levels within the government.