Besides the traditional crimes such as assault, robbery, decoity, murder, rape, kidnapping, and other acts involving violence, there are certain anti-social activities which the persons of upper status carry on in course of their occupation of business. First time coined in 1939 the term white collar crime is synonymous with full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. White collar crime is a nonviolent crime committed for financial gain. These crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment or violation of trust. The motivation of this crime is to obtain or avoid losing money.
According to the theorist of criminology white collar crime has been defined as crime committed by persons of high social status in course of their occupation for example misrepresentation through fraudulent advertisement infringement of patents copyrights and trademarks etc.
Sutherland the criminologist has pointed out that white collar crime is more harmful to society than ordinary crimes as the financial loss to the society from these types of crimes is greater than the financial loss from robberies burglaries etc.
In one of the case law stated as Narinderjit Singh Sahni and Anr vs Union of India the learned Additional solicitor general stated that economic and white collar crimes are extremely serious. Thousand of investors lose their lives savings after being duped by petitioners rendering it as an economic murder of an entire community of people. The large number of suicides which follows such white collar crime is indicative of the magnitude of such crimes. The activities of the concerned economic offenders are spreading over in several states.
The legislature needs to draft strict rules and laws thereby the violators would be strictly punished creating a new board in order to see and bring the auditors in discipline establishing new laws and awarding longer prison terms to punish the wrongdoers and protecting the investors and corporate whistleblowers. Both criminal and civil action should be taken again the wrongdoer.
The position of white-collar crime in India is that White-collar criminality has become a global phenomenon with the advance of commerce and technology. like any other country, India is equally in grip of white-collar criminality. the reason for an enormous increase in white-collar crime in recent decades is to be found in the fast-developing economy and industrial growth of this developing country.
The Santhanam committee report in its findings gave a vivid picture of white-collar crimes committed by persons of respectability such as businessmen, industrialists, contractors, and suppliers as also the corrupt public official.
The white collar is stated to be different from the traditional crimes. The traditional crimes are committed without reference to the social status or occupation of the offender while white collar crimes are generally committed by those who possess power enjoy high social status and occupation and are treated as respectable citizen.
Various laws are enforced by administrative departments and agencies to check the prevalence of white-collar crime. The economic, environmental and human consequences of the crime are inestimable. Hence, urgent and effective measures need to be taken by law enforcement, to stem the increasing damage being done.
This article is authored by Siddhartha Gupta, student of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at Mumbai University, Mumbai
Also Read – White-Collar Crime In India – Detail Analysis