White-Collar Crime In India – Detail Analysis

“We’re carrying out a real crusade against corruption and impunity with a focus on white-collar crime”Joao Lourenco

Today, India is dealing with a lot of criminal activity by a different class of people. There are many offenses in India and the laws in India also define the aureate punishment for each one of them. In this article, we are discussing only one kind of criminal offense. This offense is done by elite class people.

In this article, we analyze a critical study on white collar crime in India. Let’s understand what white-collar crime is. White collar crime basically means the crime committed by educated people belonging to a higher class of society during the course of their occupation. It is a crime that is committed by salaried professional workers or persons in business and that usually involves a form of financial theft or fraud.

The term “White Collar Crime” was defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939. He described this crime to be committed by the person of high social status as compared to those who commit ordinary crimes during the course of his employment. In 1934, Again Morris drew attention to the necessity of a change in emphasis regarding crime. He arrested those anti-Social activities of persons of high status committed to the course of their profession must be brought with the category of crime and should be made punishable. Finally, E.H. Sutherland through his pioneering Work emphasized that these ‘ Upper Worked crimes which are committed by the persons of upper Socio-economic groups in course of their occupation – violating the trust , Should be termed as “ White Collar Crime “ So as to be distinguished from traditional crime which he called “ Blue Collar Crime “And the concept of White Collar Crimes found its place in criminology for the first time in 1941.

Read: Cyber Crimes Against Women In India And Outlawing Cyber Crimes

These white collar crimes make a great impact on society. In the comparison of normal criminal activities, these crimes make a large impact on society. Normal criminal activities affect only a small portion of the society or an individual but normally this type of crime affects the whole economic system of the country. In developing countries like India, this white collar crime made really deep effects because in developing country these are low earning and there is a huge pressure on the government to make a balance on every commodity with limited resources and when these crimes are done by professional or governmental people then a huge source of resource was affected. This crime makes a huge difference in the distribution system of money in society. The richer people make themselves richest but the poor class did not get anything. Following are the crimes included in the white-collar crime:-

  • Bank Fraud
  • Blackmail
  • Bribery
  • Currency Scheme
  • Educational Institution
  • Forgery
  • Health care fund etc.

These crimes are non-violent crimes committed by business people through deceptive activities who are able to access large amounts of money for the purpose of financial gain. These crimes affect the flow of money in the economic system and concentrate all the money in one hand. This leads to high in price for the consumers and also increases in the tax rate. There are various numbers of frauds and scams that had been exposed in our country from the past few decades like:

  • Telgi Scam in 2002- 20,000cr.
  • 2G Spectrum Scam in 2008- 1,76,000 cr.
  • Satyam Scam in 2009 -14,000 cr.
  • Commonwealth Games Scam in 2010- 70,000 cr.
  • Indian Coal Allocation Scam in 2012- 1,86,000 cr.
  • Wakf Board Land Scam in 2012- 1.50,000 cr.
  • Punjab National Bank Scam in 2018 – 13,600 cr. and more in the list.


The list of scams in India is endless. These crimes affect the economy and make it worse. There are many laws and acts which are made too stop these activities and punish the offenders. The laws relating to white-collar crimes depend upon the exact nature of the crime committed. Some of these legislations are the Essential Commodities Act 1955, the Industrial (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.,The Import and Exports (Control) Act, 1947, the Foreign Exchange (Regulation) Act, 1974, Companies Act, 1956, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The Indian Penal Code also provides many provisions for criminal activity such as Bank Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Credit Fraud and many more. In computer-related crimes, Information act, 2000 has been enacted to provide legal measures. Special tribunals should be constituted with power to sentence the offenders for at least 5 years and conviction should result in heavy fines rather than arrest and detention of criminals. Unless the people will strongly detest such crimes, it is not possible to control this growing menace.


White collar crimes are very disgraceful in nature. These crimes are not defined in law, but the punishment for these types of crimes is defined in many Acts. This hampers socio-economic condition in the economy and misbalance the economic flow. For rid of these type of criminal activity, the government should make an eye on the working of these type high profile people and also start making a question on there doing and try to stop them. We need to make more strict laws and punish the offenders.

Dristy Gupta

Content Writer, Law Corner, BBA LLB, 4th Year, Jamnalal Bajaj School of legal studies, Banasthali Vidyapith, Tonk, Jaipur

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