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White collar crimes

                                 White collar crimes 

India is a developing country and white collar crimes are becoming a major cause for its under development along with poverty, health, etc. The trend of white collar crimes in India poses a threat to the economic development of the country. These crimes require immediate intervention by the government by not only making strict laws but also ensuring its proper implementation.

       White-collar crime is a nonviolent crime committed for financial gain. According to the FBI, a key agency that investigates these offenses, "these crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust." The motivation for these crimes is "to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services or to secure a personal or business advantage. Examples of white-collar crimes includes securities fraud, embezzlement, corporate fraud, and money laundering.

Reasons for the growth of white collar crimes in India


The father of modern political philosophy, Machiavelli, strongly believed that men by nature are greedy. He said that a man can sooner and easily forget the death of his father than the loss of his inheritance. The same is true in the case of commission of white collar crimes. Why will a man of high social status and importance, who is financially secure, commit such crimes if not out of greed?

Easy, swift and prolong effect

The rapid growing technology, business, and political pressure has introduced the criminals to newer ways of committing white collar crimes. Technology has also made it easier and swifter to inflict harm or cause loss to the other person. Also, the cost of such crimes is much more than other crimes like murder, robbery or burglary, and so the victim would take time to recover from it. This would cut down the competition. 

Historical background

Edwin Sutherland describes it to be crimes committed by a person of high social status and respectability who commits such crimes during the course of their occupation.

There are many Corporate fraud that continues to be one of the FBI’s highest criminal priorities—in addition to causing significant financial losses to investors, corporate fraud has the potential to cause immeasurable damage to the government, economy and investor confidence. As the lead agency investigating corporate fraud, the Bureau focuses its efforts on cases that involve accounting schemes, self-dealing by corporate executives, and obstruction of justice.

Legislations for white collar crimes in India, Government of India has taken many steps to prevent white collar crimes and has passed various legislations to curb them such as:

Indian Penal Code, 1860
Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881
Imports and Exports Act, 1950
The Companies Act, 1955
The Commodities Act, 1955
Income Tax Act, 1961
Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
SEBI Act, 1992
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003
Information Technology Act, 2005


In Harshad Mehta case , a stockbroker established his firm in 1990 and had a well-known name in the stock market. Investors used to follow his footsteps blindly. He took a huge amount of loan from bank and purchased scrips at very high price creating a false market. He misused his name, reputation and status and manipulated the stock prices for his own selfish profit which resulted into unnatural pumping of money in stock market which caused rise in prices of shares. He misappropriated the bank’s money to invest capital in stock market. This falls into the ambit of money laundering. He earned rs 5000 crores. This was a very huge scam and it caused the market to lose Rs 1 million in a day.

Measures to be adopted to curb the white collar crimes:

1. Fast track courts should be made all across the country to implement the laws efficiently.

2. More stringent rules, regulations and laws should be introduced with better execution and implementation.

3. More awareness and education should be provided to general public regarding White Collar Crimes so that they could not be trapped into these offences.

4. Government should establish an independent body for focusing on these crimes and provide punishment for same.

5. Proper, adequate and efficient training of the officials should be done from time to time who deals with such offences in order to update their knowledge.

White collar crimes have two surprising features, first, that they are non-violent crimes, though the criminals have the tendency to gain control or have a sense of entitlement, and, second, that they are committed by people in the higher profession.

      However, these crimes are also committed by poorly paid underlings, although the mastermind behind the commission of such crime could be a rich person enjoying a higher social status in his occupation. white collar crimes are often committed because of peer pressure or are dependent on the culture of the company.




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