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White Collar Crime in India – Meaning


Concept of White Collar Crime in India. White-collar crime associated with Mr E. H. Sutherland. He has researched in areas of criminology. He pointed out that besides traditional crimes such as assault, dacoity, robbery, rape, murder, kidnapping. There are other anti-social activities that persons of high status carry on in the course of their business or occupation. These activities accepted as tactics necessary for a professional man for his success. Thus, any complaint against such tactics often unheard and unpunished.

White-collar crime in India

Concept of White Collar Crime in India. According to Mr E. H. Sutherland, when persons of respectable and high social status commit a crime in the course of their business is a white-collar crime. White-collar crime belongs to the high socio-economic class who violates the criminal law while conducting his professional duties.

People like industrialists, manufacturers and other reputed persons of their business commit a white-collar crime with the intent to earn huge profits. Therefore, a white-collar crime includes misrepresentation through fraudulent advertisements, infringement of trademark, patent and copyrights, etc. Another example of white-collar crime includes the publication of fabricated balance sheet profit and loss of account of business etc.

White-collar crime is more dangerous to society than ordinary crime. As it affects the financial loss to the society. And this loss is greater than robberies, burglaries, etc. And the most important aspect is that there is no effective program for the enforcement of criminal law against them and influential people involved in these crimes able to resist themselves.

white-collar crime in India

White-collar crime has become a global issue with advanced commerce and technology. Like any other country, India is equally in the grip of white-collar crime. The reason for the fast increase in white-collar crime in recent decades is the fast-growing economy and industrial growth of developing countries. The Santhanam Committee Report in its finding provided a valid picture of white-collar crime. These criminals include businessmen, industrialists, contractors, suppliers, corrupt public officers.

Hoarding, Black Marketing and Adulteration

Hoarding, Black profiteering and black marketing are common in Indian Trade and the business world. People used to violate foreign exchange regulations and import and export laws for securing huge profits. That apart, adulteration in foodstuff, edibles which cause irreparable danger to public health is yet another white-collar crime. The law commission of India has suggested drastic steps against such criminals.

Tax evasion

Concept of White Collar Crime in India. The complications in tax laws in India have provided sufficient scope for the taxpayers to evade tax. Influential category persons like traders, businessmen, lawyers, doctors, engineers, contractors commonly evade the tax. The main difficulty of the Income Tax Department is to find out the real and exact income of these professionals. It is often alleged that the actual tax paid by these persons is only a fraction of their income. And the rest of the money circulated as ‘black money. Despite frequent modifications in tax laws, tax evasion continues. And it causes considerable loss to the government revenue. The government of India has come with a voluntary discloser scheme to disclose black money. But the result of these schemes has not encouraging.

White-collar crime in certain professions

Medical Profession

White-collar crime in medical professions includes the issuance of false medical certificates, helping illegal abortions, selling sample drugs to the patient or chemists. Fake and misleading advertising is yet another area in which white-collar criminals operate. They make illegal and misleading claims of medical cure through advertisements in newspapers, magazines, televisions. These people are violating the law and commit anti-social crimes which are injurious to public health.


Concept of White Collar Crime in India. The common example of white-collar crime in the Engineering professions like underhand dealings with contractors and suppliers, the passing of substandard works and materials. Constructions of roads, buildings, canals, dams and bridges with substandard material not only endanger public safety but also results in loss of public exchequer.

Legal Profession

Nowadays in India, the Lawyers profession is not looked at with much respect. The obvious reason is the deteriorating standard of legal education and unethical practice resorted by a legal professional to get more clients are mainly responsible for the degradation of the legal profession. Examples of white-collar crime are like fabricating false evidence, engaging professional witnesses, violating the ethical standards of the legal profession.

Generally, professional criminals have their own trusted lawyers who can arrange things and keep themselves with bail bonds or habeas corpus writ to avoid arrest. Though there is a definite code of conduct for the legal profession it is only an ornamental document. However, this is not to say that all lawyers are current and unethical. Quite a large number of them are most sincere and honest in their profession.

Educational Institutions

Privately run educational institutions is yet another field where white-collar criminals operate with impunity. These private institutions manage to submit fictitious and fake details about their institutions. And they try to secure large sums by way of government grants or financial aid. The teachers and other staff working in these institutions receive a meagre salary, which is far less than what they sign for. And thus allowing a big margin for the management to grab a huge amount. They charge a huge amount of donations or capitation fees from such needy students. These dishonest and unscrupulous practices have damaged the standard of education in India. And which cause irreparable loss to the younger generation.

Computer-related white-collar crime

The latest development in information technology and electronic media has given rise to a new variety of white-collar crimes. Which also called cybercrimes. The growth of these crimes has become a global concern. And it is a challenge for the law enforcement agencies. Because this crime commits anonymously and far away from the victim without being physically present there. Further, cybercriminals have a major advantage, they can use computer technology and inflict damage without the risk of being caught. Cybercrimes include theft of communication services, electronic money laundering and tax evasion, tele-marketing fraud, etc. It also includes Pheakering, Internet frauds, Hackers, Stalking, email security invasion, etc.

Remedial Measures

In-country like India, control of these crimes is a crucial problem for the criminal justice administration. However, some of the remedial measures for combating white-collar crime as under.

  1. Creating public awareness against these crimes through the media and press. Arrange intensive legal literacy programs may perhaps help in reducing white-collar crime.
  2. It is necessary to form special tribunals with the power to award sentences of imprisonment up to ten years.
  3. There should be stringent law and drastic punishment for white-collar criminals
  4. It is necessary to incorporate a separate chapter on white-collar and socio-economic crimes in the India Penal Code.
  5. There is an urgent need for a National Crime Commission which may tackle the problem of crime and criminality.

Finally, in India, where the population is fast escalating, economic offences are increasing besides traditional crimes. These mostly associated with the middle and upper class of society. It is for the criminal law administrators to contain this tendency by stringent legislative measures.

Despite special laws and independent enforcement agencies for handling these crimes, there is no decline in the crime rate. On the contrary, it is constantly rising, which is a serious cause of concern for all those who are associated with the administration of criminal justice.

Also Read: Who is Sachin Vaze? And His Role In Mansukh Hiren Case

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