This article is written by Samridhi Sachdeva pursuing BBA LLB from Gitarattan International Business School, GGSIPU. This article tries to explain about the types of offences and focusses more on the socio-economic offences and its evolution.


According to the modern scenario, crimes are increasing day-by-day. The crimes are categorised into two types, one that includes the mens rea and the other one that is without mens rea. The crimes which include mens rea are known as conventional offences and the crimes that are without mens rea are known as non-conventional offences  The conventional offences include murder and robbery and the non-conventional offences include the White Collar crime,, socio-economic offences and organisational crimes etc.

Socio-economic offences are generally the ones which affect the society at large. A number of people are affected by the socio-economic offences. And it does not involve Mens Rea. 


Socio-economic offences are the one which affects the social and economic situation of a country. Mens Rea is not included in these type of crimes. And they affect a number of people at a large scale,  the crime is committed against a very large number of people and thus affects the whole of society. It affects the morals and social health of the society and the economy of a country is also affected by this type of crime. Some examples of these type of crimes are black marketing, food/drug adulteration, tax evasion etc.

 It is believed that White Collar crime and socio-economic offences are the same. But, White Collar crimes and socio-economic offences are different from each other as the White Collar crimes are committed only by the rich and the upper caste people whereas the socio-economic crimes can be committed by anybody whether it is a low caste person or upper-caste person.

 It is usually done in the need of money or the greed. The desire for wealth and their lust to gain more money pushes the criminals to commit these crimes. These offences are done deliberately and wilfully and there is no need to prove the intention of the crime committed. If it is found that the crime is committed then the person who committed it will be punished under the competent provisions.

Like other crimes, the criminal may have some relation with the victim, but here there is no emotional relationship between the victim and the criminal. The victim under such crimes is basically the state or the consumers of any goods and services. And everyone together, is affected by the act of the accused. 

Though the crime is committer against a large part of the society, there can be scenarios like, when some of the commodities are adulterated or hoarded, then though there will be a single victim but the act has the capacity to harm the large part of the society.


The concept and idea of socio-economic offences emerged from the transformation between ancient and modern times. Industrial evolution plays a greater role in the occurrence of socio-economic offences. As in the early times, the country was totally agricultural-based and coping up with the new trend of industries led to a drastic change in the offences committed. The business and technology during this period transformed and developed a lot. New business opportunities came with more competition and the new technology reduced the belief and faith in God which increased the greed and desire for money in people. 

The fear of judgement or what others will say disappeared, the morals declined and thus increased the fraud, hatred and different types of non-conventional crimes amongst the public. The state decided to leave things as they were and lack of public resentment resulted in grave consequences which are now noticeable in our country. But the crimes can be dealt with, if proper experimenting and thorough study are done upon the psychology of people and the basic nature of the crime. 

Laws on Socio-economic offences

With the increase in a number of crimes, the authorities and the government made different types of laws to assure that the social and economic condition of the country is sustained. There are many bare acts that deal with the socio-economic offences in our country and each of them has different provisions related to the crimes identified in the modern period. Some of them are:

  1. The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940
  2. The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947
  3. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
  4. The Essential Commodities Act, 1955
  5. The Wealth Tax Act, 1957
  6. The Income Tax Act, 1961
  7. The Customs Act, 1962 
  8. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988


With time and increasing technology and competition, the malpractices were introduced. In earlier times, the malpractices practised by the people were very simple but now in the modern era, the malpractices practised by the people became even more harmful, complex and advanced.

People think that conventional offences are the only important one and the criminal in that cases needs to be punished. But they should also know that punishing the guilty person of the non-conventional offences is equally important. Conventional crimes like murder, robbery known to everyone but no one thinks about saving the social and economic structure of the country.

Socio-economic crimes affect a large part of society and not just one person. The shareholders or anyone holding any type of securities also get affected. The breach of contract, tax evasion and black marketing are the crimes in the trend that people commit to gain more money. People agree to do all this just for their desire for more money.

Everyone should think about securing the social and economic structure of society. The laws and the provisions made for every socio-economic offence should be followed and psychology of the criminals should be taken under consideration to determine the nature of the act. And like, every other resource of our country, the social and economic resource is important as well and people should think of securing them as well. 

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