When we talk about crimes in society people in layman language think that crimes mean a violent act that causes any injury or hurt in a physical manner to an individual, crime is of the nature to cause someone bodily injury physically or mentally. But do we realize that crimes can be differentiated on the basis of their nature & crimes need not always cause a bodily injury to a person? There are crimes present in society that is non-violent in nature & do not cause any bodily injury to a person. 

“White Collar Crimes” are crimes that are non-violent & are committed for monetary gain; these can be committed by an individual, group of people, or even an organization as well. In these crimes, there is a breach of trust, deception of money or property, or some other gain of the wrongdoer. Edwin Sutherland a famous American Sociologist, defined white-collar crimes as “the crimes committed by people who enjoy great repute, high status (social), & hold the higher respectable post in their respective occupation”.  Herbert Edelhertz, chief of the Federal Department of Justice, in 1970 defined White Collar Crimes as “an act or series of illegal acts committed by non-physical means to obtain money or property by way of guile or concealment to obtain business or personal advantage” he emphasized more on the nature of crime rather than the offenders attribute.    

Rise of White Collar Crimes in India

Bribery, Fraud & Corruption is probably the most familiar recognized white-collar crimes in India & the world. The Business Standard in 2016 distributed a report named “The changing elements of white-collar crimes in India” expressing that over the recent 10 years, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has tracked down an aggregate of 6,533 instances of corruption out of which 517 cases were filed in the last two years. 

Stats showed that 4,000 crores worth of exchange were done utilizing phony or replicate PAN cards. Maharashtra showed a speedy growth in the number of online cases with 999 cases being enlisted. The report likewise referenced that around 3.2 million individuals endured a misfortune due to the theft of their card details from the YES Bank ATMs which were managed by Hitachi Payment Services. 

Progression in business and technology has welcomed phenomenal development in one of the kinds of white-collar crimes, known as cybercrime. Cybercrimes are expanding in light of the fact that there is just a little danger of being gripped or pinched. India’s position on Transparency International’s corruption perception index (CPI) has been worked on throughout the years. 

In 2014, India was positioned 85th which later advanced to 76th position in 2015 in light of a few measures to handle white-collar crimes. In 2018, according to the report of The Economic Times, India was set at 78th position, showing an improvement of three focuses from 2017, out of 180 nations. 

India is a developing nation and white-collar crimes are turning into a significant reason for its development alongside health, poverty, etc. The pattern of white-collar crimes in India represents a danger to the financial advancement of the country. These violations require prompt mediation by the public authority by making exacting laws as well as guaranteeing its appropriate execution.

Grounds for White Collar Crimes in India

  • Absence of mindfulness 

The kind of white-collar crimes is unique in relation to the conventional type of crimes. The vast majority doesn’t know about it and neglect to comprehend that they are the most exceedingly awful victim of crime.

  • Absence of strict laws 

Since a large portion of these crimes is worked with by the internet and advanced strategies for the transfer of money, laws appear to be hesitant to seek after these cases as examining and following turns into a troublesome and convoluted work. Why it gets hard to follow it is on the grounds that they are normally dedicated to the protection of a home or office subsequently giving no witness to it.

  • Competition

Herbert Spencer on reading, ‘On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, authored an adage that advancement signifies ‘Survive of the fittest’. This suggests that there will consistently be a contest between the groups and the best individual to adjust to the conditions and conditions ought to endure.

  • Greed

Machiavelli, father of politics unequivocally accepted that men essentially are covetous. He said that a man can sooner and effectively fail to remember the demise of his father than the deficiency of his legacy. The equivalent is valid on account of the commission of white-collar crimes. For what reason will a man of high societal position and significance, who is monetarily secure, perpetrate such crimes if not out of greed?

Types of white collar crimes in India

  • Bank Fraud: Bank fraud is a criminal act where an individual, by illicit methods, draw out cash or resources from the bank. The fraud can likewise happen when an individual erroneously addresses himself to be a bank or monetary foundation and draw out cash or resources from individuals. 

In this way we reason that bank fraud can be executed in two ways:

  • By utilizing illicit intends to draw out cash or resources from the bank or any monetary establishment. 
  • By erroneously addressing oneself to be a bank or any monetary organization, the individual withdraw cash or resources from individuals.

Bank fraud punishments are mentioned in India under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sections like 403 which manages criminal misappropriation of property, Sec. 405 which manages criminal breach of trust, 415 which manages cheating, 463 forgery, and 489A arrangements with falsifying of cash, manages the crimes of fraud in banks.

  • Extortion: Extortion is a crime under section 383 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. When one party constrains another party for remission of cash, or property or administrations, he is said to have perpetrated the crime of extortion. It is a white collar crime in light of the fact that an official may utilize his authority right and utilize his higher position in the organization to undermine someone else for giving cash, or moving property, or for offering types of assistance.

The case of People v. Fort laid certain elements to be proven for the crime of Extortion (i) There ought to be a correspondence of requests by one party to another, (ii) All together for the satisfaction of the requests, the other party or his family ought to be taken steps to cause some injury, & (iii) There ought to be a goal to coerce cash from the other party for some benefit. The other party ought to be taken steps to do or not to accomplish something.

  • Forgery: As characterized under Section 464 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, alludes to the falsifying of checks or protections determined to dupe the other individual. It is entirely expected in the account section of the organization where the agents or the staffs make false records and flee with organization’s cash consequently making misfortune that organization. 

For example in 2019, Ravi Prakash, Chief of TV9 News Channel, was taken out from his post on the charge of forgery.

  • Cyber Crimes: As the utilization of computer and web is expanding, so is the crimes identified with it. The crimes which include the utilization of computer, combined with the utilization of web are called cybercrime. It is the place where the computer is utilized as the object of the wrongdoing or as an apparatus to perpetrate an offense. Cyber stalking, cyber-crime related to individual, property, child pornography etc. are example of cyber-crimes.

The solitary enactment which manages the offenses identified with cybercrime is Information Technology Act, 2000. The specific meaning of cybercrime has not been given in any of the acts or laws as it’s anything but conceivable to characterize such nature of crimes where computer and web are included.

Major Judicial Pronouncements on white collar crimes in India

In the case of SEBI, Allahabad High Court, the learned direction in the interest of SEBI guaranteed that the organization is as a rule wrongly charged as the organization was not in a situation to pay its obligations, including installments to its investors. At the point when the advertisement by the organization was put to address, the board said that the advertisement was given in 2003 while the request was passed in 2004 when the organization was not in a situation to recompense its obligations. Also, the amount of cash that the investors were asserting was no place referred to. The fundamental cause of the guide made the governing bodies raise the discipline from 1 year to 10 years and furthermore expanded the fine which may now reach out to 25 crores by correcting the laws under section 24(1) of the SEBI Act. Finally, Ravi Arora, the denounced, was held to be liable.

In the case of Abhay Singh, there were two appellants against whom a charge sheet was petitioned for an offense under Section 13(1)(e) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It was asserted that both the accused had gathered unbalanced wealth (black money) according to their pay when they were the member of the legislative assembly. 

At the point when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) started its examination, it was tracked down that the father of the appealing party had gained enormous properties and same as the case with the appellants. The High Court held that the litigant had given an entirely unexpected office of the denounced than they were really holding around then. Accordingly the authority under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was held to be with no legitimacy.


As our society is developing towards innovation and the world is encountering new mechanical progression, the pace of crimes is likewise expanding at a quicker rate. Especially the development in white-collar crimes has been colossal.

The government should make laws that are sufficiently strict to lessen the commission of such crimes. Furthermore, the framework ought to be to such an extent that not just there exist laws giving severe discipline to the denounced yet, in addition, arrange off greatest cases in a brief time. Failing to do so may result in individuals will lose total confidence in the framework, as these crimes are committed by individuals who should go about as a good example for society.

This article is written by Ajay Kataria, from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Law University, Sonepat, Haryana.



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