This Article is Written by Manav Sony from Amity University, Kolkata. The Article talks about the Socio-Economic Offences and also gives a critical analysis of the two important reports under this terminology.


Socio-Economic Offences are considered normally as synonyms with the white-collar crimes but a deep analysis of this term gives out a provision that even though there is an intersection created between the socio-economic offences and also the white-collar crimes, but the latter i.e. socio-economic offences have a really narrow scope as compared to the former under quite a lot of aspects. White-collar crimes are defined as all those crimes which are actually committed by the upper sections of the society with respect to their occupations. One such example which can be applied over here is a big MNC found guilty of committing tax evasions. A pensioner who submits any fake return may not be committing any offence under white-collar crimes but the interesting fact which comes over here is that it is a socio-economic offence. Socio crimes are defined as those which actually results in the downward effect to the nation’s economy as a whole and even which affects the health and morality standards of a committee at large. Therefore, we can safely assume without any hassle that socio-economic offences are those offences that affect the economy of the country and also the societies material and health. In our country, the 29th Law Commission Report had suggested taking the Santhanam Committee Report, 1964 into deep consideration. The committee also observed clearly that the IPC does not deal with any sort of satisfactory matters along with acts which may be described as any social offences with regards to the special scenarios under which they all are committed and also have become a dominating figure of the powerful sections under the Indian Strata’s. in most of the aspects which were identified into two features that could be witnessed i.e. Economic Benefits and also Unjust Enrichments. Socio-Economic Offences were clearly enumerated in the leading case of Mak Data Pvt. Ltd v. CIT. In this particular case, the petitioner had tried to hide his income so as to get evaded from the taxes. After a cause notice was given to him, he decided to surrender himself to a particular amount so as to avoid litigation. It was in the end declared by the Supreme Court that the surrender of the sum which was done was actually done when the detection was made. If the intention of the appellant would have been good, he could have filed a return including the sum which was surrendered by him later on after the assessment of the proceedings. 

 The Santhanam Committee Report, 1964

In the year 1962, Lal Bahadur Shastri had appointed Santhanam so as to preside the operations of the committee based on anti-corruption. The committee earned an immense reputation almost everywhere because of the fact that they did a thorough investigation along with the recommendations that were actually needed in the workings. The committee came to be known as the Santhanam’s Committee on Anti-Corruption. In his CrPc,1976 he mentioned about the conduct of persons who are in the power, authority or in any position of the trust in our country as a whole. In this definition, he widely included all the Ministers, Members of the Parliament and also State Legislatures. There has to be no illegal usage of the position for any personal or family advantages and also no actions should be motivated by giving considerations of any party, religion, caste, creed or community and no unofficial type of dealings will be taken place with the businessmen or any hospitality or gifts will be accepted. This particular committee was credited with the formation of the Central Vigilance Commission in the Year 1964 and earned statutory status in the year 2003. This particular committee had their first-ever meeting on 10th September,1962 and till they completed their report with over 87 proceedings. The committee members had also visited Bangalore, Calcutta and Bombay so as to analyse the problems deeply regarding the corruption with relation to the undertakings made in public, import or export of controls, income tax, customs and excise duty and all places the representatives from other organisations and committees used to meet and discuss the aspects widely. In their first Appendix, the committee had mentioned about the witnesses who portrayed their ideas about the corruption problems at their state respectively. The witnesses included certain Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament and also some Famous Journalists. Soon after the few days of the formation of the committee, the Aggression with the Chinese took place and a National Emergency was declared in the entire country by the Honourable President. The committee then examined about certain provisions which came upon the basis of the Defence of India Bill and they also made some important recommendations from the maintenance of the integrity of in the public services point of view. All these aspects and detailed material were given up by the committee under Annexure I. In Annexure 11, the government has mentioned several important amendments made with respect to Article 311 which talks about services Government. The committee has made several groups of reports during the setup of Central Vigilance Commission on aspects like modification of government servants code of conduct rules and also changes in certain rules that related to disciplinary proceedings and a final report on the questions of the public servants. The government has not able to analyse each and every issue really deeply that actually concerned the integrity of the government servants and the removal of the corruption from public life. Four members are from the Lok Sabha and two from the Rajya Sabha who actually attended the work of the parliament and its committees. The committee was pleased to record their deep appreciation of their strenuous and able work. 

The 47th Law Commission India Report, 1972

This particular Report came into force in order to deal with certain questions that deal with the deep interpretation of certain acts. These offences are classified as social and economic offences. This report is known as TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT REPORT ON SOCIAL ECONOMIC OFFENCES. The Government of India had made a quite deep analysis in the basis of certain provisions for the benefit of the entire public in general and also there are certain sections and acts which are really anti-social in nature like Essential Commodities Act, Food Adulteration and Drugs Act, Import & Exports Act, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act etc. these particular acts leads to a pool of evasion of taxes and one question that actually arises in mind is that how strict and penal action can be taken in order to stop the evasion of these taxes and thus the taxes are paid to the government for the benefit of the general public at the instant. This report was really formed because of the fact that there are trial and punishment of the offences that lead to the evasion of the tax. There have been critical analysis made with respect to certain provisions that are lined up in a pile. 


It is submitted that purposes of punishment stand in historical order and were given in different social backgrounds. The retributive theory had its source in the notion of private vengeance in the primitive society. When society developed further, and priesthood came to dominate it, the expiatory theory seems to have come into being. The preventive & deterrent theories came when the social organisation had grown stronger and the state had become powerful. In this way, through the various stages of development, the purpose of punishment went on expanding. In modern times, the researches in various fields of knowledge, new inventions and discoveries etc. have made a complete change in our look towards the concept of the society, the individual and the state. Now the main purpose of punishment is to ensure social security & welfare. It is in this background that the reformative theory came into existence. At present, a significant number of Economic Offences are not being reported to the enforcement agencies. Such rampant nonreporting of Economic offences has kept people unaware of the seriousness of the challenges posed by Economic Offences. In fact, the Researcher feels that under-reporting of crime is applicable to the general crime as well. As there are no two opinions about ill the effects of Economic Offences in particular and crime in general, it is felt that drastic steps will have to be taken to ensure a free registration of offences. A fire registration of offences will keep the professionals working in various parts of the Criminal Justice System and the policymakers informed about the true magnitude of the offences. One such solution is to separate the function of registration of offences from agencies pursuing an investigation of offences. Such a step will require a lot of political courage, matured response from all parts of the Criminal Justice System and the Media because the number of offences getting registered will increase substantially. As the investigation of all the registered cases will not be feasible, the success of such a system will depend upon the use of fair and rational criteria for selection of cases for in-depth investigation. In the opinion, the Researcher, the democratic institutions in India, at present, are not matured and strong enough to take this bold step. This solution, however, should be a long-term goal of policymakers and should guide all the professionals handling the ‘crime problem’.

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