This article is written by Samta Sharma from JIMS, School Of Law, IPU and curated by Sahana Arya from Ansal University, Gurgaon
”Any system that values profit over human life is a very dangerous one indeed. It simply lacks values, and such a system will eventually collapse once its true light is discovered by the masses.”
In every human society, there is an effort continually tending to confer on one part the height of power and happiness, and to reduce the other to the extreme of weakness and misery.
We all are aware that ‘White Collar Workers’ are the ones who flourish the economy of a country, but have you ever heard about ‘White Collar Criminals’? They at the same time dwindles the economy of a country by committing criminal offences. The public, who is unaware of its costs and indifferent to its control, gets trapped into it. White collar crime is a broad term that encompasses many types of non violent criminal offenses including fraud and many other types of illegal offences.
It is said that education is a powerful agent of change that contributes to long term economic growth but here a pertinent question arises that, what if the educated class of society ruins the principle of education and misuse their powers to harm others?
This article further attempts to define the problems, nature & scope of white collar crime.
Since we all are aware that corruption has been the source for the demise of every great civilization, in the same way white collar crime has also been. It is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed with the utmost perspective as many people have to suffer in this quagmire even when they are innocent. White collar crime is mainly committed by those people who belong to the society of higher class. These people have mainly a better understanding of the technology and their respective field. According to the FBI, the agency that investigates these offences said, “these crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust.” The motive of these crimes is probably to obtain or avoid losing money, property or to secure business advantage.
Undoubtedly the advantage of technology and advanced science has contributed to emergence of ‘mass society’.
NATURE AND SCOPE OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME:
The concept of this was first laid down by Prof. Edwin Sutherland in 1941.
The scope of white collar crime is being expanded to a great height & reaching its peak day by day. Any system that values profit over human life is a very dangerous one indeed. It simply lacks values, and such a system will eventually collapse once its true light is discovered by the masses.” The modern developments in the technology areas have given new dimensions to computer related crimes known as cyber crimes. The areas affected by these crimes are banking and financial institutions, industry, business etc.
Unlike other types of criminals, white collar criminals are enjoying a variety of social & economic profits.
As such, the white collar crimes are expanding on a daily basis, it damages and distorts society on a large scale because the laws are not properly administered and therefore there is a need to curb the factors that are helping in the commission of such crimes.
Generally these crimes are committed for the purpose of greed or economic stability but sometimes the cause of these crimes depends upon the situational pressure and some other reasons that are:
- Lack of Awareness: Some of the offenders commit such crimes because of lack of awareness in people. Here people barely understand that they are the victim of the worst crime.
- Necessity: Many of the people commit such crimes to fulfill their family needs and satisfy their ego.
- Greed: One of the main reasons for such crime is greed as people get more motivated when they see others breaking the rules and follow the same.
TYPES OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME:
There are different types of crimes under white collar and some of them are:
- Computer Frauds: It includes hacking and looting someone’s information.
- Tax Fraud: It includes evading tax information by misrepresentation.
- Extortion: When someone obtains the property of others illegally.
- Insider Trading: When someone uses the inside/personal information for the purpose of trading or earning profit.
- Embezzlement: When a person is entrusted with property or money & uses it for their personal use.
There are many types of examples like these because white collar crimes are potent in nearly all the professions and are frequent and common in the business world.
LAWS RELATING TO WHITE COLLAR CRIMES:
The government of India has introduced several laws, the breach of which can amount to white collar criminality. The IPC contains the provisions to check crimes such as credit card fraud, insurance fraud and etc.
In order to handle the computer based crimes ITA, 2000 has provided several provisions under Section 43 and 44.
- While white collar crimes have become a matter of global concern it is important to aware the public against these crimes by using the platforms of press, social media, radio and several advertisements.
- Laws should be made more strict and award sentences of imprisonment to the offenders of such crimes.
- There should be rigid regulatory laws and serious punishments should be provided to curb these types of crimes.
- Fast track courts should be made by appointing more judges for taking action more quickly.
Finally the government should take the responsibility to provide enough powers to the law enforcement agencies because without the help of agencies the problem of corruption and falsification cannot be exterminated.
In a country like India where a large scale of population gets poorly affected by mass illiteracy, starvation and many other infinite number of crucial problems, which needs a strict constituted system for tackling the current situation. With this it can be concluded that the provisions of Indian Penal Code dealing with white-collar crimes should be amended to intensify punishment particularly fine in tune with changed socio-economic conditions. Therefore along with the government we can try to reduce the risk of such crimes.