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Author: Laiba Tahreem, IV year of B.A.,LL.B. from Jamia Hamdard


This paper examines a critical analysis on white collar crime in India. In addition, to comprehend the notion of white-collar crime in India. White collar crime is defined as crime done by educated persons from a higher social level during the course of their work. The author has addressed in this work what distinguishes white collar crime from blue collar crime It is also known as the crime of the educated. Elite professionals. The author has expanded on the common sorts of white-collar crimes in this post. in India in recent years and how this has evolved into a socioeconomic crime. Aside from that, there are offences that are active in several medical professions, education and legal practice White Coat In huge and complicated organizations, crime occurs. These crimes are perpetrated by persons who have a profound grasp of financial management, engineering, medical, organizational philosophy, and information technology. Technology, for example. In most situations, the harm produced by white collar crime is apparent. For example, tax evasion results in diminish treasury revenue, bribery leads to skewed government decision making, and inside trading leads to financial loss investors' investments White collar crimes have a moral complexity and ambiguity that is not obvious in other crimes.


White Collar Crimes are crimes perpetrated by a person of high social position and respectability while performing his or her job. It is a crime performed by paid professional employees or business owners that generally involves some type of money theft or fraud. Sociologist Edwin Sutherland coined the phrase "White Collar Crime" in 1939. These are non-violent crimes. Business individuals who can obtain significant sums of money through fraudulent operations commit crimes. the goal of monetary gain White Collar Crimes are perpetrated by individuals who are involved in otherwise legitimate activities. Businesses and a wide range of activities are covered. Unless their wrongdoing is revealed, the criminals enjoy respectable positions in the communities. Unless and until their wrongdoing is discovered. The laws governing white-collar crimes vary depending on the specific nature of the crime committed.[1]

Historical View

The Classical Period[2]

It is an undeniable fact that since human beings began living together, there has been an increase in the conduct of crime. A few types of crime have gone obsolete, while many other sorts of crime have taken on new dimensions in today's society. White collar crime is not a novel concept. Numerous allusions to these crimes may be found in India's ancient and mediaeval literatures dating back to the Vedic period. Manu, India's renowned lawgiver, believed that there was a time when 'dharma' reigned supreme, but that as time passed, 'adharma' crept in, giving rise to tendencies such as theft, deceit, and fraud.

  • According to Brihaspati, males used to be rigorously virtuous and free of malicious tendencies. Now that avarice and evil have seized control of them. In India, the notion of bribery is not novel. Bribery is mentioned in a number of spiritual scriptures.

  • “What has been given by men with fear, rage, desire, sadness, or in jest or by accident or via any fraudulent practice by a minor, an imbecile, a person not his own master, one mad or inebriated, an outcast, or in payment of labor unperformed be viewed as ungiven or bribe," states B. Narada.

  • Smrtikars consider the subject of people's health and sickness since Hindu Dharmastra authors constantly seek for the betterment of society. They reject non-eatables because sale is punishable in this situation. Yajnavalkya first stated that the selling of dog meat is illegal, and anyone involved in such a transaction must be punished. In addition to monetary punishments, their hands, nose, and ears will be mutilated. In his commentary on this poem, Vijnaneswara describes mutilating the nose, ears, and hands, the 3 organs of the body. Kautilya has recommended amputation of the hand and leg in order to sell non-edible flesh. Physician reprimand. In ancient India, embryology was well understood, and the removal of an immature fetus was considered a crime and the ultimate sin. KathakaSamitha, like Maitrayini Samith, considers the removal of foetuses to be a more serious crime than the murder of a Brahmin. Yajnavalky has closely examined this horrific act and has advocated severe penalties for the individual guilty for the embryo's annihilation.

The production of falsified coins is referred to as 'Kutarupa' by Kautilya. Kara is a co underfit coin manufacturer, as is anyone who mints coins anywhere other than the official mint or without being monitored by the state minted maker. Kautilya provides a list of the equipment utilized by the counterfeit coin producer. Metals, alkali, coal, bellow, clippers, tool, anvil, designed die, and crucible are among them.

The Modern Times

The establishment of some cotton textile and jute mills in India in the last quarter of the 18th century did not significantly change the complexion of things because the British government had adopted a policy of some toleration towards labor in India, which was primarily directed by reason and motives of preservation of the textile industry of Manchester and Lancashire in view of competition between the two. The Factories Act, 1881 was enacted before the working conditions of India's manufacturing employees deteriorated significantly. Rapid industrialization in India began only with the First World War (1914–1919), although even then, the British Government's objective was to artificially limit it.

Nonetheless, even this modest industrial development had a significant social impact since it saw the emergence and development of two new social groups in Indian society:

(1) the industrialized capitalist.

(2) the contemporary working-class.

The influxes to the cities had already begun, even if the employees did not completely sever their ties and lose contact with their kinsmen in the countryside. As industrial activity developed, employees became increasingly disconnected from their rural life. Extreme commercial competition and the pursuit of monopolistic advantages occurred, combined with natural and implied criminalistic behavior. Criminalistic behavior is usually evident and implicit in extreme competitive strategy and monopoly, so the devil of white-collar crime began growing in India as well, and in a relatively short period of time, this newly developed form of criminality, until now almost unidentified to the India scene, happened to come to the forefront and, despite all the provisions of the Indian penal code, came to the forefront.

Defining White Collar Crime

White Collar Crimes, as described by Edwin Sutherland, are "crimes perpetrated by a person of responsibility and high social status in the course of his work." White Collar Crimes has five characteristics, as defined above.

1. It is illegal.

2. Committed by a respectable individual;

3. Having a high social status;

4. in the course of his job or vocation;

5. It is frequently a breach of trust.

Prof. E. Sutherland pointed out that, in addition to "conventional crimes or blue-collar crimes. Assault, robbery, dacoit, murder, rape, kidnapping, and other violent actions are examples of White-Collar Crimes.

Number of White- Collar Crimes

There are several sorts of white-collar crime. Here are a few examples:

A. Bank Fraud: Bank fraud refers to engaging in such acts in order to defraud a bank or to get assets held by financial institutions through illicit methods.

B. Blackmail: Blackmail is a demand for money made by threatening someone with bodily harmor revealing his secrets

C. Bribery: Bribery is defined as offering money, goods, or any other present to someone in order to gain influence over them.his behavior Anyone who proposes or accepts a bribe commits a felony.

D. Computer Fraud: Computer frauds are those that entail hacking or stealing information from a computersome other individual

E. Embezzlement: When someone entrusted with money or property misuses it.

F. Extortion: is when someone illegally takes someone else's property by real or threatened force.[3]

G. Insider Trading: When someone utilizes confidential knowledge to invest in publicly traded firm shares.

H. Money Laundering: Laundering is the concealing of the source of unlawfully obtained funds.

I. Tax Evasion: Tax evasion is defined as dodging taxes by supplying incorrect information on tax forms or by doing so illegally transferring property to avoid paying.

The Nature of the White-Collar Crime

The next stage is to look at the nature of many of these crimes after examining the definitions and understanding the distinctive features of white-collar crime. A crime, often known as an offence, is defined as "a legal violation that can be accompanied by criminal procedures that may end in punishment." The characteristic of crime is a violation of the criminal justice. There are two opposing viewpoints on the nature of white-collar crime. According to one viewpoint, white collar crimes are "crimes" in the true sense, but the opposing viewpoint questions the illegality of white-collar crimes. Those who argue against include white collar offences in the definition of "crime" argue that the great majority of white-collar law is restrictive rather than punitive in nature. It is administrative in nature and, by definition, is aimed primarily at our society's commercial and professional classes. The majority of white-collar crime statutes are administrative in nature. The responsible authority has the authority to determine whether or not to begin criminal proceedings. It is examined in the field of criminology, which is warranted because it is against the law. White collar crime is a type of crime, but it differs from traditional crime in five ways: genesis, assessment of culpability, ideology, enforcement and trial method, and punishments. The fundamental point of disagreement is that these regulatory offences are 'civil' in character, while others believe they are 'criminal' in nature. Most white-collar crime statutes provide for both civil and criminal responsibility for the same crime.[4] As a result of the many remedies available to prosecute white collar offences, this misunderstanding exists. The sole distinction is that the legal procedure in civil matters differs from that in criminal situations. There are several offences such as carelessness, slander, trespass, and so on. They can be tried under tort law as well as the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Tort cases are pursued in accordance with the rules of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, whilst criminal cases must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. If some types of illegal behavior are dealt with under tort law rather than criminal law for reasons of tradition or administrative convenience, the claim that white collar crime is not truly crime since culprits are handled with under civil law loses most of its tenacity. As a result, in the current day, when white collar crime has achieved dizzying heights, there is no basis for not recognizing white collar crime as "crime" in the true sense.

What are the basic causes of these crimes?

The general public believes that white collar crimes are conducted out of avarice or economic insecurity. However, these offences are also conducted as a result of contextual pressure or the intrinsic tendency to gain more than others. However, white collar crime can occur for a variety of reasons.

  • Lack of awareness: These are some of the primary causes of white-collar crime is a lack of public awareness. The nature of the crime is distinct from regular crimes, and even though they are the worst crime victims, people seldom comprehend it.

  • Not really a crime: Some criminals convince themselves that their activities are not crimes since they do not resemble street crimes.

  • Not Realizable: Some people explain their criminal behavior by claiming that government rules do not comprehend the practical issues of competing in a free business environment.

  • Greed is another motivator for criminal behavior. Some people believe that because others are breaking the law, it is not so awful if they do as well.

  • Another aspect that contributes to criminality is necessity. People are committing white collar crimes to feed their egos or to sustain their families.

Indian Judiciary and White-Collar Crime

The Indian government has enacted a number of regulatory laws, violations of which will result in white-collar crime. The Essential Commodities Act of 1955, the Industrial (Development and Regulation) Act of 1951, the Import and Exports (Control) Act of 1947, the Foreign Exchange (Regulation) Act of 1974, the Companies Act of 1956, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002 are some of these laws.

The legislative, executive, and judiciary are the three branches of government, each having distinct functions. Laws have no significance unless they are enforced, which is why the Constitution established a complex legal structure, with the Supreme Court at its top. Because the law despises vacuum cleaners, when the Executive failed to act and the legislature was powerless to intervene, the Indian judiciary jumped in to rescue the day. Public interest litigation has shown to be a powerful tool for combating white-collar crime.[5]

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 imposes harsh penalties. As a result, a balance must be achieved between the necessity for the law and its execution on the one hand, and citizen protection from discrimination and oppression on the other. Because the penalties are severe, the terms of the special Act must be strictly obeyed. The Supreme Court of India and several High Courts' rulings are guiding forces and have been referred to in detail.

Case Laws

In Ali Mustafa Abdul Rehman Moosa v. State of Kerala[6], the Supreme Court of India ruled that a Sub-Inspector of Police got trustworthy information that a foreigner was sitting in the first-class waiting room with a large number of charas. The police officer in charge proceeded to the first-class waiting area and spotted Ali Mustafa, a Kuwaiti national. He was searched, and 780gms of charas were found in his possession. The offender Ali Mustafa was found guilty and sentenced to 11 years in jail and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh by the Court of the state. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.

In State of Punjab v. Balbir Singh[7], the Supreme Court held that if a police officer makes an exploration or detainment a person in the regular process of investigation into an infraction or suspected offence as provided under the provisions of Cr.P.C. and such search is completed at that stage, section 50 of the NDPS Act is not enticed and the questions of complying with the requirements there unaffected. If there is a possibility of recovering any narcotics drug or psychotropic substance during a search or arrest, the police officer who is not enabled should notify the empowered officer, who should then proceed in line with the regulations from that point forward of the NDPS Act.

In Ashok Kumar v. State of Haryana[8], the suspect Ashok Kumar was searched while alighting from a bus in the presence of a Magistrate and was discovered to be in possession of 5 kg and 500 gms of charas. The Magistrate was called as a witness, but he couldn't identify the accused throughout the trial. During the trial, the Officer identified the accused.

The Special Court convicted the accused under Section 20 of the NDPS Act. The High Court also upheld the Trial Court's conviction and sentence. In the Supreme Court, the defense contends that the fact of seizure of an illegal object should be dismissed in the absence of an independent seizure witness. The conviction and punishment were affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Information Technology Act 2000: The Information Technology Act, 2000 (also known as ITA-2000 or the IT Act) is an Indian Parliament Act (No 21 of 2000) that was notified on October 17, 2000. It is India's principal legislation governing cybercrime and electronic trade.

Case Laws

In the case law of Yahoo, Inc. v. Akash Arora[9] was the first in which an Indian Court issued a decision concerning domain names. The plaintiff, Yahoo Inc., filed a suit against the defendants in the Delhi High Court, seeking, among other things, a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants, their partners, servants, and agents from operating any business or selling, offering for sale, advertising, or otherwise trying to deal in any good and services on the world wide web and otherwise under the trade mark/domain name '' or any other mark that is identical with or misleading. The plaintiff also filed an application for a temporary restraining order.

The Delhi High Court granted an interim injunction restraining the defendants from operating any business or selling, offering for sale, advertising, or otherwise dealing in goods or services on the web or somehow under the trademark/domain name "" or any other trademark/domain name that is identical! with or deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s trademark "Yahoo!"

The Supreme Court ruled in Prashant Kumar v. Mancharlal Bhagatram Bhatia[10]that economic crimes are on the rise. Smugglers undermine the nation's economy and deplete crucial foreign exchange. It is vital to aid the investigation of economic crimes, and retrial courts should not overlook this component while determining a suspect's liberty. It is important to remember that the general welfare of society must be appropriately balanced against individual liberty.

Sutherland's views on white collar crime have been Criticized

Sutherland's interpretation of white-collar crime has been criticized by some. Coleman and Moynihan noted that the absence of precise criteria for establishing who are "persons of duty and status" has resulted. The most contentious definition of white-collar crime is Sutherland's. Sutherland most likely meant "absence from conviction for offences apart from white collar crimes." The aspect of "high social standing," as stated in the definition, also causes confusion; plainly, it has a far narrower connotation than that phrase is given in ordinary usage. It is also suggested that the crucial factor in defining white collar crime is not the individual's socioeconomic standing, but rather the sort of crime and the events surrounding its commission. These often involve theft, fraudulent accounting, bribery, and embezzlement.

Sutherland, on the other hand, endorses the unique trial system for white collar criminals by administrative authorities on the grounds that it would shield the guilty from the criminal prosecution stigma. Another criticism of the concept of white- collar crime is that it does not always require rea, which is a necessary component of a crime. In India, the common law notion of mens rea has no applicability to statutory offences, and the necessity of a guilty mind may be omitted either explicitly or implicitly.[11]


These offenses have become a source of worry throughout the world, as well as a problem for law enforcement organizations in the new millennium. Because of the nature of these crimes, they may be performed anonymously and remote from the victim's physical presence. Furthermore, cyber thieves have a significant advantage: they can utilize computers. Echnology to cause harm without the fear of being detected or caught It is expected that there will be. The rise in cybercrime coincides with the rise in new websites and social media platforms. Financial companies, energy and telecommunications services, transportation, business, and so forth.

White collar crimes are those that undermine the country's economy as a whole. It endangers the country's economy through bank fraud, economic theft, and tax evasion, among other things. It has a detrimental influence on society as well as a country's or individual's financial situation. Bribery, corruption, and other types of crimes Bribery, corruption, and other types of crimes money launder in has. It had a bad impact on society. In Indian law, there is no appropriate concept of white-collar crime. These socioeconomic factors. The government should not be indulgent when it comes to crimes.White collar crime penalties should be tougher, as strong penalty can significantly reduce the likelihood of these crimes occurring. If the offence is very serious, the sentence might be life in prison. Because most of these crimes are unknown to the general population, raising awareness through any method of communication is essential. It is also required. The government should set stringent laws on economic thievery in the country.



1. The Industrial (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.

2. The Import and Exports (Control) Act, 1947.

3. The Foreign Exchange (Regulation) Act, 1974.

4. The Companies Act, 1956.

5. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

6. The narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act,1985.

7. The information technology act, 2000


1. Prof.N.V.Paranjape, Criminology and Penology, (Central law Publication ,Allahabad,7thedn.,2005).

2. K.D.Gaur, Criminology and Penology, (Deep and Deep publication,New Delhi,2003)

3. H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy, History of India (Eastern Book Company,Luknow,1993).

4. Dr. Krishna Pal Malik, Penology, victimology& Correctional Administration in India, (Allahabad Law Agency,Haryana,1st edn.,2011).


[1] White Collar Crime, India, available at: on 21st May, 2022) [2]Dr.N.V. Paranjape, Criminology Penology and Victimology: 16th Edition. [3] White Collar Crime, India, available at : on 21st May, 2022) [5] Ibid [6] AIR 1995 SC 244 [7]AIR 1994 SC 1872 [8]2000 SCC (Cri) 506 [9]AIR 2000 Bom. 27. [10] 1988 Cri LJ 1463 (Bom.) [11] Prof.J.P.S. Sirohi, Criminology and Penology 234 (Allahabad Law Agency , Delhi, 7th edn.,2014)


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