Nov 02,2020 | 5 min read

"Concept Of White-Collar Crimes" - By Ishant Tambi

Co-Author - Aditi Das

Nearly all social orders have certain standards, convictions, traditions and conventions which are verifiably acknowledged by its individuals as conducive to their wellbeing and sound improvement. Encroachment of these cherished standards and traditions is condemned as anti-social behaviour. Thus, numerous scholars have characterized 'crime' as anti-social, shameless or evil behaviour. In any case, agreeing to the lawful definition of wrongdoing is any shape of conduct which is announced to be socially destructive in a state and as such illegal by law beneath torment of a few disciplines. Wrongdoing can be characterized as an act of exclusion, which is illegal, illicit or encroaches arrangements of law and which is culpable by law.


The concept of white-collar wrongdoing is as a rule related to E.H. Sutherland whose entering work in this zone centred the consideration of criminologists on its demoralizing impacts on the whole wrongdoing picture. Sutherland pointed out that other than the conventional violations such as ambush, burglary, dacoity, kill, assault, seizing, and other acts including viciousness, there are certain anti-social exercises which the people of upper strata carry on in the course of their occupation of business. In 1934 Morris drew consideration to the need of an alter in accentuation concerning wrongdoing he stated that antisocial exercises of people of tall status committed in the course of their calling must be brought inside the category of wrongdoing and ought to be made culpable.

At last, E.H. Sutherland emphasized that these 'upper world' wrongdoings which are committed by people of upper socio-economic bunches in the course of their occupation abusing the belief ought to be named as  white-collar wrongdoings to be recognized from conventional violations which he called ''blue-collar violations. The concept of white-collar wrongdoing found it put in criminology for the primary time in 1941 when Sutherland first distributed his term paper on white-collar culpability within the American sociological audit. He characterized white-collar wrongdoing as wrongdoing committed by people of tall social status in the course of their occupation. For instance- distortion through false promotion, the encroachment of licenses, copyrights, and trade-marks, a distribution of manufactured adjust sheets and benefit and misfortune account of the commerce, etc. Sutherland assist pointed out that white-collar wrongdoing is more destructive to society than conventional wrongdoings since the monetary misfortune to the society from white-collar wrongdoing is distant more noteworthy than the budgetary misfortune from burglaries, thefts, larcenies, etc.


1. Advertisement hoc wrongdoings are moreover known as individual wrongdoings since, in this category of white-collar wrongdoings, the wrongdoer seeks after his claim person objective having no confrontation to confront contact with the victim. Hacking on computers, credit card fakes charge avoidance, etc. are common shapes of advertisement hoc white-collar crimes.

2. White-collar wrongdoings including a breach of belief or breach of confidence offered by a person or institution on the culprit. Insider exchanging, budgetary embezzlements, abuse of stores invented payrolls, etc. are common outlines of this sort of white-collar crimes.

3. People involving tall positions or status who commit wrongdoing coincidental to, and in the encouragement of their organizational operations constitute this category of white-collar wrongdoings. Individuals involving tall positions commit such wrongdoing, not since it is their central reason, but since they exclusively discover an opportunity within the course of their work to gain fast cash or pick up undue preferences by utilizing their control or impact. Cases of such violations are false therapeutic charge claims, fake instructive teaching, issuance of fake check sheets/certificates, etc.

4. White-collar violations may too be committed as a portion of the commerce itself. Infringement of trademarks or copyrights, obvious law or competition law, etc. the infringement of space title and other corporate wrongdoings are moreover white-collar wrongdoings of this type.


White-collar culpability has gotten to be a worldwide marvel with the progress of commerce and innovation. Like every other nation, India is similarly in the grasp of white-collar culpability. The reason for a colossal increment in white-collar wrongdoing in recent decades is to be found within the fast-developing economy and mechanical development of this creating country. The Santhanam committee report in its discoveries gave a distinctive picture of white-collar wrongdoings committed by people of respectability such as businessmen, industrialists, temporary workers, and providers as moreover the degenerate open officials. The commission broadly classified white-collar wrongdoings and financial wrongdoings into eight categories and suggested the addition of a modern chapter on white-collar violations within the Indian corrective code.

In recent times, the Hon’ble Apex Court in Tofan Singh Versus State of Tamil Nadu had observed that the Law Commission of India, in its 155th Report on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, submitted in July 1997, inter alia, stated: - “The crimes are generally of two kinds:

(a) Traditional crimes affecting individual persons, like murder, theft, assault, etc.; 

(b) White-Collar Crimes or Socio-Economic Crimes affecting the public at large like smuggling, hoardings, adulteration, illicit trafficking and sale of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances etc.

Whitecollar crimes are of recent origin and may be defined as all illegal acts committed by unlawful means — the purpose being to obtain money or property or business or personal gain or profit. Such crimes are committed by organised gangs having influence. Some of the salient features of the white-collar crimes are as under:

(a) there is no social sanction against such white-collar crimes; 

(b) these crimes are committed by organised gangs equipped with most modern technology; 

(c) there is generally a nexus between the politicians, law enforcing agencies and the offenders indulging directly in such crimes;

(d) there is no organised public opinion against such crimes; and 

(e) the traditional crimes are isolated crimes, while the white-collar crimes are part and parcel of the society

In the legal profession, the crimes include violating ethical standards of the legal profession to earn large profits, engaging professional witnesses for fake testimony and fabricating false pieces of evidence are some of the examples of white-collar crime.


  • Indian Penal Code, 1860

  •  Companies Act, 1961

  •  Customs Act, 1962

  • Prevention of Corruption Act,1988

  • Income-tax Act, 1961

  •  Commodities Act, 1955

  • Imports and Exports Control Act, 1950

  •  IT Act, 2005

  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

  •  Lokpal Act, 2014


In-country like India, where huge scale starvation, mass absence of education, and numbness influence the life of the individuals, white-collar violations are bound to increase to an expansive extent. Control of these violations may be a pivotal issue for criminal equity organizations in this nation. Be that as it may, a few of the medicinal measures for combating white-collar culpability may be expressed as follows:

1.  Making open mindfulness against these violations through the media of press, stage, and other audio-visual help. Seriously lawful education programs may offer assistance in reducing the rate of white-collar guiltiness to a significant extent.

2.  Extraordinary tribunals ought to be constituted with control to grant sentence of imprisonment for more than 7 years.

3.  Exacting administrative laws and exceptional discipline for white-collar criminals. 

4.  A partitioned chapter on white-collar crimes and socio-economic violations ought to be joined within the Indian corrective code by correcting it. 

5. White-collar wrongdoers ought to be managed sternly by endorsing stiffer disciplines, skipping in to see the gravity of the harm caused to society since of these violations.

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