What Are White-Collar Crimes
Meaning of white-collar crimes.

White-collar crimes are nowhere defined under Indian Law but have been used in many judicial proceedings. White-collar crimes involve non-violent financial frauds committed by individuals, businesses and government officials with high social status.

Common white-collar crimes include bank fraud, bribery, cybercrime (hacking, child pornography, copyright infringement, cyber terrorism), money laundering, etc. They are practised in different professional fields like legal, healthcare, education, sports and government sectors.

The cause of white-collar crimes in India includes greed, competition, lack of awareness, strict laws, and people’s necessities. These crimes are evidenced in professions like legal, engineering, medical and educational institutions.

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The Harshad Mehta scam is a white-collar crime wherein he – in the name of Grow More Research & Asset Management Limited – a security firm in 1990, invested money in the stock market, due to which the prices of shares increased. However, the huge amount of money that he invested was obtained by misappropriating bank funds and was an act of money laundering.

Many other such cases like the Punjab National Bank and Nirav Modi fraud case, the 2G scam and the Commonwealth Games scam are examples of white-collar crimes.

Under Indian Laws, punishments are provided for various white-collar crimes in the Companies Act, 2013; the Income Tax Act, 1961; the Indian Penal Code, 1860; the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881; the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002; and the Information Technology Act, 2005.

Section 447 of the Companies Act (2013) provides punishment for committing fraud. The person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned for a minimum of six months which may extend to 10 years. Section 448 of the Companies Act (2013) deals with punishment for false statements such as returns, reports, certificates, financial statements, or other documents. Section 449 of the Companies Act (2013) deals with a punishment of a minimum of 3 years which may extend up to 7 years for a person convicted for furnishing false evidence.

Read Next:
1. 7 Categories of Crime as Per the Indian Penal Code
2. What Is Fraud Under the Indian Contract Act
3. 7 Kinds of Defaults and Their Penalties Under Tax Law in India

Ankita Trivedi
WritingLaw » Law Q&A » What Are White-Collar Crimes? Law Study Material
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