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A Perspective on White Collar Crimes in India

Teena Wadhera

The ‘Make in India’ initiative started by of Government of India, has boosted business thereby creating positive sentiments and increased investor confidence in Indian companies.With the Indian government’s effort to further liberalize strategic sectors under the foreign direct investment policy, ithascurrently boosted business for the country and will further enhance the future foreign investment perspectives .But all theseglorifying initiatives taken by the Indian government are not immune to the risk of financial and reputational damagescausedby white- collar crimes or corporate crimes such as antitrust violations, environmental law violations, financial and securities fraud, insider trading, evading corporate taxes, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, etc.

Since there is a huge cost involved in dealing with frauds and cases of corruption rigorous anti-fraud and anti-corruption frameworks should be developed secured withstringent penalties on fraudsters. Such elaborate frameworkswill help India to transform into a mature market that would createsecure business environment with zero tolerance to corporate crimes done by white collared people.


Within the study of crime, corporate crimes or the white-collar crime was first suggested by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in the year 1939 as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation". Crimes like bribery, insider trading, labour racketeering; embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, cyber-crime and forgery are typical kinds of white collar crimes committed by people at large. White-collar crime is not only limited to the developed countries of the world, but has emerged significantly in rapidly growing economies such as India (Bakshi , 2016).

There is a significant impact of white-collar crimes on Indian corporates today. The statistics reveal that 469 numbers of companies were probed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) between 2004 and 2016 (PTI, 2016). Also 6533 number of corruption cases were been prepared byCBI over last 10 years (Bakshi, 2016).

The present scenario reveals that largely fraudsters are motivated by financial gains more than ever before leading to deviant behaviour. Largely it is been seen thatperpetrators of white- collar crime do not have any past criminal record and believe that their activities will go unnoticed. They misuse their position of trust to breach the trust.


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