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White Collar Crime V. Violent Crime

Crime is Commission of an act which is Forbidden or prohibited by law and makes the doer liable to punishment. The elements of crime include human being, mens rea , actus reus, and injury.

Where there is money, there is deceit, Where there is lots of money, there is lots of deceit.

Crime has been increased with the innovation of the society.It has shown us different ways through which it can be committed. The ways either with use of force or without use of force. Criminals using force to the victim to cause injury or harm to their body, property, reputation or mind are known as violent criminals. Whereas non-violent criminals are persons using no force to cause financial loss to the victim, but by various smart methods such as debit-credit card frauds, accounting transaction frauds , money laundering ,etc.

Some common examples of violent and non-violent crimes are:

  • Violent crimes such as rape, murder, assault, robbery, domestic violence etc.
  • Non-violent crimes such as bribery, contract crimes such as fraud tax crimes, imprisonment, money laundering, various drugs and alcohol related crimes, etc.
  • Further, A and B sells alcohol in Gujarat at higher prices, here A and B are committing non-violent crime as selling alcohol in a dry state is illegal ,therefore they are liable for punishment.
The innovating world has led the development of technology, through which the white collar crime has been increased and no more unpopular phenomenon. In addition the growth of industrial and economical background has made the disclosure of various different ways through which the white-collar crimes can be committed easily. Also in various professions and companies in order to gain more and more, they rapidly increase the unethical practices , which keeps going unnoticed.


White Collar Crimes

In 20th century, the most popular criminologist and also a sociologist, Edwin Hardin Sutherland ,for the first time in 1939 point the term white-collar crime as the crime committed by persons of high social status, who enjoy a great reputation, power and respectability in their occupation.

In short, it include respected people of society, big entities and corporations. These people have a better understanding of technology, their respective field, disciplines ,etc.It is usually committed to have financial gain to oneself and financial loss to the other. White-collar crime such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery , and money laundering have destroyed shareholder value at companies such as Alstom , Odebrecht , Teve Pharmaceutical , Volkswagen (foreign brands) . Volkswagen incurred legal penalties and was hit with $20 billion.

For example:
As in the upper example it was stated that when A and B sell liquor in a dry state is a crime. When A sells alcohol to C and C while going home is caught by a police officer Z. Z rather than taking C in custody, gives option to C that give the alcohol and extra Rs.5000 to get free from any legal process.C gives the expected amount and bottle to Z. Here, Z being a reputed person during his occupation is police authority commits bribery that is the white-collar crime.

Many people like them keep going unnoticed and no whistle blower is expected in such cases.

Who is a whistle blower?

What is the person who exposes information related to the wrongdoing or fraud happening, within the government organisation or any other institution . The name itself , suggest that blows the whistle related to the wrongdoings. The disclosure within the organisational level are known as internal whistle blowing and the disclosure to the outside world (public domain) in forms of reports to the media or to the appropriate authority is are known as external whistle blowers.

Reasons for commission of white collar crime:

  1. Greed:

    Greedy persons have selfish desire for money and power. Most of the high-class people aims to be more powerful and wealthy because of the greed to earn more. So, they choose unethical and illegal ways to have a extra financial gain.This tend to elicit less sympathy, for example A million dollar salary by a CEO through different accounting strategies or any other way.
     
  2. Necessity or need:

    Many people commit white-collar crime To meet their needs and earn some extra money. As we can see that in our country government workforce receives less money as compare to other foreign nations. This can be a reason for having corrupt officers and public servants.Such as bribery and Corruption.
     
  3. Competition:

    This is the main reason as people who commit white-collar crime wants to be at the top with power and money. As the best person to adapt himself to the circumstances will survive in the competitive world.
     
  4. Lack of strict rules:

    Many people commit white collar crimes through online transactions and digital methods of transferring payment. This often makes the investigation a bit difficult. As, it has been committed in a place with no eyewitnesses. Also, people uses different accounting strategies such as fake bills, false balance sheets of their company and no debit- credit transaction of cash. Through this they can easily hide transactions and save money without paying tax to the government.
     

Some of the white collar crimes

Blackmailing:

When a higher social status people commit blackmailing it is considered in white-collar crime. Blackmailing amounts to Criminal Intimidation which is well defined in section 503 of Indian Penal Code,1860. It means making a demand of money or any other consideration by imposition of threat to cause any physical injury or harm, or damage to person or property, or to accuse one of a crime, or to expose somebody's secret.

For example:
A secretary of B. B is the owner of the company and married to a C. 'A' having affair with C, blackmails B to monthly transfer her Rs.1,00,000 addition to salary, otherwise she would send all intimate pictures revealing secret of their affair to his wife 'C'.

Corruption:

According to Oxford Advanced learner's dictionary, corruption means dishonest or illegal behaviour, specially of people in authority. Corruption is something which is forbidden by law, it is an act or intent of a person to earn wrongful gain which is contrary to duty and the rights of others. In Government of India Report, Santhanam Committee on Corruption states that White-collar crimes are committed by people of respectability such as businessman, industrialists, contractors and public officers.

Bribery:

This is very popular and common type of white-collar crime in India. Bribery means giving money or any type of goods to persons who are at higher position in the society and in-return some favour from such person.In simple words, when one man gives money to another man who is in authority to get something done from him in return.

For example: A who is in custody for murder, through some contacts gives Rs.10,00,00 to judge 'B'who is in charge of deciding his case.If B accepts such amount than he is liable for bribery.

Bank frauds and scams:

White-collar crime include various types of fraud and scams such as debit and credit card frauds, email frauds, online payment frauds, loan frauds, etc. Fraud is a crime committed intentionally to deceive a person and gain undue advantage from it. Bank fraud is a corporate as well as a white-collar crime. It is fraud committed by persons or companies to manipulate negotiable instruments such as cheque bouncing, securities and bank deposits.

Debit/Credit frauds are when a person uses other persons debit or credit card, without his consent to purchase or withdraw money from the card. This can usually be committed through sending fake scheme text messages, mobile calls and emails to the other person from whom to obtain CVV number and card/account number.It also include sending of various links, which directly fulfil the wrongful purpose of the fraud doer.

For example:
An employment fraud by a consulting firm on HDFC bank was recently revealed through internal investigation conducted by Bank. The consultancy agency managed the fraud by presenting resumes of candidates which are fraudulent documents, along with fake salary slips, forged certificates and documents, as well as non-existent reference.

Money laundering:

It is a crime in which criminals change the identity of the money. In short, by turning black money into white money. Laundering of black money that has been obtained from illegal source or business such as drug cartels, selling of objects or equipments illegal in India or selling of alcohol in dry states. It is done with an intention to convert such kind of money in white form as it has came from a legal source.

Money-laundering involves few steps which are more probably used:

  1. Person receives the money from some illegal means, and then deposit it into the bank by some way.
  2. Then, the transferring of money is done through various transactions.
  3. When finally the money is fresh and white i.e no more black money, it is deposited into bank to make it legitimate.

Now, the underlying examples are other ways through which money laundering can be observed"
A and B partners in a financial investment company. A being the accounted of drug cartel XYZ , he usually manages the accounting book and makes it seem that the money comes from a legal source i.e the making fake entries in the books of accounts.

Further, when A starts investing the money as his own money of XYZ into other businesses such as ice cream shop, bar or a club, building of a church or casino, etc. This leads to conversion of black money into white money.

Some other white-collar crime

Tax evasion – It means showing low income rather than the actual income to the government authorities, so that higher payment of tax is avoided.This concealment of income is done to hide the money obtained from the illegal means. This type of white-collar crime is committed to show low income and reduce the tax liability in front of the government. The result at the end is less income received by government from taxpayers:
  • Counterfeiting
  • Tele-marketing scams
  • Forgery
  • Insurance and healthcare fraud ,etc.

Some laws against white-collar crime

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act ,2018– Under this amended act authorities are granted the power to prosecute commercial organizations. If any person associated with such commercial organization gives or promises to give any undue advantage to a public servant. Prior permissions necessary before conducting investigations on the public servants. The approval would have to be given by the relevant state or union government under whose employment the public servant committed offence.

Also, included bribe giving as an offence:

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Section 503 deals with Criminal Intimidation.
  • Section 415 deals with Cheating.
  • Section 405 deals with Criminal breach of trust.
  • Section 465 deals with Forgery.
  • Section 171-B deals with bribery as giving or accepting any type of reward for exercising electoral right.

Violent Crime

Violent crime is more dangerous and harmful to people as it affect their life for a long time. Whereas white-collar crime neither harmful to the life of people nor it affect for a long period. It just include financial loss. As financial loss is a very minor thing as compared to precious life of a person. Financial loss is that element which can be recovered anytime later. Violent crimes are those crimes which includes force or violence to cause injury or harm to the person. Injury can be in any form such as harm to body, mind, reputation and property. The most affective injury may be causing harm to the body or mind i.e murder, rape, assault , domestic violence etc.

For example:
domestic violence which is most common in india. Manyof the rural families face such kind of crime but no one comes in front to fight against such offence. Violent crime mostly affects female gender of the society. What can be the reason behind not coming in front does anyone thought of it. The reason is they don't want the relation to be broken, as they are interdependent on the male gender.

The first question in victim's mind is that who will take care of their children and what will be the image of their father and mother in the society, if she comes in front to fight against such crime.I don't say these are the only reasons but they can be some of the main reasons.

Further, violent crime when once committed by a person and no one opposes it, makes such person fearless and encouraged to commit again such crime. Most of the violent crimes are committed for the purpose of revenge. It is not that violent crime is always committed by unknown persons or strangers, who show less sympathy while doing such act. Although it has been committed by the family members and knows of the victim.

Reason for commission of violent crimes

Lack of education and poor background– The most common cause of violent crime is poor background that Is People who live their lives in an unmanaged environment and lack of proper knowledge of relations and proper behaviour. They are neither taught how to maintain a relationship and family. Lack of money may also lead people to commit crimes such as kidnapping, robbery, theft with murder.

Lack of education leads to unemployment and unemployment leads to pressure, frustration and stress which amounts to violence being done on the woman that is assault, domestic violet, rape etc. The young age people are not properly taught how to maintain relations with other gender due to lack of education and family background.When a male being rejected by a female, feels dishonour and disgrace. This leads such people to commit rape as a form of revenge or satisfaction to their desire.

Family conditions and parental relations:

Many young people follow their elders or grow as per their elders. For example ABCD is a family consist of A and B as father and mother. C and D as son and daughter. When C (son) sees a A and B fighting and A badly beats his wife B.Either that young son will feel for his mother or will be taught by his father that every woman should be treated lower, which is a wrong theory. Why? Woman are always treated as lower in the family.

They are the actual need of the family, only they maintain a house and other things related to their children. Family conditions also include people in a family seeing or observing violence being committed in family but no one stops it or raise their voices. Also when members of family are not given proper attention and love, this can make them violent and they show such violence to the other world through committing murder, rape, assault , etc.

Alcohol and other drugs:

People treat alcohol as a source of chilling and removing stress and tension. Sometimes this chilling may lead to commission of an offence. When people excessively drink and comes into a fight with other people who will end up with showing violence to one another and sometimes commission of a crime takes place.

For example:
A and B as boyfriend and girlfriend, drinking alcohol in a party. They end up with the fight along with aggression and violence. A in aggression push B out of balcony ,which leads to B's death. Other drugs such as Marijuana, heroin, cocaine or any other, sometimes may convert a normal fight into commission of a crime such as rape after party , domestic violence at home.

Person's Behaviour:

Person's behaviour also matter before looking into commission of a violent crime. People who easily get aggressive and have less sympathy towards others can commit a violent crime. Revenge is also concluded by a person's behaviour. Person's behaviour include his or her thinking capacity, mode of behaving, talking to others or nature of being with others. Persons of soft nature and good behaviour will use legal process to fight for his rights or against any wrong happened to him.

Whereas people with bad and aggressive behaviour will use illegal methods to fight for their rights or against anything wrong happened to them. The illegal methods can be in violent form such as murder, robbery, rape, kidnapping etc. For example – people of good nature having dispute of property will use legal process such as filing complain against the other person or court proceedings. Whereas people of bad behaviour having dispute of property may use illegal methods such as coercion, killing the owner of the property, or kidnapping the owner of property.

Unemployment:

Unemployment also promote violent crimes. As a unemployed person may have lots of stress, depression and struggle of earning money for better livelihood. Most of the unemployed poor people may commit violent crime for earning money in any illegal. For example – Murdering a person for money (paid murder) or Murdering a person for theft. Kidnapping a person for ransom. Most of them committed for survival and other to do it for passion or forming gangs.

Some types of violent crime:

Domestic violence:

These days Coronavirus restricted movements through lockdowns and various rules made by the government. Thus, the pandemic conditions made domestic abuse as the opportunistic infection. In many homes, domestic violence have been increased due to the spending of more time together and the increased stress and frustration in the mind of male workers. This leads to argument between husband and wife, which result in violence or force used by husband i.e in form of beating.

Domestic violence is also called intimate partner violence which occurs between people who are in intimate relationship that is husband and wife. It can be in any form such as emotional, sexual, physical abuse etc. In violent crime, domestic violence means use of force by a husband on his wife.

For example:
A husband and B wife spending a long time at home. One day both had more and more arguments with each other. In anger, A begin to beat B with a highchair, due to which one of her legs lost feeling and she fell on the ground. Here, we can say that A committee domestic violence on B.

Rape:

Rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO) was launched on September 20, 2018. The database contains entries of offenders convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO, and Eve teasing.

The portal as of now contains 440,000 entries of cases that have been reported since 2008. It is managed by National Crime Record Bureau. Female category is the mean victim of such crime. Rape is a violent and unlawful sexual activity typically involving sexual intercourse done forcibly or under threat of injury, it is done against a person's will. When such offence is committed against a woman it does have a long-lasting effect on their life.

It have many impacts on them such as they can suffer from psychological trauma, stress, facing regular insults from unsupportive society and family, and not going back to work place where they were used to work before the commission of crime. Rape is well defined in section 375 of Indian penal code, 1860.In simple language, Rape is termed as a violent crime because it include force used on victim which cause pain to the victim.

For example:
inserting of any object such as stick or penetrating his penis into the vagina or anus or mouth of a woman causes extreme pain to the victim. In case, Independent Thought v. Union of India (2017) 10 SCC 800, it was held that sexual intercourse with wife below the age of 18 years constitute rape. Therefore , after the decision of Supreme Court in this case, 15 years in Exception2 of section 375 should be read as 18 years.

Murder:

The term murder is derived from the German word morth which means secret killing. Murder refers to homicide crime which is defined as intentional killing of one person by another with malice aforethought. In short, unlawful killing of human beings with malice. Mens Rea and Actus Reus are the main elements in murder.

Actus Reus include unlawful killing and Mens Rea include malice i.e intention to kill or intention to cause sufficient bodily injury which will result in death of the victim. Malice aforethought refers to the guilty mind or bad intention, required to make homicide a murder. Murder is such a violent crime which can be committed against any age and gender of society. As it include forceful use of dangerous objects to cause greater harm or injury which result in death of the targeted person.

Revenge, money, or hiding other earlier crimes such as rape, kidnapping are few reasons for committing murder. In a case , a 2nd class student was found dead in the washroom of Gurgaon's Ryan international school. That innocent kid ,who apparently cause no harm to anyone was in initially thought to have been killed over a sexual assault situation, following which a bus conductor was arrested.

Aggravated robbery:

It refers to use of dangerous weapons for committing theft or extortion and meanwhile the victim suffering injury. Circumstances such as robbery committed in front of a child, this can make the crime more heinous.When dangerous weapons such as guns are used to commit robbery successfully along with injury caused to the people at the place where it is committed. It can be said as a violent crime.For example- ABC gang with heavy guns enter Z bank to commit robbery. While committing robbery people of gang harm the customers of the bank. This is an aggravated robbery as a violent crime.

Some other violent crimes are:

  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Battery, etc.

Some laws against violent crime

Protection of women from domestic violence act, 2005 – this act was enacted in 2005. The main purpose behind this act is to protect women from domestic violence. Under section 3 of this act, domestic violence is defined in a very comprehensive way, comprising of physical, mental, verbal, economical, sexual and economical abuse, harassment for dowry, threatening acts to abuse the victim or any person related to her.

A woman as a victim of domestic violence will have right to various services provided by government such as police, shelter homes, medical establishments ,etc. This act not only protects women who are in a live in relationship but also extends protection to other woman in house such as sisters, mothers, and daughters.

The protection of Child from sexual offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (POCSO):

This bill amends the POCSO , 2012 Act. This seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and use of minors for pornographic purposes. Registration of first information report is mandatory for police. This act has also changed consensual sex under the Indian Penal Code. The age of consent has raised from 16 years to 18 years of age. It means any person( including a child) can be prosecuted for engaging in a sexual act with a child irrespective of latter's consent.

Indian Penal Code, 1860:

  • Section 299 and 300 deals with Culpable homicide and Murder.
  • Section 320 deals with Grievous hurt.
  • Section 350 and 351 deals with Criminal force and Assault.
  • Section 359 deals with kidnapping.
  • Section 375 deals with Rape.
  • Section 375-D deals with Gang rape.
  • Section 380 deals with Robbery.

Conclusion
At last it can be indicated that white-collar crime is less harmful as compared to violent crime. White-collar crime results in financial losses, all so goes unnoticed, so proper and strict legislative laws are required. Whereas violent crime is more dangerous than any other crimes as it involves use of force on people which make their life much more difficult and struggling. People face it in various forms and at different places i.e inside home or outside home.

Many people does not disclose such crime to legal authorities due to chances of shame in society and interdependence of women on males. Society and family should encourage such victims to come in front for justice.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Usha Solanki

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