Commenting on the growing incidence of white collar crime in India, the Law Commission in its Twenty-ninth Report observed that modern scientific and technological developments and monopolistic trends in business world have led to enoromous increase in white collar crimes.
The post-independence period in India ushered an era of welfare activities which necessitated regulatory measure on the part of government to control means of production and distribution so as to subserve the common good. The contravention of such regulatory measures generally gives rise to white collar criminality.
Marshal B. Clinard asserted that the problem of white collar criminality has its root in competitive business community which tries to oust their rival competitors in order to earn huge profits. Sometimes such crimes may also be committed merely for the sake of retaining existence in the competitive business.
To illustrate, though there is a prescribed code of ethics for the practising lawyers but since the very nature of their profession involves the spirit of combat and competition, they often resort unlawful tactics such as concealment or misrepresentation of facts, which if detected, is punishable under the law.
To take another example, the private educational institutions in India which receive public-aid or grants furnish false accounts simply for the sake of retaining their existence. Likewise, tine members of industrial and business class who enjoy high status in the society have a tendency to suppress their real profits by furnishing false and fabricated accounts of their income and property in order to claim tax-exemptions or avoid payment of heavy taxes.
One more reason for the multiplicity of white collar crime is relatively high socio-economic status of white collar criminals. They belong to an influential group which is powerful enough to handle their occupation tactfully and persons affected thereby hardly know that they are being victimised. Moreover, the public in general is also somewhat apathetic to such crimes thus causing obstruction in prosecution and punishment of white collar criminals.
It is often alleged that criminal law administrators and Judges being members of upper strata of the society, are generally sympathetic towards white collar criminals while dealing with them. But there seems no justification in this assertion. If this allegation is based on the large number of acquittals of white collar criminals, it may be pointed out that it is not because of the sympathy of Judges for those criminals but because of the thin line of demarcation between criminality and immorality involved in white collar crimes.
The recent developments in information technology, particularly during the closing years of the twentieth century, have added new dimensions to white collar criminality. There has been unprecedented growth of a new variety of computer dominated white collar crimes which are commonly called as cyber crime.
These crime have become a matter of global concern and a challenge for the law enforcement agencies in the new millennium. Because of the specific nature of these crimes, they can be committed anonymously and far away from the victim without physical presence. Further, cyber-criminals have a major advantage: they can use computer technology to inflict damage without the risk of being apprehended or caught.
It has been predicted that there would be simultaneous increase in cyber crimes with the increase in new internet web sites. The areas affected by cyber crimes are banking and financial institutions, energy and telecommunication services, transportation, business, industries etc.