Report No. 29
7. Relevance of white-collar crimes.-The above extract1 from the Santhanam Committee's Report seems to indicate, that many of the offences which that Committee had in mind were crimes usually known as white-collar crimes. We, therefore, proceed to discuss the problem of white-collar crime in detail.
1. Para. 6, supra.
8. Problem of white-collar crimes.-In recent times the problem of white-collar crime has received considerable attention. "White-collar crime" has been defined approximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation1. The emphasis is on the connection with occupation. The commission of a crime of this category is facilitated by the office, calling, profession or vocation of the individual concerned. White-collar crimes, thus, exclude crimes like murder, adultery and intoxication, even if committed by people of the upper class, since these have nothing to do with their occupation.
1. Sutherland White-collar Crime, (1949), p. 9. See also Sutherland and Cressey Principles of Criminology, 1960, p. 40.
9. The object of those who had drawn attention to the prevalence of white-collar crime was to educate the public about the harm caused to the society by such crime, and to point out that these crimes should bear the same moral stigma as acts regarded as crimes according to the orthodox notions. It was pointed out1, that one of the reasons for the differential implementation of the law in the area of white-collar crimes was the "relatively unorganized resentment of the public" towards such crime. The reasons for the absence of such resentment were stated to be as follows2:-
(a) The violations of law in such cases are complex, and can be appreciated only by experts;
(b) The public agencies of communication (like the press) do not express the organised moral sentiments of the community, partly because the crimes are complicated and cannot be easily presented as news, but probably in a greater degree because these agencies of communication are themselves controlled by businessmen involved in the violations of many of these laws.
(c) The laws for the regulation of business belong to a relatively new and specialised part of the statutes.
1. Sutherland White-collar Crime, (1949), p. 49.
2. See Sutherland White-collar Crime, (1949), pp. 50-51.