TRANQUILITY paper will address the nuances in addressing

TRANQUILITY OF
VICTIMS OF ECONOMIC CRIMES IN THE INDIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

 

* Dr. Syed Umarhathab & ** E. Enanalap
Periyar

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Abstract

In recent times economic crimes are showing
an increasing trend in India; more serious is the number of victims affected
and their position in Criminal Justice (Wemmers, 1996). In
a row, several economics crimes are reported and most remains unreported which
ranges from fraud, corruption, scams or confidence
tricks, tax evasion, bribery, embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering,
and forgery and counterfeiting, including the production of counterfeit money,
until cyber-crimes. Now there arises a question whether to address the
reported or the unreported. An infinite number of economic crimes in India are
still unreported believing that it will bring some negative implications to the
victims. The law enforcement remains unaccountable in several cases because
they are ill-equipped, under strength and less updated. These crimes can be witnessed
from pawn brokering until higher order of Indian administration one recent
event in our city self-immolation of 4 victims including 2 kids out of loan
sharking. The recent being in administration, Income tax raid in premises of Principal
Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu is typical example. Ill owned money
will of culprits will be added to treasury of the government while victims will
never be address, identified or judiciary will not even bother to listen to victims
who were abused and made silent by this higher order officers. This paper will
address the nuances in addressing the silent victims of economic crimes under
Indian Criminal Justice System. 

————————————————————————————————————

Key words: Silent Victim(s), Victimizations, Economic
Crimes, Counter
Agencies, Equipping the Investigating Agencies and Governing Regulations.

 

* &
** Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India. Email:
[email protected]: [email protected]

 

 

Introduction

The bot offences have increased in several folds compared to that
of bot less. In India, Economic Offences have been incepted since times
immemorial, but remained dormant until the beginning of World War II (Wadia, n.d.) and there on it is has been part of
life. Be it recognized or unrecognized these crime will never be emitted from
public life. Ever since the mid-until end of 20th century people are
used to it. With development in the field of science and technology;
simultaneously industry and commerce have also speeded the wings of economic
revolution all over the world. Since the early 90’s India has witnessed a spate
of major scams in different sectors of the economy (Kumawat, 2011). Therefore,
high ethical standards and moral values were discarded in favour of power,
money and material things (Barners & Teeters, 1966).

 

From the beginning of the year 2000, economic crimes remain
untamed in India is evident from large frauds that were experienced by the
country during the years 2005- 2007 as reported (Puri, 2007); especially after
demonetization this circumstances have made the environment more conducive for
the monstrous growth of the newer form of criminality, particularly in
developing countries like India. Non-representation of victims has made more convene
attitude for abusers (Wemmers, 1996). Hence, anti-social elements actively involved in economics
crimes via frauds, tax-evasion, corruption, adulteration of food stuffs,
misappropriation and misrepresentations, frauds using cyber space are now carried
on a large scale by the persons of upper and middle socio-economic class in the
course of their trade, commerce, industry and other professions as well. Hence,
this paper will restrict only with Victims of White Collar Crimes,
Socio-economic Crimes and Frauds in Cyber Space.

 

Eventually, the contemporary Indian system use the policy of
Laissez-faire or non-interference of the State in the material pursuits of the
individuals and associations creates an atmosphere of extreme business
competitiveness for monopolistic advantages; which resulted in the multiplicity
of the socio-economic offences beyond recognition (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2015),
posing a big threat to victims and make them more silent during and after
victimization (Wemmers,
1996).

 

Forms of
Economic Offences under Indian Legal
System

According to report of the National
Crimes Records Bureau 2015, chapter 9, the reported Economic offences form a
separate category of crimes under criminal offences as below. As per the data
of Crimes in India, 2015 there are only 24 classification, legislations and
agencies dealing with economic crimes. The following table gives the list of
crimes.

 

 

 

Table 1 Economic Crime, Acts/ Legislations
and agencies dealing with it

 

S.
No.

Economic
crimes/ offences

Acts /
Legislation

Enforcement
Authorities

1

Tax evasion

Income Tax Act

Central Board of Direct
Taxes

2

Illicit trafficking in
contraband goods (smuggling)

Customs Act 1962
COFEPOSA, 1974

Collectors of Customs

3

Evasion of Excise Duty

Central Excise Act, 1944

Collectors of Central Excise

4

Cultural object’s theft

Antiquity and Art Treasures
Act, 1972

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

5

Money laundering

Foreign Exchange Regulations
Act, 1973; Money Laundering Act, 2002

Directorate of Enforcement

6

Foreign contribution
manipulations

Foreign Contribution
(Regulation) Act, 1976;

Police/CBI

7

Land grabbing/Real estate
frauds

IPC

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

8

Trade in human body parts

Transplantation of Human
Organs Act, 1994

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

9

Illicit drug trafficking

Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 & NDPS Act, 1988

NCB/ Police/State CB-CID/CBI

10

Fraudulent bankruptcy

Banking Regulation Act, 1949

Police, CBI

11

Corruption and bribery of
public servants

Prevention of Corruption
Act, 1988

CBI/ State/Anti Corruption /
Vigilance Bureaux

12

Bank frauds

IPC

Police/State
Vigilance/CB-CID/CBI

13

Insurance frauds

IPC

Police/State
Vigilance/CB-CID/CBI

14

Racketeering in employment

IPC

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

15

Illegal foreign trade

Import & Export
(Control) Act,1947

Directorate General of
Foreign Trade/CBI

16

Racketeering in false travel
documents

Passport Act, 1920/IPC

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

17

Credit cards fraud

IPC

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

18

Terrorist activities

IPC & related Acts

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

19

Illicit trafficking in arms

Arms Act,1959

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

20

Illicit trafficking in
explosives

Explosives Act, 1884 &
Explosive Substances Act, 1908

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

21

Theft of intellectual
property

Copyright Act, 1957
(Amendments 1984 & 1994)

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

22

Computer crime/software
piracy

Copyright Act, 1957/I.T.Act,
2000

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

23

Stock market manipulations

IPC

Police/State CB-CID/CBI

24

Company frauds

Companies Act, 1956/IPC
MRTP Act, 1968

Police/CBI/SFIO

Source: Crimes in
India, 2015 p 123.

 

While the
number of victims of economic crimes is staggering (Amarnathan, 1998), only under the head
fraud we can identify following offences in common, namely Theft of a vehicle, Suspicious online behaviour with or towards a
child, Online hate or bullying crime, material or
messages, Counterfeit medicine or
medical devices available to purchase online, Business or personal
tax frauds or a related Revenue and Customs matter, or Immigration fraud.

 

According
to a
survey by one India (2007) nearly 35 per
cent of the organisations surveyed in the country have reported that they were
victims of some form of economic crime in the past two years. While Global
Economic Crime Survey (2016) accounted 54 per cent of Indian organisations
reported suffering from economic crime. The cost of economic crime in India is
significant, which is also evident from some of the large frauds experienced by
the country. In another biennial survey covered 152 organisations in India and
over 5,400 globally and was conducted in association with Germany’s
Martin-Luther University.

 

White Collar Crimes

 

These crimes are taken lightly by the criminal justice system as
laws does not prescribe deterrent punishment to these crime. Most of the time
punishment is mere a transfer from one office to another (district) called RDA-
Regular Department Action. This concept is obsolete because the ultimate aim of
public service is diminished by RDA rather corrupt public servant or any other involving
in white collar crime during the course of occupation should be chucked out
from the service and labeled or demarked as blacklisted for public services.
The comments of the 47th report of the Law Commission of India
confirms it

“White-collar crime, one
may, describe it as committed in the course of one’s occupation by a member of
the upper class of society, A manufacturer of drugs who deliberately supplies
substandard drugs is, for example, a white collar criminal. So is if a big
corporation guilty of fraudulent evasion of tax. A person who illegally
smuggles (for his personal use) costly television sets, is not a white-collar
criminal in the above sense, there being no connection between his occupation
and the crime committed by him. Nor is the pensioner who submits a false return
of income. But all of them are guilty of socio-economic offences which affect
the health or material welfare of the community as a whole, and not merely the
individual victim. Similarly, economic offences are those which affect the country’s
economy and not merely the wealth of an individual victim (Law Commission of India, 47th
Report, p 4, 1972).

 

In a white collar crime the victims are
considered mere as a whistle blower rather no reparation is available to them. This
move strategically mutes the victim in criminal justice system as well judiciary
is even unaware of the needs of these victims.

 

Socio-Economic Crimes

 

Socio-economic offences shouldn’t necessarily be committed in
connection of one’s occupation. Newman (1958) writes in white collar crime
nexus between the offending act and occupation should be established, whereas
in socio-economic offences there is no such requirement. What is required is
that the offence should be committed against either or both the health or
material welfare of the community or against the economic interest of the
country in question and in both cases the individual victim is not in issue,
but that of the community or society at large (Sutherland, 1949). Nor is the
status of the tort-feassor. Here the justice system would be interested in
putting the system on place rather than listening to the victims and the
damages undergone. Finally, the victims remains neglect and hushed.

 

Frauds

In India, this crimes are categorized under cheque fraud, credit
card fraud, mortgage fraud, medical fraud, corporate fraud, securities fraud
(including insider trading), criminal misappropriation, payment (point of sale)
fraud, health-care fraud among these Frauds using cyber space remains most
unreported as victim are unaware until a huge loss. Following asset
misappropriation and corruption, online fraud 3rd most prevalent economic crime
in India was reported by (Roy, 2011) on her survey. With the increasing use of
social media and personal devices in the workplace, cybercrime is now the third
most prevalent economic crime in India. These crimes are peculiar because the
conceptual understanding of the victims is more unclear, invoking the need for
definitions of the victims of frauds and cybercrimes. Sometime it is fraudster endure
as victims, most of the times it is public and in few cases bank as a party
remains the victims.

 

Victims Situation in Indian Criminal Justice

Over time, professionals
in the criminal justice system realized the needs of the victims especially the
loss due to economic crimes. Every victim is in of need of information about
rights, remedies, the criminal justice process, and legal advocacy to symbolize
a protection from further harm. Hence, victim requires a practical assistance
and referrals and seeks support of agencies for short- and long-term problems
stemming from the crime, such as mental health counseling, financial help and
compensation or restitution. Most importantly, each victim wants to see if justice
done and offenders held accountable.

 

However, the situation
in India has unwarranted any attention to victims rather criminal justice
system is interested in punishing the offenders or defaulters, while victims
are still on a spate. Recognizing the needs of economic crime victims, and
other components of the criminal justice system have made efforts to provide
more services and resources to this traditionally underserved victim
population. Average cost to manage economic crime in India is close to double
as compared to global averages (Puri, 2007).

 

While criminal justice seldom refer the victims any reparation. In
most of the cases victim remains unaware until a huge loss especially with
reference to cybercrimes. Victim conditions are more pathetic than in any other
crime in India. Most of the victims are not sure of whether to approach the
legal system to restitute or expenditure will run over the cost of loss. Mostly
they reprieve just by making it fault of them unless it is larger loss. The
criminal justice system does not address victims at large rather make them
hostile. Many times the victims turn hostile because they have to spend more
time and huge sum towards defending their cases during their regular routine.
Even during and after the successful defense there is always a chance of appeal
by the other party which will prolong the case until victim turns hostile.  

  

Conclusion

To ensure development of
an effective and sensitive response to the concerns, needs, and issues of
economic crime victims, Reserve Bank of India was keen in bring a more
knowledge based report on victims of Economic crimes. A committee was formed
and named as Mitra Committee, 2001. The Reserve Bank of India prefaced its
report by admitting the fact that criminal jurisprudence in the country based
on “proof beyond doubt” was too weak an instrument to control bank frauds. The
committee contended that “Financial fraud is not an offence in spite of the
fact that the banks and financial institutions suffer heavily in frauds
committed by the borrowers, more often than not, in collusion with the
employees of the banks and financial institutions…. The situation is becoming
explosive and can lead to anarchy at any time unless the scams are legally
contained”. While victims were not properly covered and no just was reproved
from the report. India needs more agencies to support the Victims of Economic Crimes and reduce the burden of reporting and
advice government in proper modality to dispense these cases with concern for
victims. This should group raise questions and submitted findings that will become
the basis for the training ideas, promising practices, recommendations, and
action plan presented in to restitute and compensate the victims of economic
crimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Amarnathan, L.C. (1998). Economic Crime in India. Resource Material
Series No. 55, 110th
International Training Course Visiting Experts’ Papers. Retrieved on 20 October, 2017 from http://www.unafei.or.jp/english/pdf/RS_No55/No55_12VE_
Amarnathan.pdf

Barners & Teeters (1966). New Horizons in Criminology (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall, New Delhi,
41.

Global Economic Crime Survey (2016). Adjusting the Lens on
Economic Crimes. Retrieved from
https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/economic-crime-survey/pdf/Global EconomicCrime Survey2016.pdf

Kumawat, M. (2011).
Dimensions of Economic Crimes in India. Retrieved on 13 September, 2017 from
https://mlkumawat.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/ dimensions-of- economic-crimes-in-india-ap-cid.pdf.

Law Commission of India, 47th Report (1972, p 4). Retrieved on 18
September, 2017 from http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/1-50/report47.pdf

Mitra, N.L. (2001). The Report of the Expert Committee on Legal
Aspects of Bank Frauds. Retrieved on 21 September, 2017 from
https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/23325.pdf

National Crimes Records Bureau (2015). Crimes in India Report. Retrieved
on 27 September, 2017 from http://ncrb.nic.in/.

Newman, D. J. (1958). White Collar Crime. Retrieved on 12 August,
2017 from
http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2775&context=lcp

One India (2007). Economic Crimes. Retrieved on 21 August, 2017 from
https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/economic-crime-survey/pdf.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (2015). Shaping our future. Global Annual Review 2015. Retrieved on
21 September, 2017 from
http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/about-pwc/global-annual-review-2015/campaign-site/pwc-global-annual-review-2015.pdf

Puri (October 16, 2007). 35 per cent Indian
companies victims of economic crime. Retrieved on 18 August, 2017 from
http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/oct/16crime.htm

Roy, S.  (Dec 19, 2011).
Online fraud 3rd most prevalent economic crime in India: Survey. The Financial
Express. Retrieved on 19 October, 2017 from
http://www.wipro.com/documents/FinancialExpress_OnlineFraud.pdf

Sutherland, E. (1949). White Collar Crimes. Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, New York, 12.

Wadia, S.K. (n.d.). Chapter – II Conceptual &
Theoretical Framework of Socio-Economic offences. Retrieved on 18
September, 2017 from 

Wemmers J. M. (1996).Victims in the Criminal Justice System.
Studies on Crime and Justice A Series from The Dutch Research and Documentation
Centre.

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