Can A White-Collar Crime Be Committed Virtually? If Yes, Then What Law Do We Have To Tackle The Same
Rahul Kumar, B.A.LL. B, Lloyd Law College
Before we discuss, “white collar crime” we have to first understand what is “crime”. The word “crime” was originally taken from a Latin term “Crimean” which means “to charge” The Greek expression “Krimos” is synonymous to a Sanskrit word “Karma” which means “Social order” Therefore, in common parlance the word crime is applied to those acts that go against social order and are worthy of serious condemnation. An exact definition of ‘crime’ is by no way an simple task. Normally speaking, almost most of the societies have certain norms, beliefs, customs and traditions which are implicitly accepted by its members as a conductive to their well being and healthy development. Infringement of these cherished norms and customs is condemned as anti-social behaviours. Thus, many writers have defined ‘crime’ as an anti-social, immoral or sinful behaviour. However according to legal definition, crime is any form of conduct which is declared to be socially harmful in a state and as such forbidden by law pain of some punishment. Therefore, Tappan has defined crime as “an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law committed without any defence or justification and penalised by the law as felony and misdemeanour”1 To commit the crime there should be Mens rea and Actus reus. Mens rea means mental element and Actus reus means physical element. According to Blackstone, A crime is an act committed or omitted, in violation of public law either forbidding or commending it2. He, however realized that at later stage this definition may prove to be misleading because it limits the scope of crime to violations of ‘public law’ which normally covers political offences such as offence against the state. Therefore, he modified his definition of crime and stated “a crime is a violation of ‘the people rights and duties’ due to the whole community” Stephan the editor of Blackstone’s commentaries further modified the above definition and said, “a crime is a violation of right, considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violations as regard the community at large.” Stephan further added that “crime is act which is both forbidden by law and revolting to the moral sentiments of the society”3 Thus, for act to be crime it must be in violation of law and at the same time it must be opposed to the moral sentiments of the society. It is essentially a relative definition of behavior that is constantly undergoing changing.