Essay on White Collar Crime in certain Professions in India !
Some of the professions involving technical expertise and skill provide sufficient opportunities for white collar criminality.
They include medical profession, engineering, legal practise, private educational institutions etc.
White collar crimes which are commonly committed by persons belonging to medical profession include issuance of false medical certificates, helping illegal abortions, secret service to dacoits by giving expert opinion leading to their acquittal and selling sample-drugs and medicines to patients or chemists.
Dialatory tactics adopted by the members of this profession in treatment of their patients with a view to extracting huge sums from them has become an accepted norm, particularly with those medical men who do not have a good practice or have only a marginal earning.
The persons employed in essential services of the government or other undertakings are often confronted with the problem of getting leave due to shortage of staff. They, therefore, procure medical certificate regarding their false sickness and produce it to the department to justify their absence from duty. In return, they have to pay certain amount to the concerned medical staff. This practice, though a white collar crime, has proved a boon and a workable alternative to employees who have difficulty in obtaining leave from the employers.
Fake and misleading advertising is yet another area in which the white collar criminals operate. They make illegal and misleading claims of medical cure through advertisements in newspapers, magazines, radio and television thus adding to human misery. Many patent medicines are not only worthless but harmful.
Similar advertisements for cosmetics and adulterated food are also widespread in practice which are injurious to public health. These persons may not violate the letter of the law in its spirit but they commit crimes which are anti-social and injurious to public health.
In the engineering profession underhand dealings with contractors and suppliers, passing of sub-standard works and materials and maintenance of bogus records of work-charged labour are some of the common examples of white collar crime. Scandals of this kind are reported in newspapers and magazines almost every day. Construction of buildings, roads, canals, dams and bridges with sub-standered material not only endangers public safety but also results into huge loss to public exchequer.
In India the lawyer’s profession is not looked with much respect these days. There are two obvious reasons for this. The deteriorating standards of legal education and unethical practices resorted to by the members of legal profession to procure clientage are mainly responsible for the degradation of this profession which was once considered to be one of the noblest vocations.
The instances of fabricating false evidence, engaging professional witnesses, violating ethical standards of legal profession, resorting to frequent strikes to press their demands and dialatory tactics in collusion with the ministerial staff of the courts are some of the common practices which are quite often practised by the legal practitioners.
Generally, the professional crooks and criminal gangs have their own trusted lawyer who can be depended upon to arrange things and keep himself ready with bail bond or habeas corpus writ to avoid arrest of the gangster. If the members of the gang are arrested, the lawyer has to find out ways and means to arrange or ‘fix’ their release. There are criminal lawyers who arrange professional alibies, cooked witnesses in close liaison with the police for defending the gangsters.
Though there is a definite code of conduct for legal profession but it is only an ornamental document. This does not, however, mean that all lawyers are corrupt and unethical. Quite a large number of them are most sincere and honest in their profession commanding great respect from all sections of society. Perhaps, it is because of the peculiar nature of their profession that the lawyers and advocates have to resort to these tactics in order to survive in the profession which is becoming more and more competitive with the passage of time.
Yet another field where white collar criminals operate with impunity are the privately run educational institutions in this country. The governing bodies of these institutions manage to secure large sums by way of government grants or financial aid by submitting fictitious and fake details about their institutions.
The teachers and other staff working in these institutions receive a meagre salary far less than what they actually sign for, thus allowing a big margin for the management to grab huge amount in this illegal manner. The victimised teachers can hardly afford to complain about this exploitation to high ups because of the fear of being thrown out of job. They are, therefore, compelled to compromise with the situation.
Although the Government has introduced the scheme of treasury-payments for teachers of private institutions, but the problem still persists in one form or the other. That apart, fake and bogus enrolments of students who are residing far away from the place of location of these institutions is yet another source of illegal earning for them. They charge huge amounts by way of donations or capitation fees from such needy students.
Even rackets operate in these institutions for procuring students to appear in different examinations on the basis of manipulated eligibility certificates or domicile certificates in return for huge sums. These dishonest and unscrupulous practices have damaged the standard of education in India to such an extent that it is causing an irreparable loss to the younger generation.
More often than not, these privately managed educational institutions as also those imparting some professional education, enjoy the patronage of some influential politicians and many of them are even owned by them. Many such institutions are virtually non-existent and are functioning as commercial shops, enabling the students to get degrees on payment of huge sums in blatent violation of the government rules, regulations and norms. The magnitude of this white collar criminality has adversely affected the standard of education in most States, and, therefore, the problem needs to be tackled through stringent statutory measures.