Swayam Central

Socio Economic Offences: Nature and Dimensions

By Dr. Kavita Singh   |   West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
The concept of socio economic offences given by the 47th Law Commission Report in India is very important and needed to be discussed as in this report the salient features of these social and economic offences are discussed in a detailed manner. It could therefore, be submitted that socio-economic offences does not only extend the scope of the subject matter of white-collar crime, as conceived by Sutherland and as appreciated by others, but is also of wider import. The growth in socioeconomic crime is traced to the materialism and business competitiveness fostered by industrialization, coupled with a decline in the influence of religious ethics that demand material accomplishments while emphasizing honest and fair dealings with others. These factors influenced India after World War II, and India's criminal jurisprudence had limited opportunity to shape itself to counter the growing tide of socioeconomic crime. Currently, there are elements of a new criminal jurisprudence evidenced in legislation intended to regulate and control socioeconomic crime. This includes treating socioeconomic crimes as having strict liability, with curtailment or abandonment of the necessity to prove intent. Further, vicarious criminal liability, which involves the liability of a principal for the acts of its agents, is being increasingly recognized. Sentencing for socioeconomic crimes is also becoming more severe, including mandatory minimum imprisonment, large fines, and the confiscation of goods and property. In addition to providing stronger deterrent elements for socioeconomic crime through more effective law enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing, the stigma attached to socioeconomic crime should be increased by raising the social consciousness against such crime through increased publicity about the trials and convictions of those accused of such crimes. Types of  socioeconomic crimes committed in India are described in the different modules in this course. 

Learners enrolled: 521


Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 15 weeks
Start Date : 05 Jan 2020
End Date : 17 Apr 2020
Exam Date : 09 May 2020
Enrollment Ends : 08 Mar 2020
Category :
  • Law
  • Level : Postgraduate


    First Week
    1. Socio Economic Offences: Introduction
    2. Tax Evasion
    3. Evasion of Excise Tax

    Second Week
    1. Illicit trafficking in Contraband goods
    2. Illicit Drug Trafficking
    3. Cultural Objects Theft

    Third Week
    1. Money Laundering
    2. Foreign Contribution Manipulation
    3. Trade in Human Body Parts

    Fourth Week
    1. Real Estate Fraud
    2. Fraudulent Bankruptcy
    3. Bank Frauds

    Fiftth Week
    1. Insurance Frauds
    2. Racketeering in Employment

    Sixth Week
    1. Illegal Foreign Trade
    2. Racketeering in False Travel Documents
    3. Credit Card Fraud

    Seventh Week
    1. Illicit Trafficking in Arms
    2. Terror Financing

    Eighth Week
    1. Theft of Intellectual Property
    2. Computer Crime
    3. Stock Market Manipulations

    Ninth Week
    1. Corporate Crimes
    2. Environmental Crimes: Nature, Meaning and Forms

    Tenth Week
    1. Crime Against Wild Life
    2. Crime Against Forest Conservation

    Eleventh Week

    1. Industrial Waste and Pollution
    2. River Pollution

    Twelfth Week
    1. Social and Legal Measures for Controlling Environmental Crimes
    2. Human Trafficking

    Thirteen Week
    1. Internet Frauds
    3. Cyber Crimes

    Fourteenth Week
    1. Cyber Pornography
    2. Prevention, Detection and Prosecution of Cyber Criminals
    3. Terrorism: Meaning & Definition

    Fifteenth Week
    1. Narco-Terrorism and Amino- terrorism
    2. Organised Crime: Nature, Meaning & Forms
    3. Organised Crime: Problems of Identifications, Investigation and Procedure


    1. Barners and Teeters: New Horizens in Criminology (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall, New Delhi, 1966, p.41.

    2. Quoted by: Mahesh Chandra: Socio-Economic Crimes, N.M. Tripathi, Bombay, 1979, p. 68.

    3. Sutherland: White Collar Crimes, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1949, p. 1.

    4. Quoted by Bipan Chandra: Modern India, op. cit., p. 71.

    5. Santhanam Committee Report, (That Committee was appointed by Central Government, in 1962), pp. 53-54, Government of India.

    6. Law commission of India (47th Report) on Socio-Economic Offences. p. 4 (1972).

    7. R.K. Tawney, as quoted by Gilbert Gers and Robert F. Meier, White-Collar Crime: offences in Business politics and the Professions, P.5 (The Free Press, N.4, 1977).

    8. Elmer Hubert Jonson, as quoted by Ahmed Sadique, Criminology: Problems and Perspectives, P-3, (4th ed., Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 1997).

    9. Law Commission of India 29th Report, p. 14, (1966) 

    10. David Nelken “White-Collar crime”, Mike Magure (Ed), The Oxfort Handbook of Criminology, p. 363 (Rod Murgas and Robert Reinder, 1994).

    11. M. Clarke’s comments for instance, seems to have emanated from extending the definition to business crime.

    12. Richard Quinney, as edited by G. Gies, at 286.

    13. Donald L Newman, Marshall B. Clinard, Gilbert Geis, Wihelm Aubert, Richard Quenney, Paul W. Tappan are, but the few.

    14. K. I Vibhute, P.S. Atchuthen Pillai’s Criminal Law, Lexisnexis Butterworths, 2008, pp. 35-51).

    15. Jeremy Horder, "Two Histories and Four Hidden Principles of Mens Rea", Law Quarterly Review, pp. 95-119 (Vol. 113, January, 1997).

    16. K.D. Gaur, Criminal Law, Cases & Materials, pp. 28-229 (2nd Ed., N.M. Tripathi Private Limited, 1985).

    17. Seeth and Capoor’s 2006 The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 , Delhi Law house

    18. Monica Dasgupta (2005) Public Health in India: an overview, World Bank Development Research Group, Public Services

    19. Mahendra K Sharma (1996) Minimum Sentencing for offences in India : Law & Policy

    20. Katherine Ralston (2001) Consumer food safety behaviour , US Dept of Agriculture : Economic Research Service

    21. Ensuring Safe Food: From Production to Consumption : By Committee to Ensure Safe Food from Production to Consumption (U.S.), National Research Council (U.S.), National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) 

    47th Law Commission Report


    1. Consumer Protection Act 1986 [Act No. 68 of 1986, dated 24th December, 1986]

    2. Criminal Procedure Code 1974 [Act No. 2 of 1974, dated 25th January, 1974]

    3. Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 [Act No. 2 of 1974, dated 23rd August, 2006]

    4. Legal Metrology Act 2009 [Act No. 1 of 2010, dated 13th January, 2010]

    5. Legal Metrology (Package Commodity Rules) 2011

    6. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1955 [Act No. 37 of 1954, dated 29th September, 1954]

    7. Fruits and Vegetable Products (Control) Order- FPO 1955"

    8. Meat Food Products Order (MFPO) 1973

    9. Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947

    10. Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1988

    11. Solvent Extracted Oil, De-oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967

    12. Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992

    13. Income Tax Act, 1961

    14. Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Act, 2015.


    Dr. Kavita Singh

    West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
    Dr. Kavita Singh is an Associate Professor, WBNUJS, Kolkata has more than 13 years of teaching experience, before joining NUJS in 2004 she has taught at the Dept. of Law, University of North Bengal (2002-2004)and S.K. Acharaya Institute of Law, Kalyani University (2004) as lecturer among other places. She has obtained her LLB, LLM degree from University of North Bengal and she qualified UGC NET in 2003. She was awarded Ph.D in 2008 and her Ph. D Thesis titled “Anti - Terrorism Law and its Impact on Human Rights in India: A Critical Appraisal”. Her LLM Dissertation titled, Custodial Violence and Emerging Trend of Custody Jurisprudence in India (2002). She has successfully completed with an ‘E’ Grade UGC Refresher Course on, ‘Constitutional Governance’, from the Academic Staff College, University of North Bengal form 3rd January 2011 to 25th January 2011. She has worked in various research project including “Prison Reform in India” assigned by Bureau of Police Research and Development, Government of India (2006-2007), “Human Rights Outreach Project”, during 2001 - 2002, organized jointly with British Council, National Law School, Bangalore and University of Warwick, UK. She is presently a Principal Investigator in a project funded by West Bengal Judicial Academy titled, “A Study on Adoptions in West Bengal under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000”(2014-2016).

    Dr. Singh has published a book titled, “Human Rights and Terrorism Laws in India”, Central Law Publication (2010) and has published more than ten articles in the journals of national repute, she has also contributed several chapters in edited books on criminal law, family law, environmental and administrative law. She has presented several papers in the international and national conferences.
    She held various positions in NUJS including Member of the Academic Council of WBNUJS (2010-2012). She is presently member of Doctoral Committee, member of Faculty Advisory Committee, member of Quality Control Cell of WBNUJS, member of All India Law Teachers Congress, member of Post- Graduate Council, member of Staff Welfare Committee and member of the legal aid society. She is the Coordinator of School of Criminal Justice and Administration also the faculty advisor of Society for Advancement of Criminal Justice and editor-in-chief of the online NUJS Criminal Law Journal.
    Dr. Singh is visiting faculty  of various institutions including Central Detective Training School, Kolkata, Central Bureau of Investigation Training Center, Kolkata, West Bengal Judicial Academy, Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda State Police Academy, West Bengal, Barrakpore and UCO Bank Staff Training College, Saltlake, Kolkata.

    Dr. Singh’s research interests include Criminal Law, Criminology & Victimology, Socio Economic Offences, International Taxation and Family Law


    30 Marks will be allocated for Internal Assessment and 70 Marks will be allocated for external proctored examination