Filing of White Collar Crime In India

White collar crimes such as document forgery, falsification of tax records etc. are quickly growing their roots in India. How should one report against such things?

Answer (1)

Team Legistify

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Forgery and falsification of records are expressly covered under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and are punishable offences. The following are the relevant sections:  

Section 463 of the IPC provides that any person who makes a false document or false electronic record in order to harm the public or any person or to support a false claim or defraud any person is said to commit forgery.

Section 464 of the IPC provides that any person who creates a document or an electronic record and signs or seals it with the intent to make it appear that the document for signed or sealed by an authority that he knows had not authorised it is said to make a false document.

Section 464 also provides that any person who alters a document or dishonestly or fraudulently makes a person sign a document who is of unsound mind or intoxicated, is said to make a false document.

Section 465 provides that the punishment for forgery is up to 2 years imprisonment or fine or both.

More aggravated forms of forgery i.e. forging with intent to defraud, forgery of official documents or documents such as wills etc. have more serious consequences in terms of longer jail sentences of up to 7 years or even life imprisionment (counterfieting) (Sections 466 to 474).

Section 477A makes the falsification of accounts by employees wilfully with the intent to defraud punishable with a jail term that may extend to 7 years.Therefore, a police station is required to take on record any such complaint. From the jail terms it is clear that these offences are statutorily viewed as seriously as non economic offences. Your first step should be to file an FIR. However, there are certain alternate methods for reporting these economic offences. I believe confidentiality may be an issue, especially if you are acting as a whistleblower:Economic offences may be directly reported to the investigative authorities under various economic offences through this website or email - The Attractive Reward Policy of Govt. of India(Indian Investigating. The authorities this covers are:The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau(Apex Intelligence & Co-ordinating body)Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence(for Customs related offences)Directorate of Enforcement(for Foreign Exchange related offences)Directorate General of Anti-Evasion(for Central Excise related offences)Directorate General of Income Tax(Investigation)[for Income Tax related offences)SEBI generally entertains complaints from investors or insiders. Complaints relating to insider trading are taken very seriously. SEBI has also mandated a whistleblower policy to be followed by all listed companies. Currently the SCORES system has been put into place for investor grievances - Although this is mainly for procedural irregularities, I believe if any serious wrongdoing is alleged, SEBI would sit up and take notice. Currently, there doesn't appear to be a formal system for serious economic offences. But I'm certain any information provided is taken seriously and will bring into action the SEBI investigative authority and serious prosecution.Additionally, as a shareholder, you can take the directors/management to court for oppression or mismanagement under the provisions of the relevant Companies Act. Currently this is provided for under Sections 397-398 of the Companies Act, 1956.

Answered on 28 Sep 2018

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