White-collar crimes pose formidable challenge to judicial and economic systems: Supreme Court Justice Hima Kohli

White-collar crimes pose formidable challenge to judicial and economic systems: Supreme Court Justice Hima Kohli

New Delhi:White-collar crimes pose a daunting challenge to the judiciary and the economy, requiring a multidimensional and nuanced approach, Supreme Court Justice Hima Kohli said on Wednesday. The Supreme Court judge advocated the use of advanced technologies to prevent such crimes.

Leveraging advanced technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and blockchain will improve the ability to detect, investigate and prosecute white-collar crimes, she said.

Justice Kohli was speaking on the topic of ‘Second Discourse on Judicial Perspective on Economic Offences and Corporate Malpractices’ at an event organised by the Centre for Discourse on Criminal and Constitutional Jurisprudence.

White-collar crime poses a significant challenge to India’s justice and economic systems, and requires a nuanced and comprehensive response. Combating this crime requires a multi-pronged approach.

The judicial system, supported by strong legislative frameworks and dedicated institutional mechanisms, plays a vital role in combating these crimes. The establishment of specialized courts assisted by experts in financial and economic crimes is essential for a speedy and effective judgment, she said.

Distinguishing between traditional crimes and white-collar crimes, she said traditional crimes often stem from emotions such as anger or revenge and, if committed in cold blood, are meticulously planned and executed, sometimes with the help of people with criminal backgrounds.

In contrast, white-collar crimes are motivated by greed and are characterised by careful planning and execution by individuals with the assistance of professionals. While white-collar crimes cause reputational or financial damage and carry substantial financial penalties when detected, traditional crimes result in physical and emotional harm, Justice Kohli said.

However, both types of crimes have a profound impact on victims and society as a whole, she added. Ensuring strong cybersecurity controls to combat digital fraud, effective third-party risk management, and a culture of compliance within financial institutions are essential. Digital case management systems can streamline court processes, reduce delays, and improve efficiency, she said. Continuing training and capacity building for law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges are essential to staying ahead of the evolving nature of these crimes, she said.

Strengthening these areas can help build a more resilient and transparent legal system that upholds justice and integrity, mitigates the impact of white-collar crime and fosters a society where trust and accountability are paramount, she said.