Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill introduced
The government on 12 March 2018 introduced the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 in the Lok Sabha seeking to tighten the noose around individuals who are wanted by local courts for offences under various Acts
- The bill will be applicable for all offences where the monetary value exceeds Rs100 crore.
- It will bring under its ambit all individuals eluding the Indian legal process on the date of the enactment of the law, thereby ensuring that existing fugitives like liquor baron Vijay Mallya, and jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are covered.
- A person will be declared a fugitive economic offender if he has committed an offence under these Acts and an arrest warrant has been issued by a competent court but the person has left the country to escape prosecution.
- The bill seeks to give powers to the government to provisionally attach property on the issuance of an arrest warrant to ensure that fugitives are not able to sell their assets pending due process of law.
- The government will be able to confiscate all the assets of an offender both within and outside the country and the confiscation will not be limited to properties that are proceeds or profits of the crime.
- The bill also provides for confiscation of benami properties. The offender will not be able to pursue any civil cases in India.