Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 Highlights

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The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to introduce the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament. It is expected that the special forum to be created for expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or abroad, would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences.

Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

Who is Fugitive Economic Offender?

A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution

The total value involved in such offences is 100 crore rupees or more.

Salient features of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

  • Application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender;
  • Attachment of the property of a fugitive economic offender;
  • Issue of a notice by the Special Court to the individual alleged to be a fugitive economic offender;
  • Confiscation of the property of an individual declared as a fugitive economic offender resulting from the proceeds of crime;
  • Confiscation of other  property belonging to such offender in India and abroad, including benami property;
  • Disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim; and
  • An Administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act

What is scheduled offence?

A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule to this Bill. The scheduled offence covers fifteen types of offences as under:

  1. Offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860
  2. Offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
  3. Offences under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934
  4. Offences under the Central Excise Act, 1944
  5. Offences under the Customs Act, 1962
  6. Offences under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988
  7. Offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
  8. Offences under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992
  9. Offences under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002
  10. Offences under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
  11. Offences under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010
  12. Offences under the Companies Act, 2013
  13. Offences under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015
  14. Offences under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
  15. Offences under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017

Complete details about these offences can be read here.

List of Fugitive Economic Offenders

The list of fugitive economic offenders includes:

  1. Vijay Mallya: Absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya became the first person to be declared a fugitive economic offender by the special court hearing cases under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA). He is accused of fraud and defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore
  2. Nirav Modi: Billionaire businessman Nirav Modi has been declared a fugitive economic offender by a special court in Mumbai. He is the second person to be declared a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. He is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 10,000 crore by scamming a software used by banks worldwide

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