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. The Bill would help in laying down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. The cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs.100 crore or more, will come under the purview of this Bill.

Impact:
The Bill is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.
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.

Salient features of the 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
vii. An Administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act.

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