Cabinet Approves “the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018” (Download PDF)

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The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 will force fugitive economic offenders to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. Help banks and other financial institutions achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders.

Cabinet Approves “The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018”

Cabinet Approves “The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018”

Cabinet Approves “The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018”

  • Cases in which the total value involved in such offences is ₹100 crore or more will come under the purview of this Bill

  • Deters economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

  • All cases under this proposed law will be tried under the PMLA Act (Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) and the administrator will sell the fugitive’s properties to pay off the lenders.

  • Override all other legislation, and will lead to confiscation of all the assets (including benami assets) of the fugitive in India.

  • The Bill provides for application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender.

Who is a ‘Fugitive Economic Offender’?

According to Section 4 of the law, a ‘fugitive economic offender’ is “any individual, against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India, who:

  • leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution; or

  • refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. “

How is a Person Declared an Offender?

A Director, appointed by the central government, will have to file an application to a Special Court to declare a person as a ‘fugitive economic offender’. Under Clause (2) of Section 6, the application must contain:

  • reason/s for the belief that an individual is a fugitive economic offender;

  • any information available as to the whereabouts of the fugitive economic offender;

  • a list of properties or the value of such properties believed to be the proceeds of crime, including any such property outside India for which confiscation is sought;

  • a list of properties owned by the person in India for which confiscation is sought;

  • a list of persons who may have an interest in any of the properties listed under sub-clauses (c) and (d).

The Director has the power to attach any property the accused holds.

What Does the Offender Have to Do?

  • The Court will issue a notice to the ‘fugitive economic offender’. Within six weeks the person will have to be present at “a specified place at a specified time”. Offender who fails to do so will be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’ and their properties as listed in the Director’s application will be confiscated.

What Happens to the Properties?

  • The Special court will appoint an ‘administrator’ to oversee the confiscated property. This person will be responsible for disposing of the property to satisfy creditors’ claims.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 6, 2018

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