Cabinet approves bill to seize all assets of 'Fugitive Offenders'

Arvind Kejriwal takes swipe at BJP over Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 'Pehle chhote Modi ko bhagaa diya ab bill la rahe ho'

Arvind Kejriwal takes swipe at BJP over Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 'Pehle chhote Modi ko bhagaa diya ab bill la rahe ho'

THE UNION Cabinet on Thursday approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill that seeks to confiscate and sell all assets of absconding economic offenders. "Even benami assets, if any, would be seized".

In what can be described as a particularly tough provision to tackle the issue of defaulters evading the government, Section 11 disentitles those declared as fugitive economic offenders from filing any civil claim.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed reporters on the Bill and hoped that it will be passed in the upcoming session of Parliament.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely was of the view that the special forum to be created for "expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India and overseas, 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".

"There have been several instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency of criminal proceedings", a government note on the cabinet approval of the proposed bill says.

The Bill defines a fugitive economic offender as a person who has an arrest warrant issued regarding a scheduled offence but leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.

The bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament in the second half of the budget session, beginning March 5, and fast-tracked.

Russian Federation vetoes UK-drafted resolution targeting Iran
The United Nations says that some three thirds of the Yemeni population or 22.2 mln people are in need of assistance. The vote was 11 in favor, Russian Federation and Bolivia opposed, and China and Kazakhstan abstaining.

- As per the draft Bill approved by the Law Ministry, special courts will be set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). "This is triggered by the offender being a fugitive", he said.

While explaining why confiscation of assets has been provided for, Jaitley said, "A trial of fugitive will never be complete".

He added: "We had announced in last year's budget that we would bring in a law to confiscate the properties of economic offence fugitives".

The moves are significant as they are created to avoid situations like the Rs 12,700 crore Punjab National Bank scam in which the main accused, Nirav Modi, is absconding.

The Union chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved setting up of a National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as an independent regulator for the auditors. Law will apply to new and old cases of persons who have fled the country to avoid prosecution. An administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act. It will also prevent the offender, if he returns to India, from reclaiming any property.

The jurisdiction of the NFRA will also extend to all listed companies as well as large unlisted public companies.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.