Stale­mate on Day 6, protests con­tinue Bill tabled in LS to im­pound, sell as­sets of ab­scond­ing fraud­sters

New­est en­trant seal­ing drive, other is­sues like banking fraud, Cau­very wa­ter, spe­cial sta­tus to AP and Marathi lan­guage, con­tinue to dis­rupt Par­lia­ment

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

The govern­ment on Mon­day tabled a Bill that seeks to con­fis­cate all as­sets of ab­scond­ing fraud­sters and loan de­fault­ers for re­cov­er­ing dues from them. The Fugi­tive Economic Of­fend­ers Bill 2018 aims to im­pound and sell as­sets of fugi­tives such as Ni­rav Modi, who is al­leged to be be­hind the nearly Rs 12,700 crore fraud at Pun­jab Na­tional Bank.

The law will ap­ply to de­fault­ers who have an out­stand­ing of Rs 100 crore or more and have es­caped from the coun­try.

The Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha pro­vides for “mea­sures to de­ter fugi­tive economic of­fend­ers from evad­ing the process of law in In­dia by staying out­side the ju­ris­dic­tion of In­dian courts, to pre­serve the sanc­tity of the rule of law in In­dia and for mat­ters con­nected there­with or in­ci­den­tal thereto”.

As per the state­ment of ob­jects and rea­sons of the Bill, there have been sev­eral in­stances of economic of­fend­ers flee­ing the ju­ris­dic­tion of In­dian courts, an­tici- pat­ing the com­mence­ment of crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings or some­times dur­ing the pen­dency of such pro­ceed­ings.

“The ab­sence of such of­fend­ers from In­dian courts has sev­eral dele­te­ri­ous con­se­quences, such as, it ob­structs in­ves­ti­ga­tion in crim­i­nal cases, it wastes pre­cious time of courts and it un­der­mines the rule of law in In­dia,” it said.

It fur­ther said that most of such cases of economic of­fences in­volve non-re­pay­ment of bank loans thereby wors­en­ing the fi­nan­cial health of the banking sec­tor in In­dia. The ex­ist­ing civil and crim­i­nal pro­vi­sions in law are in­ad­e­quate to deal with the sever­ity of the prob­lem, it said.

“In or­der to ad­dress the said prob­lem and lay down mea­sures to de­ter economic of­fend­ers from evad­ing the process of In­dian law by re­main­ing out­side the ju­ris­dic­tion of In­dian courts, it is pro­posed to en­act the leg­is­la­tion,” it said.

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