Or­di­nance likely to curb loot & scoot

Pro­vi­sion For At­tach­ment Of Of­fend­ers’ As­sets

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - NEWS NET­WORK

TIMES New Delhi: The govern­ment may opt for the or­di­nance route to crack down on eco­nomic fugi­tives and at­tach their prop­er­ties in a bid to bring them to book.

In March, the Cab­i­net cleared the Fugi­tive Eco­nomic Of­fend­ers Bill to crack down on cases in­volv­ing Rs 100 crore or more in a bid to act against those ac­cused of de­fraud­ing banks and flee­ing the coun­try to avoid fac­ing the law. The govern­ment be­lieves the pro­vi­sions have been drafted in a way that in­di­vid­u­als such as Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Me­hul Choksi, who fled the coun­try be­fore the law is en­acted can be acted upon.

While the govern­ment had hoped to push the law dur­ing the sec­ond half of the bud­get ses­sion, it failed to do so due to dis­rup­tions in both Houses of Par­lia­ment which saw lit­tle busi­ness get­ting trans­acted.

A sec­tion within the govern­ment is keen that ef­forts should be made to get the bill passed in the mon­soon ses­sion. The move will help the govern­ment send a clear mes­sage that it is se­ri­ous about the move and will help it ini­ti­ate ac­tion in several cases.

The bill pro­poses for ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore a spe­cial court for dec­la­ra­tion of an in­di­vid­ual as a fugi­tive eco­nomic of­fender. This will en­able at­tach­ment of prop­erty of the “fugi­tive eco­nomic of­fender” and con­fis­ca­tion of prop­erty from the pro­ceeds of crime. The plan is to al­low con­fis­ca­tion of prop­erty in In­dia and abroad.

The govern­ment pro­posed dis­en­ti­tle­ment of the fugi­tive eco­nomic of­fender from de­fend­ing civil claims and an ap­pointed ad­min­is­tra­tor to man­age and dis­pose of con­fis­cated prop­erty.

The or­di­nance, if en­acted, would tar­get in­di­vid­u­als like Nirav Modi

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