Ordinance likely to curb loot & scoot
Provision For Attachment Of Offenders’ Assets
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