The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 promulgated

Purpose: It seeks to confiscate properties of economic offenders who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution, or refuse to return to the country to face prosecution.   Why Ordinance was brought? The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 12, 2018 and is currently pending. Moreover the number of economic offenders has increased. All such offenders leave the country and creditors (Banks) keep on pursuing cases without any substantial recovery. Thus the bill is required to be passed as soon as possible. Important Provisions of the ordinance: Definition of Economic offender:
  1. A fugitive economic offender has been defined as a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing an offence listed in the schedule ( we will see that further), and the value of the offence is at least Rs 100 crore.
  2. The person has left the country to avoid facing prosecution,
  3. Refuses to return to face prosecution.
What are different types of offences as mentioned in the schedule of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance :
  1. Counterfeiting government stamps or currency,(Creating fake currency)
  2. Cheque dishonour,
  3. Money laundering, and
  4. Defrauding creditors.
Can government add or delete offences from the List?
  •  Yes under the Ordinance, the central government is empowered to amend the list of offences through a notification.
What will happen if a person is declared as fugitive Economic offender ?
  •  After hearing the application, the special court (designated under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) may declare an individual as a fugitive economic offender.
It may confiscate properties which are:
  1.  proceeds of crime,
  2.  benami properties, and
  3.  any other property, in India or abroad.
  4. Upon confiscation, all rights and titles of the property will vest in the central government.
Can a declared fugitive economic offender defend himself?
  • The Ordinance allows any civil court or tribunal to disallow a declared fugitive economic offender, from filing or defending any civil claim.
  • Further, any company or limited liability partnership where such a person is a majority shareholder, promoter, or a key managerial person (such as a managing director or CEO), may also be barred from filing or defending civil claims.

About the author: Aman Kumar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.