Fugitive economic offender

• Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha that banks have recovered ₹13,109.17 crore by selling the assets of fugitives like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

About:

• Talking about the recovery of ₹13,109.17 crore from the sale of assets of wilful defaulters, who have now fled the country, the Finance Minister said ₹792 crore were earned from the sale of assets belonging to Mr. Mallya and others on July 16, 2021.

• The Minister’s comments came during her reply to a discussion on the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants which was passed by the Lok Sabha by a voice vote.

• The discussion on the Supplementary Demands for Grants, authorising the government to spend an additional ₹3.73 lakh crore during the current fiscal, concluded last week.

• Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) became a law on July 31, 2018.

Objectives:

1. To deter economic offenders from avoiding the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

2. To ensure that fugitive economic offenders return to India to face the action in accordance with law.

• Defining Fugitive economic offender (FEO): FEO is defined as an individual

1. who has committed offences involving an amount of 100 crore rupees or more and

2. has ran away from India to avoid criminal prosecution.

• Special Court: A special court will be established under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

• Attachment of property: Special courts can direct the Central government to seize assets of fugitive economic offender including those that are proceeds of the crime.

• Appeal: Appeals against the orders of the special court will lie before the High Court.

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Mains Paper 3: Economy

Prelims level: Fugitive economic offender

Mains level: Read the newsfeed

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