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Fugitive Economic Offenders

Fugitive Economic Offenders:

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.

  • 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:
    • To deter economic offenders from avoiding the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
    • To ensure that fugitive economic offenders return to India to face the action in accordance with law.
  • FEO is defined as an individual
    • who has committed offences involving an amount of 100 crore rupees or more and
    • 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 Cour