Amid the din in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla introduced The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018, that seeks to confiscate all assets of absconding fraudsters and loan defaulters for recovering dues from them.
The proposed law will apply to defaulters who have an outstanding of Rs 100 crore or more and have escaped from the country. The Minister also introduced the The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill 2018.
Meanwhile, Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD opposed the introduction of The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, saying its provisions violated the citizens’ fundamental rights and that it is based on the premise of “guilty till proven innocent” and not the other way round.
He questioned the provision of seizing assets of an accused before he was proved guilty. However, Shukla said these provisions can be debated during the discussion on the bill and introduced the bill.
The Bill has been introduced in the backdrop protests over the nearly Rs 12,700 crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank in which businessman Nirav Modi is allegedly involved. The issue of multi-crore fraud had led to the disruptions in both the houses leading to its adjournments since the beginning of the second leg of budget session.