President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018. The ordinance gives authorities the power to attach and confiscate proceeds of crime and properties of economic offenders fleeing the country.
Without naming anyone the official statement said that the need for the ordinance has arisen as there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the beginning of criminal proceedings or while the proceedings are still pending.
It also said existing civil and criminal provisions are not entirely adequate to deal with the severity of the problem.
The Ordinance makes provisions for special court under Prevention of Money laundering act 2002 to declare a person a Fugitive Economic Offender.
The government said the new law will help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from defaults committed by fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 12 but couldn’t be taken up due to the logjam in Parliament. With Parliament being adjourned sine die, an ordinance was proposed. The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved the ordinance.