Centre accepts Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

3 weeks ago Saloni Hindocha 0

Finally, after Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya, the Indian Government has decided to take steps to make sure that any more such defaulters and frauds do not arise.  Thus, the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal to introduce Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 in the Parliament. This statement was given by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday.  Further explaining this concept, Arun Jaitley said while addressing a press conference, “Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 has been brought to confiscate the assets of a fugitive, including Benami assets. There will also be the provision to confiscate those assets outside India, but co-operation of that country will also be needed.”

Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

He added that offences worth Rs 100 crore and more will be under the purview of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018. The bill is most likely to be discussed in the parliament during the second part of the budget session which starts from March 6. Jaitley also mentioned that the fugitive economic offenders will be disentitled from defending any civil claim. An administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act. In exact terms, a Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence (a scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the schedule to this Bill) and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.

Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

Once the bill is passed to become a law, it aims at creating a special forum where all the proceeds of the crime whether in India or Abroad will be confiscated. It would also force the offender to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of the Indian courts and face the law for the respective offences.  In addition to this bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also said that the Cabinet has approved the establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA). The NFRA would act as an independent regulator for the auditing profession, which was one of the key changes brought in by the Companies Act, 2013.  NFRA intends to create an entity that could take over the disciplinary functions of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in order to ensure stricter action on erring auditors.