New Delhi: The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, aimed at preventing culprits from evading the legal process and fleeing the country was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday, even as the Opposition questioned the goverment’s sincerity in taking any action against them.
The House later passed the legislation by a voice vote as finance minister Piyush Goyal said the government had brought an ordinance before introducing the Bill in Parliament which reflected its “aggressiveness” in acting against black money and such offenders.
The proposed law comes in the backdrop of the alleged Rs11,400 crore defrauding of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) by diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
Both Modi and Choksi have left the country and are believed to be in Europe.
About the Bill
- In order to ensure that courts are not over-burdened with such cases, only those cases where the total value of the offence is Rs100 crore or more, will fall within the purview of this Bill.
- The Bill proposes the formation of a special court under the PMLA, 2002, to declare a person a fugitive economic offender.
- Courts or tribunals can also bar such offenders or their associated companies from filing or defending civil claims before it.
(With agency inputs)