India has called upon G20 countries to adopt multilateral action for faster extradition of ‘fugitive economic offenders’.
India has urged for action against fugitive offenders during the first Anti-corruption working group meeting held in Gurugram.
Economic offences have been a problem faced by many, especially when the offenders flee from the jurisdiction of the country.
India has put in place specialised legislation in this regard, in the form of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, of 2018.
Who are ‘fugitive economic offenders’ (FEO)?
FEO is defined as an individual against whom a warrant of arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India and the value of the offence is at least Rs. 100 crore.
The offender has left the country so as to avoid criminal prosecution and refuses to return to face criminal prosecution.
Fugitive economic offenders act, 2018
About: It aims to seize the property of economic offenders who have fled the nation to avoid being prosecuted or who refuse to come back to face charges.
Declaration of FEO: A special court (established under the PMLA, 2002) may designate someone as a fugitive economic offender after hearing the application.
It has the authority to seize any property, whether it is located in India or outside, including Benami properties and proceeds of crime.
Upon confiscation, the central government will become the sole owner of the property and have all rights and titles (such as any charges on the property).
Bar on Filing or Defending Civil Claims: The Act allows any civil court or tribunal to prohibit a declared fugitive economic offender from filing or defending any civil claim.
The Group of Twenty, or G20, is an intergovernmental organization made up of the European Union (EU) and 19 other nations.
The late 1990s financial crisis, which mostly affected East Asia and Southeast Asia, served as the backdrop for the formation of the G20 in 1999.
Members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the EU.
Together, the G20 countries include:
60 per cent of the world’s population,
80 per cent of global GDP, and
75 per cent of global trade.
The G20's presidency is rotated annually among its members. The G20 "Troika" is made up of the current G20 President, and the outgoing and incoming presidents and they work to maintain the agenda.
Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, and sustainable growth;
To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and
To create a new international financial architecture.