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Fugitive Economic Offenders

Published: 15th Feb, 2024

Context

Fugitive economic offenders will be extradited to India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Lok Sabha.

Who are ‘fugitive economic offenders’ (FEO)?

  • FEO is defined as an individual against whom a warrant of arrestin 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 countryso as to avoid criminal prosecution and refuses to return to face criminal prosecution.
  • Money laundering, forging official stamps or money, dishonouring checks and activities that mislead creditors are some of the offences that are included in the FEO legislation. 

 

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 propertiesand proceeds of crime.
    • Upon confiscation, the central governmentwill 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.
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