Fugitive Offender Bill 2018
The Govt. of India has introduced the Fugitive Offender Bill, 2018 to attach assets of offenders. The Offender Bill will provide measures to deter fugitive offenders from evading the process of law in India by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
There have been several instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of
Indian courts anticipating the commencement of criminal proceedings or sometimes during
the pendency of such proceedings. The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has
several deleterious consequences, such as, it obstructs investigation in criminal cases, it
wastes precious time of courts and it undermines the rule of law in India. Further, most of
such cases of economic offences involve non-repayment of bank loans thereby worsening
the financial health of the banking sector in India. The existing civil and criminal provisions
in law are inadequate to deal with the severity of the problem.
2. In order to address the said problem and lay down measures to deter economic
offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of
Indian courts, it is proposed to enact a legislation, namely, the Fugitive Economic Offenders
Bill, 2018 to ensure that fugitive economic offenders return to India to face the action in
accordance with law.
3. The said Bill, inter alia, provides for:
(i) the definition of the fugitive economic offender as an individual who has
committed a scheduled offence or offences involving an amount of one hundred crore
rupees or more and has absconded from India or refused to come back to India to avoid
or face criminal prosecution in India;
(ii) attachment of the property of a fugitive economic offender and proceeds of
(iii) the powers of Director relating to survey, search and seizure and search of
(iv) confiscation of the property of a fugitive economic offender and proceeds of
(v) disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from putting forward or
defending any civil claim;
(vi) appointment of an Administrator for the purposes of the proposed legislation;
(vii) appeal to the High Court against the orders issued by the Special Court;
(viii) placing the burden of proof for establishing that an individual is a fugitive
economic offender on the Director or the person authorised by the Director.
4. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objective
The 3rd March, 2018.
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