NEW DELHI:The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, which aims to prevent perpetrators of major financial frauds from fleeing the country. The Bill seeks to strengthen the norms to ensure that wilful defaulters like Vijay Mallaya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi cannot evade the legal process in future.
Replying to the debate on the Bill, acting Union Minister for Finance Piyush Goyal said the Bill would empower investigative agencies to seize even benami properties of the offenders, besides their legal assets.
Earlier, initiating the debate, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said the proposed measures would allow the government to recover dues from absconding offenders. “The absconding offenders, including Mallya, Nirav Modi, Choksi were products of the Congress government, which had also facilitated their scam,” claimed Dubey.
Opposition lawmakers questioned the government’s sincerity in taking action against economic offenders. Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee claimed the fugitive economic offenders belonged to the “Modi (Nirav, Lalit) syndicate”.
The Opposition also questioned the government’s intent in acting against such offenders. They argued that many offenders had fled the country during the NDA rule. Opposition MPs accused the government of letting the defaulters flee.