Parliament passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

The opposition, however, attacked the government for lacking will to stop such defaulters despite having several laws.

Published: 26th July 2018 12:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2018 12:17 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: To prevent big economic offenders like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya from fleeing the country, the parliament on Wednesday passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018.

The opposition, however, attacked the government for lacking will to stop such defaulters despite having several laws.

During the discussion in Rajya Sabha, several opposition party MPs raised the issue of putting a threshold of Rs 100 crore for booking offenders under the law and whether offenders will come back to the country when their properties are attached by the investigative agencies under. "Is the government's intention to get a lot of publicity by bringing the law.

India is a country with so many laws and it is too little, too late when all the big fished are already out f the country. Are you convinced that they will come back," questioned Congress MP Vivek K Tankha. SamParty MP Neeraj Shekhar said that the government shouldn't make laws just to trouble the opposition.

The Congress also questioned the centre's will to fight corruption and in the line of fire are key bills like the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, Prevention of Corruption Bill, Whistleblower's Protection Bill and the absence of anti-corruption body Lokpal, which PM Modi had highlighted during the 2014 national polls.

Congress leaders said while the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill offered nothing new and was brought just to avoid criticism after various accused like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi defrauded public banks and fled from the country, the Whistleblowers' Protection bill was not brought before the Rajya Sabha and technical changes in it make whistleblowers vulnerable.

"The track record of this government on anti-corruption legislation has been dismal," Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda said. Box The Bill allows for a person to be declared as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) if: - an arrest warrant issued against him

y specified offences, where the value involved, is over Rs 100 crore - He/she has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution. The Bill allows authorities to provisionally attach properties of an accused, while the application is pending before the Special Court.

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