Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says government strengthening laws to deal with absconding economic offenders

He said the government had to bring in Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, as a Bill in this matter could not be passed in Parliament due to disruptions.

Published: 18th June 2018 10:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2018 10:16 PM   |  A+A-

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The government is strengthening laws to deal with absconding economic offenders such as Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya and aggressively pursuing cases against them in courts abroad, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.

He said the government had to bring in Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, as a Bill in this matter could not be passed in Parliament due to disruptions.

"We are chasing Nirav Modi and we have attached properties belonging to him and Choksi," Prasad said, adding in case of Mallya, India's lawyers are aggressively pursuing extradition request and related cases.

"We will not spare anyone whatever be their stature or position," the minister asserted.

The ordinance gives authorities powers to attach and confiscate the proceeds of crime and properties of economic offenders such as bank fraudsters or loan defaulters fleeing the country.

It is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, an official statement has said.

"The need for the Ordinance had arisen as there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings," it said without naming anyone.

The law is aimed at quickly recovering losses to exchequer or public sector banks in cases of frauds like the alleged USD 2 billion fraud by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.

Giving reasons for bringing in the ordinance, the statement said the absence of such offenders from Indian courts hampers investigation and wastes the court's time and undermines the rule of law.

 

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