Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018
- According to the Act, a fugitive economic offender is an individual who has committed specified economic offences involving an amount of Rs 100 crore or more and has absconded from India or refused to come back to India to avoid criminal prosecution.
- Economic offences relate to fraud, counterfeiting, money-laundering, and tax evasion, among others.
- The Act is basically aimed at acting as a deterrent for those who commit economic offences and flee, thereby, defying the Rule of Law in India and evading jurisdiction of the Indian justice system.
- Under the Act, upon declaration as FEO, the properties and assets may be confiscated and vested by the Centre. This includes not just the properties directly owned by the FEO and affiliated organisations but also any and all benami properties owned by the offender.
- Courts and tribunals across the country have the power to disentitle anyone declared as a FEO from filing or defending any civil case – even if that case has nothing to do with their alleged economic offence.
Why in News?
- India has called upon G20 countries to adopt multilateral action for faster extradition of fugitive economic offenders and recovery of assets both on domestic front as well as from abroad.
- Economic offences have been a problem faced by many, especially when the offenders flee from the jurisdiction of the country.
- India has put in place specialised legislation in this regard, in the form of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.