New Delhi:The President on Sunday promulgated an ordinance that empowers the government to attach properties of fugitive economic offenders within and outside India.
This is expected to aid the government in its battle to bring back economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, to stand trial in India.
The Indian government has been trying, with little success so far, to bring back these people against whom investigation agencies are pursuing cases.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 will narrow the escape routes for such offenders as it gives the government powers to attach all properties of the offenders, even those that are not proceeds of crime.
Only those cases where the amount involved is more than Rs100 crore will be covered under this ordinance.
“The need for the ordinance has 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," said a finance ministry statement. “The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has several deleterious consequences—first, it hampers investigation in criminal cases; second, it wastes precious time of courts of law, third, it undermines the rule of law in India," it added.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 was tabled in the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded budget session of Parliament but could not be taken up after both the houses faced continuous disruptions.
Mallya’s spokesperson declined to comment for the story. Lawyers of Modi and Choksi did not respond to messages.