Fugitive Economic Offenders Act
Why in News?
Vijay Mallya became the first person to be declared a fugitive economic offender by the special court hearing cases under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).
Fugitive Economic Offenders Act:
- The Bill allows for a person to be declared as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) if:
(i) an arrest warrant has been issued against him for any specified offences where the value involved is over Rs 100 crore, and
(ii) he has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution.
- To declare a person,an FEO, an application will be filed in a Special Court (designated under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
- The Special Court will require the person to appear at a specified place at least six weeks from issue of notice. Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears.
- The Bill allows authorities to provisionally attach properties of an accused, while the application is pending before the Special Court.
- Upon declaration as an FEO, properties of a person may be confiscated and vested in the central government, free of encumbrances (rights and claims in the property). Further, the FEO or any company associated with him may be barred from filing or defending civil claims.
- Mallya has become the first businessman to be declared an FEO under the provisions of the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) which came into existence on July 31, 2018.
- The ED had requested the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that Mallya, who is currently in the UK, be declared a fugitive and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government as per the provisions of the new FEO Act.
Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, had left India in March 2016.