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Govt proposes law to take properties of fugitive eco offenders

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today proposed a stringent legislation to confiscate properties of "economic offenders" to deal with persons like Vijay Mallya who flee the country to escape the The provisions of the proposed Economic Offenders Bill, 2017, once passed by Parliament, will override other legislations dealing with economic offences. "It is widely felt that the spectre of high-value economic offenders absconding from to defy the legal process seriously undermines the rule of in India," the ministry said in a statement. "It is, therefore, felt necessary to provide an effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent to ensure that such actions are curbed," it added. As per the draft law, a 'economic offender', means any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to an economic offence has been issued and the person has left the country and refuses to return to to face criminal prosecution. It further proposes that the burden of proof for establishing that an individual is a economic offender will be on the authorities. "The confiscation order of the Special Court will, to the extent possible, identify the property that constitutes proceeds of crime which are to be confiscated and in case such properties cannot be identified, quantify the value of the proceeds of crime," it said. The proposed is to provide for measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, "thereby preserving the sanctity of the rule of in India". It follows announcement regarding it by Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech on February 1. Jaitley had said the was considering introducing legislative changes or even a new to confiscate the assets of such absconders till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum. He had said that in the recent past, there have been instances of big time offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape the reach of "We have to ensure that the is allowed to take its own course," he had said. Mallya, the 61-year-old chief of the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to various Indian banks, had fled to escape legal proceedings in connection with the loans. is making efforts to get the embattled Indian tycoon extradited from the UK.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 18 2017. 19:09 IST