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Govt. invites comments on draft Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017

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The Government has invited comments and suggestions from all stakeholders and members of the public on the draft Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017 that is aimed at enabling the authorities to confiscate the assets of high-value economic offenders absconding from the country to defy the legal process.
 
"It is widely felt that the spectre of high-value economic offenders absconding from India to defy the legal process seriously undermines the rule of law in India. It is, therefore, felt necessary to provide an effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent to ensure that such actions are curbed," an official press release said.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, while presenting the Budget for 2017-18, announced that the Government was considering to introduce legislative changes or even a new law to confiscate the assets of such absconders till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum. The relevant extract from the Budget Speech is re-produced be
 
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“In the recent past, there have been instances of big time offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape the reach of law. We have to ensure that the law is allowed to take its own course. Government is therefore considering introduction of legislative changes, or even a new law, to confiscate the assets of such persons located within the country, till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum. Needless to say that all necessary constitutional safeguards will be followed in such cases," Mr. Jaitley had said in his Budget speech.
 
Pursuant to that announcement, a draft law, known as ‘The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017’ has been prepared. A copy of the Draft Bill along with an Explanatory Note explaining the key legal provisions of the Bill can be seen here.
 
 
"All stakeholders concerned / public are requested to forward comments / suggestions that they may wish to submit on the Draft Bill by 3rd June 2017  by e-mail to parveen.k63@gov.in or in hard copy to Shri Parveen Kumar, Under Secretary (FSLRC), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Room No. 48, North Block, New Delhi-110001. The decision of the Government with respect to the Draft Bill will be taken after receipt of public / stakeholders comments and after following due procedure thereafter," the release added.
 
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