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JUDICIARY WATCH

Views on draft Fugitive Offenders Bill sought

Staff reporter, New Delhi
18/05/2017   0 Comments

The Government has sought  public views on the proposals of a draft legislation which seeks to confiscate the local assets of  fleeing criminals till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum. 
 
At the same breath, Finance Ministry has said  necessary constitutional safeguards will be followed in such cases.
 
”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", it said.
 
The Ministry has sought  public opinion on  the  Draft ‘Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill. It was a an announcement  in  the  2017-18 Budget introducing 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. 
 
“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.”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", the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said.
 
Pursuant to the Budget 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 are also hosted on the home page of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance at http://dea.gov.in/recent-update.

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