With an aim to punish those who are accused of committing financial crimes in India and then fleeing from the country, the Finance Minister in his Budget speech 2017 declared to come out with a Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill. Pending the passage of the Bill, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution, the President d this Ordinance on 21st April, 2018. It extends to the whole of India. This Ordinance, provides for measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading the process of law in India by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. Who is a ‘fugitive economic offender’? ‘Fugitive economic offender’ means any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a Scheduled Offence has been issued by any Court in India, who (i) has left India to avoid criminal prosecution; or (ii) being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. Declaration of fugitive economic offenders Where any officer as appointed by Government of India, has reason to believe, on the basis of material in his possession, that an individual is a fugitive economic offender, he may file an application in such form and manner as may be prescribed in the Special Court that such individual may be declared as a fugitive economic offender.

The application should contain --

Attachment of property

  1. The designated officer may with the permission of the Special Court, attach any property mentioned in the application.
  2. The designated officer may at any time prior to the filing of the application attach any property for which there is a reason to believe that the property is proceeds of crime, or is a property owned by an individual who is a fugitive economic offender.
  3. The attachment of any property shall continue for a period of one hundred and eighty days from the date of order of attachment or such other period as may be extended by the Special Court before the expiry of such period.

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