Fugitive Economic Offenders Act intends to confiscate assets and properties of economic offenders that evade prosecution by residing outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
Who is a Fugitive Economic Offender?
According to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA), 2018, a fugitive economic offender is any individual against whom a reasonable arrest warrant has been issued for his or her involvement in economic offences with the value of Rs. 100 crore or above and has left India to avoid prosecution.
Features of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act
Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, an individual is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) on satisfying the following conditions:
Any arrest warrant has been issued for committing an offence specified under the Act, and the total value of the offence is at least Rs 100 crore.
Any person who left the country and refused to face criminal prosecution.
To declare the person as an FEO, an application has to be filed in a “Special Court” specified under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, containing the details of the properties to be confiscated, and any other information about the FPO.
The Special Court will declare a notice to an individual to appear at a specified place and date within six weeks from the issuance of notice.
Also, FEOA allows designated authorities to provisionally attach properties of an accused, while the application is pending before the Special Court.
In the case of the person appearing on the specified date, the proceedings will be terminated. If not, the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender.
Upon declaration as an FEO, the properties of the individual may be confiscated and vested in the Central Government. Further, the FEO or any company incorporated with the economic offender would be barred from filing or defending any civil claims.