Why is it in the news ?

ED appealed in the Bombay High Court that Mehul Choksi is a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA), 2018.

Objectives of FEO, Act 2018

  1. It seeks to confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders that evade prosecution by Indian Courts.
  2. To provide for measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading the process of law in India by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
  3. To preserve the sanctity of the rule of law in India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.


  1. Economic offences
    1. Those offences with a value of more than Rs 100 crores, which are listed in the schedule of this Act, come under the purview of this law.
  2. Special Court
    1. As per the Act, a court (‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) has to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.
  3. Definition of a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO)
    1. Any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India.
    2. And the person who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.
    3. Or the person refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
  4. Attachment of property
    1. Special courts can direct the Central government to seize assets of fugitive economic offenders including those that are proceeds of the crime.
  5. Appeal
    1. Appeals against the orders of the special court will lie before the High Court.


Other laws related to the economic offences

The laws available for prosecuting these offences are:

  1. The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
  2. The Benami Properties Transactions Act, 1988.
  3. The Companies Act, 2013.
  4. Sections of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 and The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, also cover offences such as forgery and cheating.