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
- It seeks to confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders that evade prosecution by Indian Courts.
- 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.
- To preserve the sanctity of the rule of law in India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- Economic offences
- 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.
- Special Court
- 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.
- Definition of a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO)
- Any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India.
- And the person who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.
- Or the person refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
- Attachment of property
- Special courts can direct the Central government to seize assets of fugitive economic offenders including those that are proceeds of the crime.
- 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:
- The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
- The Benami Properties Transactions Act, 1988.
- The Companies Act, 2013.
- Sections of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 and The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, also cover offences such as forgery and cheating.