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Who is a fugitive economic offender?

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Money laundering related issues.

 

fugitive economic offender

Context:

Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s attempts to get the fraud allegations against him dismissed suffered a major setback after the bankruptcy court in New York dismissed his petition.

 

Background:

UK High Court had granted fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi permission to appeal against a magistrates’ court order, in favour of extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering before the Indian courts, on mental health and human rights grounds.

 

Extradition order:

The U.K.’s Home Department, in April 2020, approved the extradition of diamond merchant Nirav Modi to India in connection with the ₹13,758 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

  • This came two months after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled that a prima facie case was made out against him.

current affairs

 

Fugitive economic offender:

A special court, in December 2019, declared diamond businessman Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.

 

Definition- Fugitive Economic Offender:

A person can be named an offender under the law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.

 

The procedure:

  1. The investigating agencies have to file an application in a Special Court under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
  2. The Special Court will issue a notice for the person to appear at a specified place and date at least six weeks from the issue of notice.
  3. Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears. If not the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender based on the evidence filed by the investigating agencies.
  4. The person who is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender can challenge the proclamation in the High Court within 30 days of such declaration according to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

 

InstaCurious:

Do you know about FATF-style regional bodies? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who is a fugitive economic offender?
  2. Composition and powers of ED.
  3. Establishment and powers of CBI.
  4. What is PMLA?
  5. Overview of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and key provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Sources: the Hindu.