The Indian government yesterday approved an ordinance, which allows confiscating properties and assets of economic offenders like loan defaulters.
A cabinet meeting presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018. The economic offenders are persons against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for a scheduled offence. Wilful bank loan defaulters with outstanding of over Rs 100 crore will also dubbed as such offenders.
It provides for confiscating assets even without conviction and paying off lenders by selling off the fugitive's properties. Such economic offenders will be tried under the stringent law Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ordinance defines a fugitive economic offender as a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing offences like counterfeiting government stamps or currency, cheque dishonour for insufficiency of funds, money laundering and transactions defrauding creditors.
Under the ordinance, any property belonging to the fugitive economic offender may provisionally be attached without the prior permission of the special court provided that an application is filed before the court within 30 days.