New Delhi, July 25: The upper house of the parliament passed The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance (2018) on Wednesday. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal introduced the bill in Rajya Sabha.
The Lok Sabha had on Thursday passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, which is aimed at strengthening the laws dealing with loan defaulters who flee the country. The bill will replace the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance which was promulgated by the President in April.
Congress leader Vivek Tanka said the law serves no public purpose. He asked, "If the BJP only wants publicity from this law?"
Rajeev Gowda, Congress MP, said confiscating the assets without conviction is unconstitutional.
The bill, which was approved by the union cabinet in April this year, empowers authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders like loan defaulters who flee the country.
After the recent financial frauds came to fore in India, especially the Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam where diamantaire Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fled the country, it became apparent that the existing civil and criminal provisions are not entirely adequate to deal with the severity of the problem. The absence of offenders during investigations poses problems for the probing agencies apart from undermining the law of the country. The ordinance will come into effect after the assent of the President.