ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Futile Run after Fugitives

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act is a pointless anti-corruption exercise.

Amidst the nationwide furore created by the Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi debacles, the National Democratic Alliance government has brought in a new piece of legislation—the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA), 2018 on 31 July 2018—to bring back perpetrators who skedaddle to overseas jurisdictions and evade Indian legal processes, as also to save face in an election year. Though the government is high on rhetoric regarding the deterrent value of this new regulation, especially the provision of non-conviction-based asset confiscation, its feasibility is elusive.

The legislation in its deterrent effect is not only ineffectual, but it can also be constitutionally challenged, particularly its provision of discretionary powers to the judiciary, in order to disentitle an accused from defending any civil claims in civil proceedings, which threatens the basic principles of natural justice. However, the most disconcerting issue is that the basic tenets behind such law-giving are flawed.

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Updated On : 25th May, 2021
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