It was high time for the legislative assembly to bring a stringent law against the people like gold merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and other such high profile economic offenders who loot the country and fly out from the country to avoid legal face off. It seems our legislators have heard the need of the hour and have passed the bill to curb the economic offenders who blunder over huge funds in the country and fly off to another country and keep the law waiting for them.
The bill passed on Wednesday gives the power to the concern authorities to attach and confiscate the properties and proceeds of crimes against the economic offenders like Nirav Modi. The authorities will have the power to attach the properties of these fugitive economic offenders and confiscate them. The bill has these stringent provisions to pile pressure on these economic offenders to return to the country and participate in the legal process.
However, the applicability of this law will be on economic offenders if the value of the fraud is anywhere Rs. 100 crore. The finance ministry believes that the capping is kept so that the courts do not get bombarded with over number of files and cases. It said that the objective of the law is the effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent against the fugitive economic offenders who break the country’s economy via frauds and blunder and flee to other countries.
While the opposition parties raised concerns over the effectiveness of the law, and whether the government will be able to force the ‘already economic offenders’ to come back in the nation before 2019 general election, the bill was passed unanimously in the Rajya Sabha. The acting Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal, affirmed that Indian government is leaving no stone unturned in bringing back the fugitive economic offenders and try them in the nation’s court. He said that the government will make sure that economic offenders get no provisions to stall the confiscation of their properties in India, by sitting outside the country.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi from Gitanjali Group along with other offenders looted the country through a fraudulent LoU (Letter of Undertaking) and made the country lose INR 14,356.84 crore through the fraud. Nirav Modi, however, out-cried over the amount disclosed by the Punjab National Bank but never returned to the country to fight the legal battle. The similar case of money laundering case was charged against the liquor baron and former chief of Kingfisher brand, Vijay Mallya. Vijay Mallya is charged with a money laundering case worth Rs. 9000 crore which he had taken as a loan from various Indian banks and flew off to the UK on March 2, 2016.