The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was taken up for consideration and discussed extensively in the Lok Sabha today. The Bill allows for a person to be declared a FEO if (i) an arrest warrant has been issued against the individual for an offence of over 100 crore (ii) the individual has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution.
To declare a person a FEO:
Once, the person has been declared as a FEO, his properties may be confiscated by the Central Government. Also, the FEO or any company associated with him may be barred from filing or defending civil claims. For more information on the Bill, refer to our analysis here
The House witnessed extensive discussion on the passage of the Bill. There was significant debate on the provision of the Ordinance which allows the courts to bar an FEO or a company associated with him from filing or defending civil claims. This was argued to be in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution i.e. the right to life. This Article has been interpreted to include the right to access justice.
The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was discussed in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill amends the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It makes giving of a bribe a separate offence. It also modifies the definition and penalties for offences related to taking a bribe. Further, it also includes provisions which require a police officer to obtain prior permission before investigation an offence under the Bill. For a comparative analysis between the 1988 Act and 2013 Bill, refer here.
*Note: The Parliament was still in session at the time of sending this report.