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Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO)

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has Sought Permission from a special court in Bengaluru to declare the US-based founder and CEO of the Now Liquidated firm Devas Multimedia Private Limited a fugitive economic offender.

What is a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO)?

An FEO is defined by the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act, 2018.

As per the act, a person is declared as a fugitive economic offender if:

An arrest warrant has been issuing against him for any specified offences where the value involved is over Rs 100 crore

He has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution

The Act aims to provide for measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading the process of law in India by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

What is the process of declaring a person as FEO?

To declare a person an FEO, an application is to be field in a Special court (designated under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002)

The Special Court will require the person to appear at a specified place at least six weeks from issue of notice.

Proceeding will be terminated if the person appears.

What happens if a person is declared FEO?

Upon declaration as an FEO, Properties of a person may be confiscated and vested in the central government free of encumbrances (rights and claims in the property).

Further, the FEO or any company associated with him may be barred from filling or defending civil claims.

Other laws dealing with economic offences.

Economic offences relate to fraud, counterfeiting, money-laundering, tax evasion, etc.

Among the laws available for prosecuting these offences are:

  1. The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002,
  2. The Benami Properties Transaction Act, 1988, and
  3. The Companies Act, 2013.

Besides the above laws, Section of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, also cover offences such as a forgery and cheating.

 Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO)

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