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Definition of Fugitive Economic Offender: The act defines a "fugitive economic offender" as an individual against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing a "scheduled offense" involving an amount of 100 crore rupees or more. Scheduled offenses include various financial crimes such as cheating, forgery, counterfeiting, money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud, among others.
Application for Declaration: The authorities, represented by the Director of the Enforcement Directorate or any other officer not below the rank of Deputy Director, can file an application before the Special Court seeking a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender. This enables the authorities to take legal action against the offender.
Attachment of Properties: The act empowers the authorities to attach the properties and assets (both in India and abroad) of the fugitive economic offender. This can be done before or after the application is filed, with the permission of the Special Court. The attachment prevents the offender from disposing of or transferring the assets to avoid recovery.
Confiscation of Properties: If the Special Court declares a person as a fugitive economic offender, the properties and assets attached by the authorities can be confiscated and vested in the Central Government. The confiscated assets are used to repay creditors and victims of the economic offender's crimes.
Disentitlement to Defend: Once a person is declared a fugitive economic offender, they are disentitled to defend any civil claim related to the properties or assets seized or confiscated under this act. This provision prevents offenders from claiming ownership or control over the attached properties.
Exemption to Bonafide Transactions: The act provides an exemption to bonafide transactions undertaken before the declaration of an individual as a fugitive economic offender. This ensures that legitimate transactions are not affected while pursuing the offender's ill-gotten gains.
Special Court: The act provides for the establishment of Special Courts to deal with cases related to fugitive economic offenders. These specialized courts ensure expedited proceedings and focus on combating economic offenses.
By providing legal mechanisms for the swift attachment and confiscation of assets, disentitlement to defend, and establishment of specialized courts, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, strengthens the government's ability to combat financial crimes and recover illicitly obtained funds. It acts as a deterrent against economic offenders who attempt to flee the country to avoid facing prosecution for their financial wrongdoings.
Our lawyers can offer initial consultations to individuals or entities facing FEOA-related issues. During the consultation, they assess the situation, explain the implications of the act, and provide guidance on potential legal actions and strategies.
Our lawyers will thoroughly review the case, including relevant documents and evidence, to build a strong understanding of the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged economic offenses.
Our lawyers will represent clients in court proceedings related to FEOA cases. They will draft and file petitions, applications, and other necessary legal documents to present their client's case before the appropriate judicial authorities.
If an individual or entity is accused of being a fugitive economic offender, our lawyers can mount a defense against the allegations and argue on behalf of their clients to refute the charges or provide mitigating circumstances.
Our lawyers can assist in the process of tracing and recovering assets that have been involved in economic offenses or are subject to confiscation under the FEOA.
In cases where the fugitive economic offender has fled to another country, our lawyers can handle extradition proceedings and work with international authorities to bring the offender back to face justice.
Our lawyers may explore options for negotiation and settlement if appropriate, aiming to resolve the matter outside of court to the best advantage of their clients.
If a client is dissatisfied with the decision of the Special Court or other judicial authorities, our lawyers can handle the appeals process and present arguments in higher courts.
Our lawyers can communicate and negotiate with enforcement agencies, such as the Directorate of Enforcement, on behalf of their clients during the course of the case.
Throughout the litigation process, our lawyers will provide legal advice, keep clients informed of developments, and guide them on the best course of action.