A special court in Mumbai on January 5, 2019 declared absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FE) on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate. Special judge MS Azmi declared Mallya an FEOA under Section 12 of the Act.
- Mallya has become the first businessman to be declared an FEO under the provisions of the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) which came into existence on July 31, 2018.
- The ED had requested the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that Mallya, who is currently in the UK, be declared a fugitive and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government as per the provisions of the new FEO Act.
Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, had left India in March 2016.
Who is fugitive economic offender under FEOA?
- The FEO Act, which became a law on July 31, 2018, allows for declaring a person as an offender after an arrest warrant has been issued against the individual and the value of offences exceeds ₹100 crore.
- Another condition for declaring a person a fugitive economic offender (FEO) is when the individual refuses to return to the country to face prosecution.
- According to the new law, a special FEOA court can order the confiscation of a FEO’s properties, including those which are benami, and the proceeds of crime in and outside India.
- Once properties are confiscated, the Union government has the right over them, and it can dispose them after 90 days.