Congress president Rahul Gandhi has often attacked the BJP over fugitive fraudsters such as diamond czar Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya. But his own party has moved for annulment in Parliament of the ‘Fugitive Economic Offences Ordinance’ which facilitates legal crackdown on offenders who either fled the country or refused to come back to face the law.

The Rajya Sabha, however, passed the bill based on the ordinance on Wednesday, paving the way for it to become a law.

Parliamentary papers reveal that on July 18, Congress MP T Subbarami Reddy moved a resolution in Parliament that said: “That this House disapproves the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, 2018 (No. 1 of 2018), promulgated by the President on the 21st April, 2018.”

Congress’ PC Chako told MyNation that he did not want to comment on the matter. “I don’t know about it,” he said.

Parliamentary documents also show that Reddy moved the resolution on the same day that Union minister Piyush Goyal was to move the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill to replace the ordinance.

Goyal proposed that “the bill 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, to preserve the sanctity of the rule of law in India and for matters connected thereto or incidental thereto as passed by Parliament, be taken into consideration.”

After finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced in Budget speech this year that a stringent law would be enacted to deter economic offenders from jumping the law and the country, the bill had been moved in Parliament in March 12, but could not be passed due to Opposition intransigence. This had necessitated the promulgation of the ordinance by the President.

The new law makes way for confiscation and attachment of properties of the accused owned in India or abroad. It also stipulates that properties which may have been acquired from proceeds of the crime, whether or not owned by the accused, be also confiscated.


1.    “Fugitive economic offender” refers to any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a Scheduled Offence has been issued by any Court in India and who has either left India to avoid criminal prosecution or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face the law.

2.    “Proceeds of crime” means any property derived or obtained, directly or indirectly, by the accused as a result of criminal activity relating to a Scheduled Offence, or the value of any such property, or where such property is taken or held outside the country, then the property equivalent in value held within the country or abroad.

3.    “Scheduled Offence” means an offence specified in the Schedule, if the total value involved in such offence or offences is Rs. 100 crore or more.

4.    A Special Court issues notice to the accused and if the person appears before the Special Court in person, proceedings get terminated.

An individual is declared as a fugitive economic offender, if the Special Court is satisfied.

5.    The Special Court may confiscate the proceeds of crime in India or abroad, whether or not such property is owned by the fugitive and any other property or benami property in India or abroad, owned by the fugitive economic offender.

6.    The person may also be barred from putting forward any defending claims in any civil court.