‘Present laws adequate to deal with defaulters’

‘Present laws adequate to deal with defaulters’

Context:

  • Cabinet approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill to deal with those escaping overseas to evade law.

National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA):

  • The Cabinet has also approved the establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), which will act as an independent regulator for the auditing profession which was one of the key changes brought in by the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Jurisdiction of NFRA for investigation of Chartered Accountants & their firms under Section 132 of the Act would extend to listed companies & large unlisted public companies, the thresholds for which shall be provided in the Rules

Purpose of the Bill:

  • The Bill will empower the government to confiscate any property owned by such persons in India.
  • The bill is aimed at deterring economic offenders like jeweller Nirav Modi from fleeing the country or not returning to face trial.
  • Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 has been brought to confiscation of assets of a fugitive, including Benami assets.
  • There will also be the provision to confiscate those assets outside India but cooperation of that country will be needed.
  • The proposed law, if it comes into force, will be applicable in cases where value of offences is over Rs 100 crore.
  • The Bill makes provisions for a court of law — Special Court under Prevention of Money Laundering Act — to declare a person a fugitive economic offender.

Fugitive Economic Offender:

  • A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person who has an arrest warrant issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution
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