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Govt to bring law to recover dues from Nirav Modi-type fugitive economic offenders



Govt to bring law to recover dues from Nirav Modi-type fugitive economic offenders

The Narendra Modi government will bring in a new law — the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill — to confiscate assets of those who flee the country and refuse to return after committing frauds in excess of Rs 100 crore, said media reports.

The move comes in the backdrop of major bank frauds coming to light in quick succession recently. Nirav Modi, a diamond merchant accused in the Rs. 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank case, and his family members are currently abroad. In another case involving Rs. 389 crore of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, a Delhi-based jewellery exporter and his business partners fled the country in 2014. Under the existing laws, the bank has failed to recover the dues in the past three years, reported The Hindu.

In September, the Union Law ministry had approved the finance ministry’s draft of Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017, and its passage into law is now being expedited as part of the government’s response to the PNB scam, said a report in Moneycontrol.com.

The draft Bill followed an announcement in the Union Budget for 2017-18 that the government planned to introduce a legal measure to confiscate assets of the economic offenders who flee to foreign jurisdictions to escape the clutches of law.

The move came after Vijay Mallya, who owed more than Rs. 9,000 crore to the public sector banks, flew out of the country and refused to come back. It set off prolonged and multi-pronged legal proceedings, with the government still fighting a legal battle for his extradition from the UK.

The draft Bill defines a fugitive economic offender as any individual against whom an arrest warrant has been issued and who has either left the country or refuses to come back to face prosecution.

The Bill is likely to be introduced after Parliament reconvenes on March 6 for the second part of the Budget session. It defines fugitive economic offender as 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.

The draft Bill covers a wide range of offences including wilful loan defaults, cheating and forgery, forged or fraudulent document of electronic records, duty evasion and non-repayment of deposits among others.

As proposed, the Enforcement Directorate will be empowered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to initiate the proceedings. It has a provision enabling repayment of dues to creditors by disposing of confiscated assets, in case the accused offender continues to evade prosecution.

As listed in the draft Bill’s schedule, it will be applicable to various financial and allied offences as defined under the Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, Customs Act and so on.

Once voted into law the new legislation will empower investigating agencies to confiscate, and vest with themselves, any property of the absconding offenders without an encumbrances.

Also, at the discretion of any Court, such person or any company where the absconder is a promoter or key managerial personnel or majority shareholder, may be ‘disentitled’ from bringing forward or defending any civil claim, in effect taking away the fugitive offenders’ rights to reclaim the assets.

The Bill’s provision is compatible with the provisions of United Nations Convention against Corruption (ratified by India in 2011) that recommends “non-conviction-based asset confiscation for corruption-related cases”.

In order to ensure that courts are not over-burdened with such cases, only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs 100 crore rupees or more, is within the purview of this Bill. The Bill makes provisions for a court of law — a “Special Court” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) — to declare a person a “fugitive economic offender”.

“It is widely felt that the spectre of high-value economic offenders absconding from India to defy the legal process seriously undermines the rule of law in India. It is necessary to provide an effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent to ensure that such actions are curbed. To serve these ends, this Bill is being proposed,” said the Moneycontrol.com report, citing a government source.

While the PMLA allows the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to seize an accused, the law did not allow complete ‘non-conviction’ based asset attachment without any encumbrances.

Under current rules, the ED is entitled to provisionally attach a defaulter’s property “pending trial subject to confirmation by the adjudicating authority and appeal”. On conviction in the trial, the property stands confiscated, free from all encumbrances, to the central government – but it is a long drawn process.

Further, in large defaults, criminal proceedings are likely to be in several criminal courts across the country where assets are located. This multiplicity of proceedings may lead to conflicting orders of attachment by different courts.

Also, a court is unlikely to attach property outside its jurisdiction in the first place without the procedure for endorsement being followed. As a result of such delays, such offenders can continue to remain outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts for a considerable period of time.

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill is aimed at addressing these drawbacks. It will allow quicker attachment and disposal of property and assets helping recovery of defrauded or defaulted amount. It will also act as a deterrent for offenders to flee the country.

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Google restores delisted Indian apps after government intervention

Google on Saturday restored all Indian apps it had removed.



Google has started to restore all the delisted Indian mobile apps on Play Store agian, which they had removed due to a disagreement over service fees. After a discussion between company representatives and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the decision was made, according to sources.

The step was taken in response to Vaishnaw’s strong statement in which he said that it is not allowed for apps to be removed from the Google Play Store. The minister had said, India is very clear, our policy is very clear…our startups will get the protection that they need.

Vaishnaw  continued saying that he has already given Google a call. They will be speaking with the app developers who were delisted this week. This is not acceptable. The minister said this kind of delisting cannot be permitted.

Ten Indian companies’ apps were banned by Google on Friday, causing outrage in one of its fastest-growing markets. With 94% of phones running on its Android platform, Google holds a large portion of the Indian market. Popular names like Naukri and Bharatmatrimony were on the list.

The main point of contention is Google’s in-app purchase fees, which range from 11% to 26%. Indian startups have long opposed the US tech giant’s actions, believing them to be unfair.

The founder of Bharat Matrimony, Christian Matrimony, Muslim Matrimony, and Jodii, Matrimony.com, expressed shock at the matchmaking apps’ removal from the Google Play Store.

Shaadi. Com CEO Anupam Mittal described it as a dark day for India’s internet, highlighting the possible broad effects on matchmaking services. He also called Google an evil.

While, Kuku FM Co-founder Vinod Kumar Meena in a statement had said that Google was behaving like a monopoly.

Meanwhile, Google temporarily withdrew the famous Indian payments app Paytm from the Play Store in 2020, claiming a few policy infractions. Due to this decision, the founder of the company as well as the larger startup community came together to build their own app stores and file lawsuits against Google.

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Anant Ambani says he is 100% lucky to get Radhika Merchant in his life

Anant Ambani said he was grateful to get Radhika as his life partner. He said he is 100% lucky to get Radhika Merchant in his life. He said every day he is falling more and more in love with her. He added although he had known Radhika for the last 7 years, it felt he had met her only yesterday. He thanked Radhika for everything.



Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s grand three-day wedding celebrations began with a glamorous cocktail night on Friday in Jamnagar. During the celebrations, Anant Ambani also gave a speech wherein he thanked his late grandfather Dhirubhai Ambani and grandmother Kokilaben Ambani for inspiring him. Anant Ambani said he was grateful to get Radhika as his life partner. He said he is 100% lucky to get Radhika Merchant in his life. He said every day he is falling more and more in love with her.

He expressed his gratitude to his mother for pulling together the lavish three-day wedding celebrations in Jamnagar. Anant thanked his mother for all she had done. He said all the arrangements had been done by his mother and nobody else. He added his mother had gone all out and she had worked 18-19 hours a day and he was extremely grateful to her.

He also thanked all the guests who were present there at the pre-wedding celebrations. He said everyone had made it to Jamnagar to make him and Radhika feel special. He said both of them were honored and humbled to have all of them present there. Anant said he was sorry if they had caused an inconvenience to anyone. He asked for forgiveness. He hoped everyone is going to enjoy the coming three days. He also thanked his mother, father, sister, brother, his sister-law and his brother in-law for making this event memorable.

Anant said everyone has been sleeping for less than 3 hours a day for the last 2-3 months and he was very happy to share this joy with everyone. The youngest Ambani talked about his personal struggles and how his parents had always supported him. He further added his life had not been entirely a bed of roses. He said he had also experienced the pain of thorns. He said he had faced many health crises.

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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg shares pictures from 2nd day of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant pre-wedding celebrations

Zuckerberg shared pictures from the 2nd day of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding celebrations. In the photograph Mark Zuckerberg can be seen along with his wife Priscilla Chan. The couple is exuding happiness as they prepare for the event. He captioned the picture it is getting wild out here.



Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan joined the star- studded pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar on Friday. The event was attended by many prominent figures from different fields. Zuckerberg took to his Instagram handle congratulated the couple and said he loved Indian weddings.

Zuckerberg shared pictures from the 2nd day of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding celebrations. In the photograph Mark Zuckerberg can be seen along with his wife Priscilla Chan. The couple is exuding happiness as they prepare for the event. He captioned the picture it is getting wild out here.

The theme of the opening day of the pre-wedding celebrations was Evening in Everland as the guests wore cocktail attire. The first day of the grand celebrations elevated the expectations of the guests for the following days. The theme of the 2nd day of the pre-wedding bash is known as a Walk on the Wildside and the guests can be seen in Jungle Fever attire.

Zuckerberg has opted for an animal print shirt with white trousers, Chan is complementing his look in a strappy one piece in black and golden. The Jungle theme is aligned to Vantara, Reliance’s animal welfare initiative undertaken and launched by Anant Ambani a few days back.

International pop star Rihana electrified the pre wedding celebrations on Friday with an amazing performance, marking her debut appearance in India. The chart topping artist engaged the audience with performances of her iconic hits which included Pour it Up, Work and Diamonds.

Zuckerberg graced the opening day, wearing a black-on-black firefly blazer and shoes from Alexander McQueen while his wife Priscilla wore a black gown with gold flower details and other accessories such as dainty chain bracelet, gold necklace and stud earrings. Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan are one of the Power couples invited from the global business community for the festivities currently underway at Jamnagar.

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