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Context: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that world nations, led by the UN, should arrive at a consensus in refusing shelter to economic fugitives and create a framework for Extradition Treaties and exchange of information on black money while delivering a keynote address after presenting Economic Times Awards 2018 for Corporate Excellence, in Mumbai.
Who are economic fugitive offenders?
- A fugitive economic offender is an individual who has committed some specified offense(s) involving an amount of one hundred crore rupees or more and has absconded from India or refused to come back to India to avoid or face criminal prosecution in India.
- A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person declared so by a ‘Special Court’ set up under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act 2002, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of any of the economic offenses provided in the schedule to Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill,2018 and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill,2018
- The Bill allows for a person to be declared as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) if: (i) an arrest warrant has been issued against him for any specified offenses where the value involved is over Rs 100 crore, and (ii) he has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution.
- To declare a person an FEO, an application will be filed in a Special Court (designated under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts. The Special Court will require the person to appear at a specified place at least six weeks from issue of notice.Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears.
- The Bill allows authorities to provisionally attach properties of an accused, while the application is pending before the Special Court.
- Upon declaration as an FEO, properties of a person may be confiscated and vested in the central government, free of encumbrances (rights and claims in the property).Further, the FEO or any company associated with him may be barred from filing or defending civil claims.
Indian Coast Guard
Context: Consultative Committee Meeting of Ministry of Defence on Indian Coast Guard chaired by Smt Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the operational preparedness, Infrastructure development and coastal security mechanism of the Coast Guard.
The Indian Coast Guard is a multi-mission organization, conducting round-the-year real-life operations at sea. Despite being relatively small, it has a wide range of task capabilities for both surface and air operations. The organization is headed by the Director General Indian Coast Guard (DGICG) exercising his overall command and superintendence from the Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ) located at New Delhi.
Functions of Indian Coast Guard
- search and rescue missions
- humanitarian aid
- assistance to fishermen
- increased surveillance capability.
Context: Prime Minister of India, visited Maldives to participate in the presidential inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of the Republic of Maldives,Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
- Both leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean and being mindful of each other’s concerns and aspirations for the stability of the region.
- The two leaders expressed their unwavering commitment and support for increased cooperation in combating terrorism both within the region and elsewhere.
The two leaders discussed ways in which India can continue development partnership, particularly to help the new government in meeting its pledges to the people of the Maldives such as increased housing and infrastructure development as well as for establishing water and sewerage systems in the outlying islands.
- Prime Minister Modi also welcomed the expanding opportunities for Indian companies to invest in the Maldives in different sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries.
- Recognizing that nationals of both countries travel extensively between the two countries, the leaders also agreed on the need for facilitating easier visa procedures.
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