Finance Minister Arun Jaitley take a hit at loan offenders like Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi during his presentation of Union Budget 2017 by hinting at a stronger law to confiscate the properties of the people who flee from the country.
“In the recent past, there have been instances of big time offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape the reach of law. We have to ensure that the law is allowed to take its own course,” he said.
However, Jaitley looked focused on reducing such cases and hinted at confiscating the assets of these offenders. “Government is therefore considering introduction of legislative changes, or even a new law, to confiscate the assets of such persons located within the country, till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum. Needless to say that all necessary constitutional safeguards will be followed in such cases,” he added.
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Even though he didn’t name anyone in his speech, his signal was clear. Lalit Modi who served as the vice-president to Board of Cricket Control in India and was also the IPL commissioner was accused of financial irregularities by Enforcement Directorate. After that, he moved to London.
On the other hand, Vijay Mallya who owes around Rs. 9000 crore to consortium of banks fled from India in February 2016 an has been fighting his case from London itself. Both Modi and Mallya have maintained a lavish lifestyle since then often posting their pictures on social media sites drawing criticism for the current government.
Opposition leaders accused Bhartiya Janta Party of helping then run away from the country. In its defense, BJP hit back at Congress over the Mallya case alleging the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram of helping him to get loans.