The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018. The bill will replace an ordinance promulgated by the government in April to allow the seizure of domestic assets of those whom a court rules to be fugitive economic offenders.

After promulgating the ordinance, the government had said it would “lay down measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and the properties of the economic offenders”. The law will “deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts”, the government had said.

The bill proposes the formation of a special court under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002, to declare a person a fugitive economic offender. Courts or tribunals can also bar such offenders or their associated companies from filing or defending civil claims before it.

The ordinance had come weeks after billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi fled the country in January, after allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank of over Rs 13,000 crore. Liquor baron Vijay Mallya has fled to the United Kingdom after allegedly cheating banks of Rs 9,000 crore.