Parliament has passed the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016 to widen ambit of law dealing with this anti-hijacking crime.
The Bill was first passed in the Rajya Sabha and later in the Lok Sabha in May 2016. Now the Bill will go for Presidential assent as per Article 111 of Indian Constitution.
Key provisions of the Bill
- The Bill defines hijacking as seizing control of an aircraft in service, unlawfully and intentionally, by coercion, technological means or by exercising force or any other form of intimidation.
- It covers several acts within the definition of hijacking. It includes (i) attempt and abetment of hijacking (ii) organizing or directing others to commit hijacking and (iii) making a credible threat to commit hijacking.
- The Bill provides for the death penalty for hijackers even if ground airport personnel and handling staff are killed during such acts.
- Under it, hijacking and the related offences shall be extraditable. It means that for such offences, one country many transfer the accused to another country’s legal jurisdiction.
- The Bill will not allow refusing the request for extradition on the ground that hijacking is a political offence or is connected to a political offence.
The current law, The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 which was last amended in 1994, will be repealed after passage of this new Bill.
The Bill has been framed in line with the International convention including Beijing Protocol, 2010. It was introduced for more vigilant for the safety and security of passengers in case of hijacking. It will help to overcome drawbacks of the existing crisis management system in dealing with cases of hijacking.