Anti-hijack Bill in next session of Parliament: Govt
New Delhi: A Bill to award death penalty to hijackers and give the right to security forces to shoot down an aircraft which may be used as a missile is likely to be brought in Parliament in the next session.
The civil aviation and law ministries are taking a fresh look at the much-delayed Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill to amend the 1982 Act to bring the law in tune with the latest international legislations and resolutions, civil aviation minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju told PTI on Wednesday.
“There is a Bill already introduced in Rajya Sabha (in 2010). But since then, the definition of hijack has changed globally. So, in line with those changes and practices worldwide, a draft has been prepared and the process is going on,” he said.
“We will take this (fresh) legislation to the Union Cabinet. And once it is adopted by the Cabinet, we will introduce the new Bill and withdraw the old one,” Raju said.
“In the next session, we will be in a position to take it through,” he said in response to questions.
Almost 15 years after Kandahar hijack, the government is now working on issues like incorporating the latest global anti-hijack laws and bring the Indian law in line with the Beijing Protocol of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The Bill, pending in the Rajya Sabha since August 2010 after the Standing Committee on transport, tourism and culture gave its recommendations, was cleared by the Cabinet headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March 2010.
The measure, introduced by then civil aviation minister Praful Patel, was referred to the Standing Committee that gave its report within a few months, but it did not see the light of the day thereafter.
The Bill was brought after incidents like the hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in 1999 and the 11 September 2001 terror strikes in the United States, reflecting major threats like civilian aircraft being hijacked and used as missiles to cause mass destruction.