After experiences emerged of a Delhi-bound Jet Airways flight being diverted to Ahmedabad as a result of a hijack scare, legal professionals scrambled to seek out copies of a little-used legislation beneath which the suspect was booked.
Handed in 2016, the Anti-Hijacking Act changed the older 1982 legislation, which allowed for hijackers to be tried for the loss of life penalty solely within the occasion of loss of life of hostages, comparable to flight crew, passengers and safety personnel. Apparently, whereas the Act was handed in 2016, it solely got here into impact in July 2017 after the federal government framed the requisite guidelines.
Within the new legislation, the definition of hijacking has been expanded to incorporate loss of life of “safety personnel on board” or “floor help employees” as nicely. In different instances of hijacking, the responsible will probably be punished with imprisonment for all times and nice, moreover confiscation of movable and immovable property held by her or him.
Prolonged definition of hijacking
The Act additionally provides Indian courts common jurisdiction as they’ll apply this legislation in instances the hijacker is Indian, or if the hijacked plane is registered in India or if any international registered plane lands in India with the alleged offender nonetheless on board or when the plane is hijacked wherever on the earth and an Indian citizen is on board.
The brand new legislation contains a number of acts throughout the definition of hijacking together with making a menace, makes an attempt or abetment to commit the offence. Those that organise or direct others to commit such offence can even be thought-about to have dedicated the offence of hijacking.
The Act applies from the start of the pre-flight preparation of the plane till 24 hours after any touchdown. Additional, in instances of a pressured touchdown, the flight shall be deemed to proceed till the authorities take over the accountability for the plane and for individuals and property on board.
The legislation additionally mandates the central authorities to confer powers of investigation, arrest and prosecution on any officer of the central authorities or the Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA).
The Act additionally permits the Indian Air Drive to scramble its fighters to intercept a hijacked plane and pressure it to land. It may possibly additionally shoot down a hostile airplane if there may be proof that it may very well be used as a missile to hit an important set up.
Act was into consideration for 15 years
In accordance with Livemint, the legislation has been into consideration for round 15 years after incidents just like the hijack of Indian Airways flight IC-814 in 1999 and the 11 September, 2001 terror strikes in america, reflecting main threats like civilian plane being hijacked and used as missiles to trigger mass destruction.
Aside from the sensible requirements of passing the legislation, it additionally fulfilled India’s treaty obligations beneath the Conference for the Suppression of Illegal Seizure of Plane, 1970 in addition to the Beijing Protocol, 2010.
The legislation nonetheless has some weaknesses as detailed by The Wire. The primary of those is the non-inclusion of any plane that’s utilized in customs or police service. It additionally would not punish hoax calls which may trigger a number of bother to the general public and the safety forces.
With inputs from PTI