Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Anti-Hijacking Bill | Beijing Protocol

Why in news?

  • Moving to give more teeth to the law against hijacking of aircraft, the Union Cabinet approved major amendments to the Anti-Hijacking Bill 2014, which it plans to re-introduce in Parliament shortly. 
About the Bill:
  • The amendments essentially enlarge the definition of “hijacking” and “hijacker” as well as punishment. 
  • Definition:  
    • An airpcraft would be considered to be in-service from the time it is being prepared for a specific flight by the crew or ground personnel until 24 hours after any landing 
    • hijacker would include a person who organises or directs others to commit hijacking, who participates in a hijacking as an accomplice and who assists any person to evade investigation, prosecution and punishment in a hijacking case

  • perpetrators of a hijacking shall be punishable with the death penalty in case such an offence results in the death of any person — including ground handling staff and airport personnel — or with life imprisonment or fine. 
  • The amendments also seek to enhance the jurisdiction Indian courts can exercise in a hijacking case

Beijing Protocol: 

  • brought out new principal offences in hijacking. 
  • combined with ancillary offences, 
    • enlarged the scope of hijacking, 
    • expanded jurisdiction and 
    • strengthened extradition and mutual assistance regimes in case hijacking.
  • India has also given its approval to ratify Beijing Protocol, 2010 of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to which India is a signatory.

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