Parliament Passes Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016

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Parliament has passed the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016 which seeks to deal with offences related to hijacking of aircraft. The bill, provides for death penalty even if ground handling staff and airport personnel are killed during such acts. 

Now in case of hijacking 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.

As per Article 111 of Indian Constitution the Bill will now go for Presidential assent. The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 which was last amended in 1994, will be repealed after passage of this new Bill.

The bill implements the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, 1970, and its Protocol Supplementary, signed on September 10, 2010.

Defination of Hijacking : The bill defines hijacking as seizing control of an aircraft in service, unlawfully and intentionally, by technological means or by exercising force, coercion or any other form of intimidation. It includes :

  • Any kind of aid to the hijacker 
  • Directing someone else to commit  hijacking
  • Making a credible threat to commit hijacking

Aircraft in Service : An aircraft is considered to be in service from the time it is prepared for a flight by the crew and ground staff until 24 hours after its landing.

Punishment for hijacking:

  • Death penalty even if a single person dies.    
  • Life imprisonment in all other cases.
  • All movable and immovable property of the hijacker will be confiscated.
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