Anti-Hijacking Bill Passed In LS

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Anti Hijacking Bill, which seeks to deal with offences related to hijacking of aircraft.

The bill, which provides for death penalty even if ground handling staff and airport personnel are killed during such acts, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on May 4.

As per the previous bill, the hijackers could be tried for death penalty only in the event of death of hostages such as flight crew, passengers and security personnel.

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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.

The bill covers several acts within the definition of hijacking, which includes attempt and abetment of hijacking, making a credible threat to commit hijacking and organising or directing others to commit hijacking.

It says hijacking and the related offences shall be extraditable. Extraditable offences are those offences for which one country many transfer the accused to another country’s legal jurisdiction. No request for extradition shall be refused on the ground that hijacking is a political offence or is connected to a political offence.

The bill was moved by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in the House. Speaking on the bill, the Minister said the legislation has been framed in line with the International Convention.

Initiating the discussion, West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said there is a need to be more vigilant for security and safety of the passengers.

He also sought to know about the effectiveness of the existing crisis management system in dealing with such exigencies. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajesh Pandey said the legislation will be very effective in dealing with cases of hijacking