Till now India has witnessed 19 hijacking incidents. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had piloted the new Anti-Hijacking Act bill. Though the Parliament had cleared the law in 2016 but it hadn’t come into force as the government hadn’t framed the rules. The act came to for on 5th July 2017.
Now, with the coming of new Anti-Hijacking Act and replacing of 1982 act, the definition of a hijacking has been expanded and hijacking now covers offences against an aircraft or personnel even when it is on ground. The new law is as par with latest global anti-hijack provisions and is also according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s Beijing Protocol which is a UN body.
The major highlights of the law:
- The act has ramped up punishment for hijacking and prescribes death penalty for hijackers who cause loss of life in an aircraft or on ground.
- Now on an aircraft when it is being prepared for a flight to 24 hours after it has landed, there is any attack; it will be dealt with hijack laws.
- This will further include possibility of a silent attack with biological weapons, the impact of which could be felt even a day later.
- This new Act also includes various acts within the definition of hijacking like making a threat, attempts or abetment to commit the offence.
- Those organizes or directs others to commit such offence are also considered to have committed the offence of hijacking.