The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for introduction of the comprehensive Anti-Hijacking Bill 2014. The current law, the Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982, was last amended in 1994.
After the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 in December, 1999, it was felt necessary for providing the award of death penalty to perpetrators of the act of hijacking. The incident of 9/11, where aircrafts were used as weapons, also created the need to further amend the existing Act.
The Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August, 2010. During the process of amendment, a global diplomatic Conference was held at Beijing in August-September, 2010. India is a signatory to the Beijing Protocol signed at the Conference. This Protocol brought out new principal offences combined with ancillary offences, enlarged the scope of ‘hijacking’, expanded jurisdiction and strengthened extradition and mutual assistance regimes. The Bill provides death punishment for the offence of the highjacking, where such offence results in the death of a hostage or of a security personnel; or with imprisonment for life and the moveable and immoveable property of such persons shall also be liable to be confiscated.
Keeping in view these facts, the Cabinet has given approval for:-
i. Ratification of the Beijing Protocol, 2010;
ii. Repealing of the Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 as amended in 1994;
iii. Withdrawal of the Anti-Hijacking Amendment Bill, 2010 and
iv. Introduction of a new Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014.