New Delhi, July 7: The new anti-hijacking law, which prescribes capital punishment in the event of the death of any person, has come into force following a government notification. The new law includes several acts within the definition of hijacking including making a threat, attempts or abetment to commit the offence.
In the new law, the definition has been expanded to include death of security personnel on board or ground support staff as well. Those who organise or direct others to commit such offence will also be considered to have committed the offence of hijacking.
The new law mandates the central government to confer powers of investigation, arrest and prosecution on any officer of the central government or National Investigation Agency (NIA).
In other cases of hijacking, guilty will be punished with imprisonment for life and fine, besides confiscation of movable and immovable property held by him or her. Those who organize or direct others to commit such offence will also be considered to have committed the offence of hijacking.
A bill to repeal 1982's Anti-Hijacking Act in this regard was introduced in Rajya Sabha by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on December 17, 2014. After a few days, it was referred to a parliamentary panel which gave its report in March 2015. The bill was passed on May 4, 2016 in the Upper House, and on May 9, 2016 in the Lok Sabha.