The Anti Hijacking Act, 2016 (Act No. 30 of 2016) received President’s assent on 13th May, 2016 and intends to give effect to the Convention for Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft and for related matters. Some of the important Sections of the Act are discussed below:
- Section 3(1) defines the offence of hijacking and connected offences that whoever unlawfully and intentionally seizes or exercises control of an aircraft in service of force or threat or by coercion or by any other form of intimidation including any other technological means, commits the offence of hijacking.
- Section 4 specifies the punishment for hijacking for such offender to be that of – (I) death where such offence results in death of any person not involved in commission of such offence resulting as a direct consequence of hijacking; or (II) life imprisonment and confiscation of all the property of such person.
- Section 7(1) deals with Jurisdiction of Court.
- Section 12 deals with provisions as to bail and provides that offences under this Act would be non bailable unless the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release; and where Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the Designated Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.
- Section 14 confers powers on Central Government to treat certain aircraft to be registered in convention countries. Section 15 provides for the necessity of previous sanction of central government for any prosecution.
- Section 21 repeals the Anti-Hijacking act 1982 without affecting certain rights, privilege, obligations or any actions taken in pursuance of the said act or any legal proceedings and remedy, penalty, forfeiture and any such investigation, penalty, forfeiture or remedy may be imposed as if the said Act had not been repealed.