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Anti-Maritime Bill

Anti-Maritime Bill

The Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill 2019 aims to promote the safety and security of India’s maritime trade, and the safety of its crew members.

Key Points:

  • The introduction of the bill came after 18 Indians aboard a crude oil carrier were kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria.
  • External affairs minister S. Jaishankar on 9th December 2019 introduced a bill in Parliament which provides for stringent punishment which includes the death penalty, for those involved in piracy at sea.
  • The government’s agenda behind drafting the proposed legislation was to keep up with the nation's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which concluded in the year 1982. India had ratified the UNCLOS in 1995.
  • In fact, the text of the legislation tells us that India does not have separate legislation which deals in piracy, despite the fact that many Indian nationals fall prey to the menace.
  • The provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which pertains to armed robbery and the admiralty jurisdiction of certain courts have been invoked in the past to prosecute pirates apprehended by the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard.
  • Section three of the bill says that-whoever commits any act of piracy, shall be punished with imprisonment for life; or with death if such person in committing the act of piracy causes death or an attempt thereof.

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