Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

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News:External Affairs Minister has introduced the Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill in the parliament.

Facts:

About Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill:

  • The Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill 2019 is aimed at promoting the safety and security of India’s maritime trade, including the safety of its crew members.
  • The bill has been drafted to keep up India’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS) concluded in 1982. India ratified the UNCLOS in 1995.
  • Further,the bill was also brought as India does not have a separate domestic legislation dealing with the menace of piracy despite the fact that many Indian nationals fall prey to the menace.

Key Highlights of the bill:

  • The proposed legislation will be applicable to all parts of the sea adjacent to and beyond the limits of Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
  • The bill says that whoever commits any act of piracy shall be punished (i) with imprisonment for life or (ii) with death, if such a person in committing the act of piracy causes death or an attempt thereof.
  • The bill provides for punishment for attempt to commit offence of piracy or being an accessory to the commission of offence.
  • The bill also provides for a presumption of guilt in case certain conditions are satisfied.
  • It also makes the offence extraditable by making an accused or convicted person liable to extradition.
  • Further,it also enables the Central Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court to specify certain courts as Designated Courts for speedy trial of offences of piracy under the proposed legislation.

Additional information:

About UNCLOS:

  • The Law of the Sea Treaty formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was adopted in 1982 at Montego Bay, Jamaica.It entered into force in 1994.
  • The convention establishes a comprehensive set of rules governing the oceans and to replace previous U.N. Conventions on the Law of the Sea
  • The convention defines distance of 12 nautical miles from the baseline as Territorial Sea limit and a distance of 200 nautical miles distance as Exclusive Economic Zone limit.