A new bill introduced by civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in the Rajya Sabha today proposes death penalty for hijackers and gives security forces the right to shoot down an aircraft which may be used as a missile.
The Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2014, a reworked version of an earlier draft, was introduced in the house amid din, as opposition members continued their protest over religious conversion issue.
The proposed legislation to amend the anti-hijack law incorporates the latest global treaties like the Beijing Protocol, 2010, of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which have been signed and ratified by India.
The bill gives powers to concerned agencies and security forces to immobilise an aircraft and allow the Indian Air Force to scramble its fighters to intercept a hijacked aircraft and force it to land.
A hostile plane could also be shot down if there was evidence that it could be used as a missile to hit a vital installation.
The legislation provides that anyone, alone or in concert with others, who commit acts like seizure or control of an aircraft by force or any form of intimidation would be deemed to have committed the offence of hijacking.
It also proposes to give powers to the agencies and forces for stern action against those making phone calls and doling out hoax threats, they said.