Govt to come out with a law to tackle piracy
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 12, 2011, 15:40
New Delhi: With Somali pirates striking at will in the Gulf of Eden, the government is working on a tough law to deal with the problem of sea brigands who still have 53 Indians in their custody but ruled out negotiations with them.

Officials feel that there could be involvement of remnants of al Qaeda and Somali group Al Shabab behind the pirates who till today have not killed their hostages as they only look for ransom from ship owners.

Right now it is the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea that defines piracy and there is a need to adopt a domestic law on the subject, officials told the media briefing today in which representatives of Ministries of External Affairs and Shipping, Navy and Directorate General of Shipping were present.

Officials said right now piracy is dealt with under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and century-old Amiralty law but the government would like to have a separate law with provisions to effectively tackle the problem that takes place far away from Indian shores.

At present countries try to invoke jurisdiction under laws and customary international laws but the proposed legislation would be more effective and stringent and in harmony with international laws.

"Right now there is no definition of piracy in Indian laws," the officials pointed out saying the legislation will try to establish piracy as a crime and how to deal with it.

Against the backdrop of demand from families of Indian sailors demanding government intervention in securing their release from Somalian pirates, officials said nowhere in the world government get into negotiations with sea brigands.

Such a course would raise the stakes and would amount to falling in the hands of the pirates, who would be encouraged further to take more hostages and to look for more ransom.


First Published: Saturday, March 12, 2011, 15:40

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