New Delhi: A bill is on the anvil to give more
powers to the Navy and the Coast Guard to deal with pirates
under Indian laws and to try sea brigands in Indian courts.
Official sources said that as per the provisions of the
proposed legislation, even if a pirate is arrested in
international waters, the Navy and the Coast Guard will have
the power to try them in Indian courts.
The bill proposes changes in the Indian Penal Code and the
Criminal Procedure Code to define piracy as a separate crime
with defined quantum of punishment, while the issue of
repatriating the pirates after they serve the sentence is
being worked out, they said.
The proposed legislation, to be brought in the Monsoon
session, will establish piracy as a crime and have provisions
on dealing with it, they said.
Officials said right now piracy is dealt with under the
provisions of Indian Penal Code and century-old Admiralty law
but the government would now like to have a separate law with
provisions to effectively tackle the problem that takes place
far away from Indian shores.
Under the Bill, the Government is also planning to give
more powers to the Navy and the Coast Guard to take on the
They said 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.
In the wake of increasing piracy incidents around India,
the Navy and Coast Guard have strengthened their deployments
off the Lakshadweep islands to keep the sea brigands at bay
after they began operating in the region as well.