Cabinet defers decision on Piracy Bill



New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday deferred a decision on having a new law that will make piracy at sea a criminal offence.

The Piracy Bill, which was listed for discussion at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was deferred following a request from External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

The Bill seeks to define the offence of piracy and make a a new provision in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to deal with the crime.

India till now has no law on piracy at sea as a result of which the Navy found it difficult to deal with captured pirates.

The Bill seeks life imprisonment for persons indulging in acts of piracy and setting up of special courts to hold speedy trials against pirates.

It also seeks to empower the Navy and Coast Guard to take on pirates in high seas as also the exclusive economic zone.

PTI