Centre amends 1982 Anti-Hijacking Act

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (ANI): The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government on Friday amended the Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982 by approving the inclusion of a death sentence to be given to those involved in it.

The Cabinet took up a proposal of the Civil Aviation Ministry to deter hijackers from using an aircraft as a missile.

With terror threats to the civil aviation sector looming large, a Group of Ministers (GoMs) headed by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had earlier given their nod to the proposal making it easier for the Civil Aviation Ministry to move amendments for Cabinet consent.

The Cabinet approval paves the way for amending Section 4 of the 1982 Act, which provides for life imprisonment and a fine for hijacking, to include the death penalty also.

The Central Government will in all probability put forward the proposed amendments in the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament.

The law will authorise the Indian Air Force to take quick steps to scramble fighters to guard and guide hijacked aircraft and force land it in an Indian airport.

This step taken by the Centre comes almost ten years after the hijacking of Indian Airlines' flight IC-814 to Kandahar.

The Central Government had to set free four top terrorists in exchange of the passengers in December 1999, when the hijackers had taken the flight to Kandahar. (ANI)

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