NEW DELHI: A proposed legislation that seeks to award death penalty to hijackers and gives security forces the right to shoot down an aircraft which may be used as a missile was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The Bill was placed in the House amidst din in which the Opposition members continued to protest over the religion conversion issue, and pressed for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure the House over the issue.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju withdrew the older version of the Bill, and introduced the Anti-Hijacking Amendment Bill, 2014.
The new legislation to amend the anti-hijack law has been brought to incorporate the latest global treaties such as the Beijing Protocol, 2010, of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation, which have been signed and ratified by India.
The protocol, which provides for stringent measures to deal with civilian aircraft being used as a weapon of mass destruction by terrorists, was brought about after incidents such as the hijack of Indian Airlines flight in 1999 and the September 11, 2001 strike in the US.
The Bill also gives powers to concerned agencies and security forces to immobilise an aircraft and allow the IAF 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.