STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Coast Guard gets more teeth, can now legally search and seize vessels in EEZ

Earlier, there was a legal loophole using which the vessel companies could sue the Coast Guard for detaining ships without any authorisation.

Published: 05th December 2019 01:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2019 01:36 PM   |  A+A-

coast guard ship

Image of a coast guard ship for representational purpose (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Indian Coast Guard has been given powers under the Coast Guard Act to board, search any vessel and arrest people for offences within the maritime zone of the country, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said on Thursday.

A Coast Guard official said earlier, the maritime security agency did not have the power to board any vessel passing through India's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"Empowering Indian Coast Guard and enhancing coastal security. MoD issues notification enabling CG to 'Visit, Board, Search and Seize' suspicious vessels within India's EEZ and its continental shelf @IndianCoastGuard," Kumar tweeted.

 The notification states that under the Coast Guard Act, 1978, the central government authorises "every member of the Coast Guard" to "visit, board, search and seize vessel, or arrest any person, or seize any artificial island or any floating or moored object or any underwater object including any maritime property involved or suspected to be used in the commission of any offence."

Before this notification, the Coast Guard used provisions of the Customs Act and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and other relevant acts to board and seize vessels in the EEZ.

However, it did not have the necessary legal backing and many cases would fall flat in the court, officials said.

There was also a legal loophole using which the vessel companies could sue the Coast Guard for detaining ships without any authorisation.

Another senior Coast Guard official explained that earlier, its officials would seize drugs, detain offenders and hand them over to agencies like the local police, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The vessels would be handed over to the port authorities.

The official added that since 2009, the maritime security force has been seeking more powers under the The Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976 so that they could board and search suspicious vessels.

More from Nation.

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp