The government, on Tuesday, introduced a bill aimed at dealing with piracy in high seas. The bill prescribes a punishment of life imprisonment for those found guilty.
The Piracy Bill 2012 has been introduced as India does not have a separate legislation on piracy. The two laws that deal with crime - Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure - do not include prosecution for piracy related crimes.
The bill, introduced by minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed, provides punishment for an act of piracy, attempt to commit piracy and accomplice to piracy. It also has a provision for extradition of persons involved in an act of piracy.
The bill confers power on any gazetted officer of the Central or State government to arrest, investigate and prosecute, as exercisable by a police officer under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The legislation provides for setting up of designated courts for speedy trial of offences of piracy. It also specifies the territorial jurisdiction of each such court. The bill provides for the application of Code of Criminal Procedure in the proceedings, before a designated court, as well as provisions for granting bail to those accused.
The bill proposes that whoever commits an act of piracy shall be punished with life imprisonment, except where the accused has caused death in committing the act of piracy or attempt thereof in which case he may be punished with death.
Debate on defence preparedness
The BJP on Tuesday demanded a detailed debate on India’s defence preparedness and combat effectiveness in the wake of Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh's recent statement.
BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who had moved an adjournment motion, said the government should come clear on the issue and an opportunity should be provided to discuss the entire issue.
Left expresses concern over price rise
CPI-M’s Basudeb Acharia and CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta blamed the government for rising food prices and described it as “insensitive” towards the plight of the common man.
Dasgupta asked that the government call a meeting of all chief ministers as well as leaders of political parties to discuss the issue.