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MEA Must Make Sincere Efforts to Enhance Global Cooperation on Maritime Piracy: Parl Panel | India News


NEW DELHI: The Foreign Ministry should make sincere efforts to enhance international cooperation on maritime piracy and ensure the well-being of Indian seafarers captured by pirates, a parliamentary panel said Thursday.
The permanent parliamentary committee on external affairs made the assertion by passing the ‘Maritime Anti-Piracy Bill 2019’, subject to the inclusion of its 18 recommendations and suggestions in the paragraphs of the current bill or by other appropriate methods such as Rules or Standard operating procedures. (POE).
The government should now make every effort for an early enactment of anti-piracy legislation, so that India becomes part of an international effort to combat piracy and can provide a solid legal basis for prosecuting and punishing women. people who commit acts of piracy. the panel said in its report released in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
In the report, the Committee noted that after a major outbreak of piracy attacks in the vast region of the Indian Ocean after 2008, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recognized piracy as a crime that has universal jurisdiction according to customary international law and was codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982.
In a series of resolutions adopted, the United Nations Security Council urged member states to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy and further called on states to criminalize piracy in their national legislation and consider favorably the prosecution of suspected pirates and prisoners, said the panel headed by PP Chaudhary.
India does not have separate national legislation on piracy and the prosecution of piracy, as a crime has not been included in the Indian Penal Code or the Code of Criminal Procedure, he noted.
Comprehensive national anti-piracy legislation was first piloted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 24 April 2012 to address piracy.
After having expired in the previous two Lok Sabha terms, the bill obtained new approval from the Cabinet in November 2019. It was reintroduced in Lok Sabha in December 2019.
“The Committee deplores the government’s indifferent approach in introducing such important legislation when there is an urgent need for comprehensive national piracy legislation that can provide the necessary framework within the country for the prosecution of piracy-related crimes,” the report said. .
The panel is also unaware of other efforts by the government in the middle to enhance international cooperation on the issue of maritime piracy, as well as to address the factors that have led to the rise and spread of piracy in many more. regions, he said.
“The Committee, therefore, would like that the government should, now, make all possible efforts for earlier enactment of anti-piracy legislation, so that India becomes part of an international effort to combat piracy. as well as it can provide a strong legal basis to prosecute and punish people who commit acts of piracy and also the safety and security of India’s maritime trade, including the safety of our ships and crew members, “said the report. .
The panel also said that it would also like to “reiterate its recommendation made in the 16th report on the 2012 Piracy Bill, and wishes the MEA to make sincere efforts to enhance international cooperation on maritime piracy and take appropriate and proactive measures to guarantee the welfare of Indian seafarers captured by pirates simultaneously. ”
It noted that the bill was drafted in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, adopted by India in 1982 and ratified in 1995.
The committee hoped that the new proposed legislation would definitely allow authorities to prosecute detained pirates regardless of their nationality.
He said he wants the government to make efforts in addition to national anti-piracy legislation on the issue of extradition of people of Indian origin suspected of piracy on the high seas.
The panel said it has a strong view in this regard that India should also be a part of every international cooperation created to combat piracy and the smooth extradition of the guilty persons or agencies involved.
Countries such as the United States, Australia, Italy and Sri Lanka do not provide for the death penalty despite passing an anti-maritime law similar to India’s, he noted.
The panel said it feels that committing an act of piracy in itself is a crime and, to top it all off, if the defendant’s act causes a death, it will be a double crime by nature and should be viewed very seriously as a crime no less than one. . against humanity.
Therefore, it recommended that clause 3 of the bill be reformulated to include a provision for “death penalty when a person is killed while committing or attempting piracy”.

Times of India