Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019 passed in the Lower House

Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019 passed in the Lower House

Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019 passed in the Lower House

The Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019, which was passed in the Lower House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha) on Monday, will provide legal aid to combat piracy in territorial waters as well as exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and high seas.

It seeks to provide effective legal aid to combat piracy not just in territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone (which are over 200 nautical miles from the coastline) but also on the high seas.

The official amendment has provided punishment for life. Earlier, there was provision for death. Now, the provision for death has been amended as per government amendment to punishment to death or with imprisonment for life, if such a person is committing the act of piracy and causes death or an attempt thereof.

Key features

  • The purpose of the Anti Maritime Piracy Bill is to enact a domestic anti-maritime piracy legislation in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

  • It will enhance India's maritime security including those of our trade routes.

  • Taking part, organizing, aiding, supporting, attempting to commit and directing others to take part in piracy will be punishable for up to 14 years of imprisonment. 

  • 90 per cent of the country’s trade with the world takes place through sea routes and more than 80 percent of hydrocarbon requirements being seaborne.

  • At present India does not have a separate domestic legislation on piracy and provisions of IPC pertaining to armed robbery are invoked to prosecute pirates apprehended by Indian coast guards.

  • The bill was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee in December 2019 and was proposed with amendments by the government in July 2022.

The measure was finally passed on Monday.

  • Share