INTRODUCTION


For dealing more effectively with offences against the safety of civil aviation, it is proposed that India should ratify the convention drawn up at the diplomatic conference held at the Hague in December 1970 (popularly known as the Hague Convention) for dealing with hijacking, and convention adopted at the diplomatic conference held at

Montreal in 1971 (popularly known as the Montreal Convention) for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of civil aviation. The ratification of these conventions

involves an obligation for making necessary legal provisions for giving effect thereto while the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 1982 makes provisions for giving effect to the Hague

Convention, this Bill seeks to make the necessary provisions for giving effect to the Montreal Convention, 2. The salient features of the Montreal Convention are :- (a)

Nature of acts to which this Convention applies.- The Montreal Convention has created new international offences. Any person- (i) performing an act of violence against a person on board an aircraft in flight if by that act the safety of that aircraft is in danger;

(ii) destroying an aircraft in service or causing damage to such an aircraft which renders it incapable of flight or which is likely to endanger its safety in flight; (iii) placing or causing to be placed on an aircraft in service, by any means whatsoever, a device or substance which is likely to destroy that air- craft, or to cause damage to it which renders it incapable of flight, Or to cause damage to it which is likely to endanger its safety in flight; (iv) destroying or damaging air navigation facilities or interfering with their operation if by such act the safety of the aircraft is likely to be endangered; (v) communicating information which he knows to be false, thereby endangering the safety of an aircraft in flight, commits an offence punishable by severe penalties by virtue of this Convention. Also any person commits an offence entailing severe penalties if he attempts to commit any of the above mentioned offences and an accomplice of a person who commits or attempts to commit any such offence will also be committing an offence under this Convention punishable by severe penalties. In other words, this Convention applies equally to attempts made and to accomplice as well. (b) Aircraft to which the Convention does not apply - The Montreal Convention does not apply to military aircraft or to aircraft belonging to customs or police service. (c) Applicability of the Convention - The Convention is applicable not only at the stage when the aircraft is in flight but also at the stage of preparation on ground preceding the flight and for twenty-four hours after the landing of the aircraft. For the purposes of the Convention, an aircraft is deemed to be in flight from the moment when all its external doors are closed following embarkation until the moment when any such door is opened for disembarkation, or in the case of forced landing, until the competent authorities take over the responsibility of the aircraft and for persons and property on board. (d) Purpose of the Convention - This Convention primarily aims at ensuring that any person committing an offence under this Convention is punished. To this end, the Convention requires every State where the alleged offender is found, either to extradite him or to prosecute him. (e) Jurisdiction - In respect of offences under this Convention, a number of States have been given concurrent jurisdiction. These are the States where the offence is committed, the State of registration of the aircraft against or on board which the offence is committed, the State where the alleged offender is found and in the case of an offence committed against or on board an aircraft leased without crew to a lessee, the State where the lessee has his principal place of business or if the lessee has no such place of business, the State of his permanent residence. Thus, a limited principle of universality has been introduced with a view to achieve the objective that an offender under this Convention does not find a haven of immunity at least amongst the contracting States. 3. The Montreal Convention does not apply to acts which are offences in relation to an aircraft when both the place of take off and the place of landing of such aircraft are situated in the country in which the aircraft is registered. It is proposed to avail of the present opportunity to cover such cases also in respect of aircraft registered in India. Further, the Convention applies only to those air navigation facilities which are used in international air navigation. It is proposed to cover all air navigation facilities and not merely to those used in international air navigation. 4. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects -Gaz. of Ind. 22-10-1982, Pt. II, S. 2. Ext., p. 12 (No. 53).

An Act to give effect to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against (be

Safety of Civil Aviation and for matters connected therewith. WHEREAS a Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation was, on the 23rd day of September, 1971, signed at Montreal; AND WHEREAS it is expedient that India should accede to the said Convention and make provisions for giving effect thereto and for matters connected therewith; BE it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows:-



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