The Economic Times
12,055.80-63.2
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Government gives Coast Guard power to board, search, detain any vessel or arrest people

"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," Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar tweeted. A Coast Guard official said earlier, the maritime security agency did not have the power to board any vessel passing through India's EEZ.

PTI|
Last Updated: Dec 05, 2019, 12.36 PM IST|Original: Dec 05, 2019, 10.59 AM IST
0Comments
ANI
Indian Coast Guard
Minister of State for Defense Shripad Naik launches the 3rd vessel of the indigenous Project for 05 Offshore Patrol Vessels 'Sajag' for the Indian Coast Guard at Murmagao Port Trust. (Representative image)
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.

Also Read

Coast Guard ship 'Annie Besant' arrives at Chennai port

Japanese, Indian Coast Guards hold exercise off Chennai coast

Indian Coast Guard to set up helicopter base in Puducherry

Indian Coast Guard in talks with DoT for satellite bandwidth; eyes 200 ships, 100 aircraft by 2025

Coast Guards of India, US take part in joint exercise

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service