Madurai

High Court seeks Centre’s response on 2002 Act

PIL plea says provisions of the Act violate Articles 14 and 21

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a public interest litigation petition filed in 2016 challenging the Constitutional validity of a Section of The Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002.

The petitioner, R. Rameez Ajmal Khan from Madurai, pointed out that Section 3 of the Act spoke about offences against ships, fixed platforms, cargo of ships, maritime navigation facilities, etc., and Section 3 (1)(g)(i) of the Act mandated death penalty for whoever unlawfully and intentionally caused death while committing such offences.

He said that this Section violated Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution that provided for equality before law and Right to Life. If the same act resulted in the death of a person in the mainland, the offender would be charged under Section 302 of the IPC (murder) and would stand the benefit of judicial discretion, which might result in life imprisonment, he said.

Two persons committing the same act would get two different treatments by law and one of them would stand to certainly meet death penalty only because the act committed by him happened in a ship or a fixed platform, the petitioner said. He sought a direction to declare Section 3 (1)(g)(i) of the 2002 Act void.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Centre to file a response in the case within three weeks.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:55:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/hc-seeks-centres-response-on-2002-act-madurai/article30322509.ece

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