May 22, 2019

The Indian Coast Guard seized heroin, estimated to be worth ₹1,000 crore from a Pakistani fishing vessel caught after hot pursuit off the Gujarat coast.

Doctrine of hot pursuit: 

  • The doctrine of hot pursuit emerged as an exception to the fundamental principle of freedom of the high seas — the rights of vessels of all nations to navigate freely on the high seas. 

  • At a time when smuggling and piracy were rampant, this customary doctrine emerged to empower a coastal state to pursue on to the high seas a vessel that had violated its laws within its waters. 

  • Decades later, this customary doctrine was codified in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of High Seas. 

  • Apart from imposing procedural restrictions, the Convention clearly spelt out that the right of hot pursuit ceases as soon as the ship pursued enters the territorial sea of its own country or a third state. 

  • Over the years, some countries have sought to introduce an expanded doctrine of hot pursuit on land, to justify the breaches of territorial sovereignty of foreign states as part of the ongoing pursuit of offenders. 

Source : The Hindu