New Delhi: The Center is about to introduce a bill in the Rajya Sabha to amend the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Distribution System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005. The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022 will be moved in the Upper House of Parliament in the afternoon after legislative business begins, news agency ANI reported.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will introduce the bill to amend the Act after it is approved by the Lok Sabha as per the list of business in the Rajya Sabha.
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On 5 April, the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their Delivery System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha. The bill was passed unanimously on 6 April.
The Bill amends the WMD and their Distribution System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005 which prohibits the illegal manufacture, transport or transfer of WMDs (chemical, biological and nuclear weapons) and their means of distribution. Its purpose is to prohibit the provision of funds, financial assets or economic resources for any prohibited activity in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
The bill was to be introduced today, but the House was adjourned amid uproar by the opposition over the hike in GST rates and inflation.
What was the need to amend the existing law?
The Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Bill said that regulations relating to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their delivery systems by international organizations have expanded in recent times, news agency ANI reported.
The United Nations Security Council’s Targeted Financial Sanctions and Financial Action Task Force recommendations have mandated against funding the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
The 2005 Act prohibited the manufacture, transport and transfer of weapons of mass destruction and their means of distribution.
What does the WMD Act of 2005 of India represent?
Even though there is no single, official definition of WMD in international law, the expression is generally understood to include nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons.
According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, “A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or other device intended to cause harm to a large number of people.”
* “biological weapon” as “microbial or other biological agent, or toxic substance … in types and quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; and weapons, equipment or delivery systems in particular are designed to use such agents or toxic substances for hostile purposes or in armed conflict”; And
* “chemical weapons” except as “toxic chemicals and their precursors” used for peaceful, protective, and for certain specified military and law enforcement purposes; “war material and equipment specially designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals”; and any equipment specially designed for use in connection with the use of these munitions and equipment.