Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022
- 07 Apr 2022
- 7 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the Government of India introduced in the Lok Sabha the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022.
- The bill envisages to prohibit financing of any activity in relation to WMD and to empower to act against financiers of such activities.
What are the highlights of the Bill?
- Background: The bill seeks to modify the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005.
- Original Legislation: The 2005 Act was enacted to prohibit unlawful activities in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
- This Act covers unlawful activities relating to biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.
- It also provides for integrated legal measures to exercise controls over the export of materials, equipment and technologies in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and for prevention of their transfers to non-State actors or terrorists.
- Need of Amendment: The existing Act pertaining to weapons of mass destruction does not cover the financial aspect of such delivery systems and the new provisions are essential to meet international obligations.
- Objectives of the Bill: The Bill aims to achieve three objectives:
- Prohibit financing of activities linked to WMD.
- Empower the Centre to freeze, seize or attach funds, financial assets or economic resources for preventing such financing.
- Prohibit making available funds, financial assets or economic resources for any prohibited activity in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
What are Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)?
- These are weapons with the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale and so indiscriminately that its very presence in the hands of a hostile power can be considered a grievous threat.
- Modern weapons of mass destruction are either nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons—frequently referred to collectively as NBC weapons.
- The term weapons of mass destruction has been in currency since at least 1937, when it was used to describe massed formations of bomber aircraft.
- For example, Nuclear bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki attack in Japan.
- Efforts to control the spread of WMD are enshrined in international agreements such as:
- India has not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, but is signatory to both Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention.