RS passes bill to ban funding of weapons of mass destruction

The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities), Amendment Bill, 2022 was passed amid the din a few minutes after External Affairs Minister S Jaishakar spoke on the need for the legislation.
Representative image
Representative image ANI

NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed a bill to ban financing any prohibited activity related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems as well as empowering the Centre to freeze, seize or attach economic resources of persons involved in such activities.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities), Amendment Bill, 2022 was passed amid the din a few minutes after External Affairs Minister S Jaishakar spoke on the need for the legislation.

The Bill seeks amendment to the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005.

The 2005 Act prohibits unlawful activities (such as manufacturing, transport, or transfer) related to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

Weapons of mass destruction are biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on April 5 this year.

The Bill bars persons from financing any prohibited activity related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

To prevent persons from financing such activities, the central government may freeze, seize or attach their funds, financial assets, or economic resources (whether owned, held, or controlled directly or indirectly).

It may also prohibit persons from making finances or related services available for the benefit of other persons in relation to any activity which is prohibited.

The said Act covers unlawful activities relating to biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and their delivery systems and 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.

The Centre came up with the Bill considering that regulations relating to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems by international organisations have expanded.

Further, the Centre also took cognisance of the United Nations Security Council's targeted financial sanctions and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force mandated against the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

In view of these issues, a government statement mentions, that the Centre feels the need to amend the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005 to provide against the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems so as to fulfil our international obligations.

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