The Lok Sabha unanimously passed the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their
Delivery System (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill 2022.
Let's first understand the phrase "Weapons of Mass Destruction
". Weapons that
cause mass destruction such as nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical
basically designed to harm a large number of people. The most powerful nuclear
weapon to date is Tsar Bomba developed in the Soviet Union which is a hydrogen
bomb also called a Thermonuclear bomb.
The bill seeks to amend the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Delivery System Act
2005. The reason is to ban funding of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and
empower the centre to freeze and seize functional assets of people involved in
This amendment was needed as the earlier WMD law only banned
their manufacturing, transfer, and transport, and also because in recent times
regulations relating to the proliferation of WMD and their delivery system by an
international organization have expanded.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) targeted financial sanctions and
recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mandated against the
financing of proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery
Changes in the ACT:
A new section 12A is been intended to be inserted in the existing law which
No person shall finance any activity which is prohibited under this Act, or
under the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1947, or any other relevant Act
for the time being in force, or by an order issued under any such act, in
relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
For prevention of financing by any person of any activity which is prohibited
under in act or United Nations Security Council Act, 1947, the Central
Government shall have the power to:
- freeze, seize, or attach funds or other financial assets or economic
resources by such person;
- prohibit any person from making funds, financial assets or economic
resources, or related services available for the benefit of persons related
to any activity which is prohibited under this Act, or under the United
Nations (Security Council) Act, 1947, or any other relevant Act for the time
being in force.
The Central Government may exercise its powers under this section through any
authority that has been assigned the power under sub-section (1) of section 7.
There are a number of treaties that regulate the use and production of
weapons of mass destruction:
- Geneva Protocol of 1925, prohibits the use of chemical and biological
- The Biological Weapons Convention, 1972, and (iii) Chemical Weapons
Convention, 1992, the purpose of which is to prohibit biological and
chemical weapons respectively.
India has signed and ratified both treaties. There are several non-signatory
countries to these treaties also there are countries that have not complied with
the treaty but have signed it.
There are treaties such as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty meant to regulate the use and proliferation of