WMD Bill handed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha; Opposition says request for division ignored

The Bill, launched by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, seeks to ban funding of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and provides the Centre the ability to freeze, seize or connect monetary property of individuals concerned in such actions.

The Bill, handed by Lok Sabha within the earlier session, was handed by a voice vote within the Upper House, a transfer challenged by a number of Opposition MPs, who alleged that it had been handed even because the House remained disrupted.

Later within the afternoon, the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022, which seeks to increase home legal guidelines to Indian analysis stations in Antarctica and introduces a allow system for expeditions to Antarctica, was additionally handed via voice vote.

On the “unanimous support” for WMD Bill, Jaishankar mentioned, “All members have recognised that terrorism is a serious threat, that weapons of mass destruction are a serious threat, that there is a gap in the law. Currently, the law covers only trading; it does not cover financing. This gap needs to be filled because Recommendation 7 of the Financial Action Task Force requires all countries, including us, to ensure that financing for WMD-related activities is prohibited.”

“Keeping in mind the lacunae of the current law, we have brought this amendment,” he mentioned.

Earlier, Opposition protests began with the graduation of the House at 2 pm, with TMC’s Derek O’Brien elevating a degree of order. “In the last six years, not even one issue under Rule 267 that the Opposition raised has been accepted. Not even one. Today, we are raising (one) on ED. Today, we are raising the issue of our colleague, Sanjay Raut,” O’Brien mentioned.

Opposition MPs accused BJP’s Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was within the Chair, of not admitting any of their requests when he refused different factors of order raised by Opposition members.

CPI’s Elamaram Kareem and DMK’s Tiruchi Siva challenged the Chair for not permitting a division when the WMD Bill was handed. Kalita mentioned he “could not hear” the request amid the din of slogans.

“I repeatedly asked for division,” Kareem mentioned. “When I was asking for division, how could you pass the Bill?”

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge mentioned whereas the Chair might enable passing of a Bill when the House was not so as, it refused to confess factors of order below comparable circumstances.

Hitting again, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal mentioned, “The Leader of Opposition is casting aspersions on the Chair…None of our members was responsible for disorder. Members of the Opposition are creating disorder and then raising a point of order…”

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