Bill proposes action against commercial space activity sans licence.
New Delhi: With India buoyed by its moon and Mars missions and bullish about expanding its space programmes by aiming to send astronauts by 2022, the Centre is working on a legislation under which it will grant licences or authorise commercial space activity incompliance with any international treaty on outer space operations.
The proposed legislation, which has been envisaged by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), has strong penal provisions, where any person found to be undertaking commercial space activity without authorisation or licence, would be punished with imprisonment of up to three years and fine of up to Rs 1 crore or both.
Also if any person causes damage or pollution to the environment of Earth, airspace or outer space including celestial bodies through any space activity, then it would be punishable with imprisonable for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may go up to three years, or with a fine not less than Rs 1 crore or both.
The draft bill called “Space Activities Bill 2017” has been in the works since the past two years and highly placed sources said that it will be finalised soon, and there is a possibility that it could be introduced in the Winter session of Parliament.
They further added that once the bill becomes a law, space activities of non-governmental sector in the country would be permissible only through a licence issued by the government as per its regulations.