Kaustubh Shailesh Bam
8th Semester Student of Law,
Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai
The Department of Space (DoS), headquartered at Bengaluru, is primarily responsible for promoting development and application of space science and technology, which would in-turn aid the holistic development of scientific fervour in the nation. As per the information available on the official site of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) , towards fulfilling the above- mentioned goal. As per the Budget 2018, the DoS has been allocated Rs. 8,936.97 crore for its operations, in addition to specific targets allotted to it by the government. Further, as per an economic survey tabled in the parliament off late, the country’s share in the global satellite launch services revenue went up to 1.1 per cent in 2015-16 from 0.3 per cent in 2014-15. Although these indicators depict a positive picture, the formidable task of drafting a comprehensive legislation to support the development has been attempted by the government in the form of the draft ‘Space Activities Bill, 2017’ , which was unveiled on 21st November, 2017. The bill is fraught with legal uncertainties and unanswered queries on the part of the government, that have created voids, which need to be scrutinized. The Government of India is a signatory to the five main international treaties governing space law. The Indian constitution provides for implementation of international treaty obligations, vide Articles 51 and 253. In pursuance of these provisions, and due to the expansion of the domain of space research and allied activities, the Draft Space Activities Bill was introduced in the year 2017. However, the bill is fraught with ambiguous provisions and legal voids, which need to be addressed. One such provision dealing with liability of the concerned parties in a commercial space activity is the highlight of this article.
Keywords: Space Activities Bill, Indian Constitution, Article 51, Article 253, Space law