Derek O’ Brien raises concern about conduct of JPC on Data Protection Bill

He said the committee is “trying to hurry the process of legislation” omitting consultations with the stakeholders.

Published - November 10, 2020 05:54 am IST - New Delhi

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien has raised serious concern about the conduct of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

In a letter to the Chairperson of the committee and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi, Mr. O’ Brien said the essence of the committee is being violated. He said the committee is “trying to hurry the process of legislation” omitting consultations with the stakeholders.

“It is of serious concern that the committee is considering clause by clause consideration of the contents of the Bill before completing its consultation with the stakeholders,” he wrote in the letter.

He said more legal groups with expertise in areas such as cyberpolicy, data privacy and data protection should be invited to depose before the committee.

The Trinamool leader said the frequency of the committee meetings has increased in past few days, which makes it difficult for MPs like him who have to travel from States to attend the meeting in the time of the pandemic.

He pointed out that the committee has held 18 meetings over a period of 10 months. In the first seven months, only five meetings were held, while 13 meetings were held in the past three months.

“Now in the middle of a pandemic, the committee is meeting three days a week. This might work well for those MPs who live in Delhi-NCR. For those of us who have to take flights every week, this is not safe,” he said.

He reiterated a demand made by many Opposition leaders to use the virtual platform to hold the meetings of the parliamentary committees.

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