National

Personal Data Protection Bill referred to joint select panel

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Parliament.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Parliament.  

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Opposition demands that it be referred to the Standing Committee on Information Technology headed by Shashi Tharoor

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday referred the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, to a joint select committee of both Houses of Parliament amid Opposition protests that it breached Article 14 and Freedom of Expression and demands that it be referred to the Standing Committee on Information Technology headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

Communictions and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while moving a resolution, said the bill may be referred to a joint committee of the House.

The resolution was passed by voice vote.

Watch | All about the Personal Data Protection Bill
 

The panel will have 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. The Upper House will give names of the members it wants to send to the panel.

Reading out the names, Mr. Prasad said the panel would consist of Meenakashi Lekhi, S.S. Ahluwalia, P.P. Chaudhary, Sanjay Jaiswal, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Kirit Solanki, Heena Gavit, Tejasvi Surya, Rajiv Rajan Singh, Arvind Dharmapuri and Ajay Bhatt from the treasury side.

The panel would comprise Gaurav Gogoi, S Jothimani, P.V. Mithun Reddy, Srikant Shinde, B Mehtab, K. Kanimozhi, Ritesh Pandey and Saugata Roy from the Opposition.

The panel is expected to give its report before the end of the Budget session, which usually begins in the last week of January.

TMC leader of the House Sudip Bandyopadhyay requested the Speaker to replace Saugata Roy with Mahua Moitra as Mr. Roy was busy with party work. The Speaker asked Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi to discuss the issue.

Mr. Prasad, however, said a decision could be taken by Speaker Om Birla after the member's resignation as there was a procedure that was followed for the creation of any parliamentary committee.

Some of the Opposition members demanded that the bill be circulated in public for wider consultation.

The Congress and the Trinamool Congress attacked the government in the Lok Sabha for a growing “snooping industry” under its watch and alleged that the bill violated the Constitution.

Earlier in the day, Opposition parties walked out in protest, as the House, where the ruling BJP-led NDA has a massive majority, allowed the Minister to introduce the bill amidst protest.

Before its introduction, Opposition members Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress and Mr. Roy and Ms. Moitra of the TMC spoke against the bill, demanding that it be examined by a standing committee.

Mr. Chowdhury said a “snooping industry” had grown and Mr. Prasad’s Ministry was “riddled with suspicions” about its conduct.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 2:33:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-proposes-to-send-personal-data-protection-bill-to-joint-select-committee/article30275186.ece

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