Two members of panel on data bill to miss first meet
Two new members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill will not be able to attend the panel’s first meeting on Thursday since a resolution allowing their inclusion is yet to be passed.
The committee was formed after Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad moved motions in both houses of Parliament to refer the legislation to a JPC during the Winter Session in December. The committee has 30 members, 20 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Meenakshi Lekhi was appointed the head of the committee.
Following resignations of Congress’s Jothi Mani and Trinamool Congress (TMC)’s Saugata Roy, Manish Tewari of the Congress and Mahua Moitra of the TMC were to replace their colleagues in the JPC.
However, Tiwari said, the new members will not be able to attend the JPC meeting. “A resolution has to be passed first for us to attend [the meeting],” said Tiwari.
Lekhi said the new members can attend meetings only after the due procedure is followed. “No name is finalised unless the member’s party recommends the name. In the same way, no changes can be made unless the changes are presented in Parliament,” said Lekhi.
The members will be able to attend a meeting of the committee in the Budget session.
In its first meeting on Thursday, the government will make a presentation on the Bill, after which members will discuss and debate it. The meeting, initially scheduled for January 14, was shifted to January 16. The committee has to submit its first report to the Lok Sabha by the end of the Budget Session.
The Union Cabinet, in December, approved the Personal Data Protection Bill to regulate how individuals and organisations handle digital data of Indian citizens, introducing new provisions that, while diluting some of the contentious localisation requirements, could now require companies to carry out the real-name verification of users.