The PDP law has been under scrutiny by a Joint Parliamentary Committee since 2019, and the committee was recently extended until the winter session to present its report.

In the Lok Sabha, an application was made today to appoint three new members to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Law, which has recently had several vacancies after several committee members were admitted to the Council of Ministers of the Union. Subsequently, another motion was passed, tabled by both the chairman of the PP Chaudhry committee and committee member Bhartruhari Mahtab, to also request the appointment of four members of the Rajya Sabha.

Recent resignations, retirements and the appointment of several committee members to offices in the Council of Ministers left up to seven vacancies in the 30-member committee.

Why is it important? The GPA was constituted in December 2019 to review the 2019 draft Personal Data Protection Act, chaired by Meenakashi Lekhi. Accordingly PRS legislation, a GPA can make unenforceable recommendations to the government and then publish reports on the actions taken by the government that can be debated in parliament. Since the Puttaswamy ruling before the Supreme Court of India in 2017, the government has been required to enact laws to protect the personal data of Indians. Steps like a data protection regulator, data localization requirements, and other aspects of the bill have been closely monitored by the industry for years.

Who are the new employees?

Lok Sabha

The motion proposed to appoint three MPs from Lok Sabha to the JPC, namely:

  • Thiru Dayanidhi Maran (DMK)
  • Dr. Satya Pal Singh (BJP)
  • Aparajita Sarangi (BJP)

Rajya Sabha

The motion does not list the names of the Rajya Sabha MPs and instead recommends that the House of Lords appoint four MPs in the House and then “report” the appointments to the House of Commons.

Reasons for the vacancies

According to parliamentary procieedings, Members who are sworn into the Council of Ministers cannot belong to a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Here are the positions the ex-committee members now hold:

  • Meenakshi Lekhi is currently Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Ashwini Vaishnaw is currently Minister of Communications, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Minister of Railways.
  • Bhupender Yadav is currently Minister for Labor and Employment.
  • Rajeev Chandrasekhar is currently Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • Ajay Bhatt is currently Minister of State for the Ministries of Defense and Tourism.

According to the request, the resignation of DMK MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and the retirement by Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav has led to two further vacancies on the committee.

Other members of the GPA

The chairman of the committee BJP Lok Sabha MP was PP Chaudhary appointed to the post last month, in the ongoing monsoon session, after Meenakashi Lekhi retired from the presidency.

Lok Sabha MPs

  • SS Ahluwalia
  • Arvind Dharmapuri
  • Dr. Heena Vijaykumar Gavit
  • Gaurav Gogoi,
  • Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal,
  • Bhartruhari Mahtob,
  • Mahua Moitra,
  • Ritesh Pandey,
  • Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore,
  • Midhun Reddy
  • Shrikant Eknath Shinde
  • Rajiv Ranjan Singh,
  • Uday Pratap Singh,
  • Dr. (Prof.) Kirit Premjibhai Solanki,
  • LS Tejasvi Surya,
  • Manish Tewari, S.

Rajya Sabha MPs

  • A. Navaneethakrishnan
  • Derek O’Brien
  • Dr. Amar Patnaik
  • Suresh Prabhu
  • Jairam Ramesh
  • Vivek K. Tankha

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