The PDP bill was first drafted in 2018 by the Srikrishna Judicial Committee, but has been reviewed by a joint parliamentary committee for almost three years.
Om Birla, spokesman for Lok Sabha, said the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Personal Data Protection Law will not receive extensions in 2019 to present its report, The Hindu Business Line reported. Birla reportedly made the remark at a press conference on the upcoming monsoons session of Parliament. “Most of the committee’s work is done. Now a new chairman has to be nominated. I hope this does not affect the filing of the report. There will be no more time, ”Birla allegedly said.
The Personal Data Protection Act of 2019 is not in the Notice issued by the Lok Sabha, and yet the speaker has said no more time will be given, suggesting that either a new chairman may be appointed and the bill may be submitted for approval soon after, or the report may be submitted in the monsoons Session with the bill will be presented later.
Why it matters: Since the Puttaswamy ruling in 2017 before the Supreme Court of India, the government has been obliged to pass a law to protect the personal data of Indians. Steps like a data protection regulator, data location requirements, and other aspects of the bill have been closely monitored by the industry for years. Even if there is uncertainty about the current contours of the bill, data breaches continue to be reported regularly, with companies having little to no consequences for such incidents.
Read our complete guide to the Personal Data Protection Act, 2019
Five members of the GPA have become ministers – Meenakashi Lekhi, Ajay Bhatt, Bhupender Yadav, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Lekhi was the chairman of the committee, so a replacement needs to be appointed. In addition to the already vacant seat on the committee, these members’ seats in the GPA are now also empty.
Timeline of events
- July 2018: The PDP law is first drafted by a committee of experts headed by Judge BN Srikrishna.
- October 2018: Then the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology says it will prepare the bill.
- December 2019: The bill is referred to a joint parliamentary committee and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi is appointed chairman.
- September 2020: The committee Requests and receives an extension of the deadline for submitting your report.
- December 2020: The committee undertakes a clause-by-clause review of the bill.
- March 2021: Once again, the committee requests and obtains an extension of the deadline for the submission of its report.
While Lok Sabha’s website says that a draft report is being considered, members of the opposition on the committee have stated that they have not received the draft report by The Hindu. Previously, the then IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad referred to the submitted draft, but he later decreased the comment that the report is pending.
Members of the JPC
The current constitution of the GPA is:
- Meenakashi Lekhi, chair (be replaced)
- SS Ahluwalia
- Ajay Bhatt (to be replaced)
- PP Chaudhary
- Arvind Dharmapuri
- Dr. Heena Vijaykumar Gavit
- Gaurav Gogoi
- Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal
- Bhartruhari Mahtob
- Mahua Moitra
- Ritesh Pandey
- Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
- Midhun Reddy
- Dr. Shrikant Eknath Shinde
- Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh
- Uday Pratap Singh
- Dr. (Prof.) Kirit Premjibhai Solanki
- LS Tejasvi Surya
- Manish Tewari
- Rajeev Chandrasekhar (to be replaced)
- A. Navaneethakrishnan
- Derek O’Brien
- Dr. Amar Patnaik
- Suresh Prabhu
- Jairam Ramesh
- Vivek K. Tankha
- Ashwini Vaishnaw (to be replaced)
- Bhupender Yadav (to be replaced)
Former members of the JPC are:
- Ram Gopal Yadav
- S. Jothi Mani
- Prof. Saugata Roy