The government informed the Supreme Court that it will introduce the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in the second half of the parliament’s budget session starting March 13, 2023, and will cover most of the issues including WhatsApp’s privacy policies that are under challenge for alleged infringement of citizens’ fundamental rights. 

Asking the five-judge constitution bench to examine the privacy policy of WhatsApp after the bill is introduced, Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, said that subject to various administrative compliances, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) intends to introduce the bill in the parliament at the earliest. 

However, Shyam Divan, senior advocate at the Supreme Court, opposed the government’s request saying that it had informed the court in 2017 as well that the last data protection bill may translate into a law. However, it was withdrawn. He added that the introduction of a bill itself should not defer the taking up of this case.

The constitution bench led by Justice KM Joseph said that it will decide on February 1, 2023, whether it should hear the matter now or after the bill is introduced.