The Personal Data Protection Bill has been referred to a joint selection committee after it was presented in Lok Sabha yesterday. The move comes after certain provisions of the Bill faced severe criticism from the opposition.
The select committee, which will have 20 members from Lok Sabha and 10 members from Rajya Sabha, will now submit its report before the end of the Budget Session in 2020.
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, Ajay Bhatt, Gaurav Gogoi, S Jothimani, P V Mithun Reddy, Srikant Shinde, B Mehtab, K Kanimozhi, Ritesh Pandey and Saugata Roy, among others.
The joint panel once finalised will go through the Personal Data Protection Bill. Besides laying down guidelines related to classification and storage of personal data, the law gives the power to the government to decide from time to time on the exemption list. It also empowers the Centre to exempt any government agency from the application of the proposed legislation.
These aspects have been met with staunch criticism from the opposition.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, the telecom and IT minister, however, has stated that that the government had the apex court’s mandate as the Supreme Court had underlined the need for a data protection law.