On 23rd July, the Lok Sabha gave an extension to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) examining the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. The JPC now has time till the winter session to file its report. The committee also has a new chairperson – BJP MP P.P. Chaudhary. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi was chairing the JPC until she took oath as the new Minister of State (MoS) for the External Affairs and Culture ministries.
This is the fifth time the committee has received an extension. The report was supposed to be submitted during the 2021 Budget session. However, it got an extension till the Monsoon session. The bill was first introduced in the winter session of 2019.
Report submitted to the Speaker?
Ms. Lekhi in her press conference (22nd July) claimed that the report had been submitted to the Lok Sabha speaker, Mr. Om Birla. Former IT minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad had also said in an interview to The Hindu that “he had read the report of the committee even though members of the committee have maintained that the draft report has not been circulated to them so far.
To this, Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted, “How can Meenakshi Lekhi claim Personal Data Protection Bill report has been submitted to Speaker Om Birla when the report has not been circulated to members much less adopted.”