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With 89 Amendments, Data Protection Bill Set to be Passed during Budget Session as JPC Draws Report

File photo of Parliament building.

File photo of Parliament building.

The Committee, which has been discussing the bill clause by clause since November 2019, is will not seek further extension and is currently working on its report. A total of 158 hours and 45 minutes have gone into the discussions resulting in 89 amendments to the original bill. Of these, 86 are in 46 clauses and two in the schedule, while one more clause has been added.

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Payal Mehta

After nearly a year of thorough discussion spread over 65 meetings, the Data Protection Bill is all set to be passed in Parliament during the upcoming Budget session.

The bill, which was introduced as Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha by Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in December that year, underwent Parliamentary scrutiny upon insistence from members of the House. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Meenakshi Lekhi chaired the Joint Parliamentary Committee set up to analyse its provisions.

The committee, which has been discussing the bill clause by clause since November 2019, will not seek further extension and is currently working on its report. "...Over 158 hours and 45 minutes of meeting time has gone in to firm up the bill which has a whopping 89 amendments," Lekhi told CNN-News18. Of these, 86 are in 46 clauses and two in the schedule, while one more clause has been added.

"Making a law that this country needed [analysing] beginning from the title to the schedule of the bill," she said. Sources indicate that the bill may be called Data Protection Bill instead of the Personal Data Protection Bill given its vast ambit involving national security as well.

In February last year, the committee had invited suggestions and views from the general public as well as experts, stakeholders and organisations. This feedback was compiled and shared with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Officials of the Ministry, and other stakeholders including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Nasscom, Truecaller, Ola, Uber and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), have also made representations before the committee.


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