The Union government on Wednesday, August 3, withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2021 from the Lok Sabha, in view of the Parliamentary Committee recommending extensive amendments to the same. Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw moved a motion to withdraw the Bill, and the Lok Sabha approved the motion with a voice vote. The Bill has been withdrawn and a new Bill is likely to be drafted by the government, incorporating recommendations from the parliamentary panel.
In a statement, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Joint Committee of Parliament deliberated on the Personal Data Protection Bill in great detail and proposed 81 amendments to the same. The committee also made 12 recommendations towards a comprehensive legal framework on the digital ecosystem. “Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw the Personal Data Protection Bill and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework,” the Minister said.
The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019 and was referred to the Joint Committee for examination.
The Data Protection Bill was drafted by the government with an aim to protect personal data of individuals. According to the draft law, it aimed to create a framework for organisational and technical measures in processing of data and to lay down norms for social media platforms as well. It also addressed accountability of entities processing data and remedies for unauthorised and harmful processing.
The Opposition had questioned the Data Protection Bill in its current form, especially certain provisions of the Bill that gave unbridled powers to the state and its agencies for use of personal data. Many MPs had submitted dissent notes on the Bill to the parliamentary committee opposing the Bill in its current form.
Read TNM’s explainer on the Bill here: Explained: What is the Personal Data Protection Bill and why you should care