The Joint Parliamentary Committee under the chairpersonship of Meenakshi Lekhi, which is looking into the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, has sought comments on the Bill. Comments on the bill may be emailed to jpc-datalaw@sansad.nic.in or at mrs.mlekhi@sansad.nic.in. Given that the press communique (English, Hindi) is dated February 4, the deadline for submissions should be February 25, 2020. It has already been published in Hindustan Times (Page 4).

Note that the comments submitted to the Committee will be treated as confidential, and would enjoy the privilege of the Committee, that is, they will not be made public by the Committee.

The Committee currently includes 28 members, of which 15 are from the BJP, 3 from the INC, 1 from TMC, 2 from BJD, 1 each from DMK, YSR Congress, Shiv Sena, BSP, JDU, AIADMK, and TRS:

  • 20 members from the Lok Sabha: Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP; PP Chaudhary, BJP; SS Ahluwalia, BJP; Tejasvi Surya, BJP; Ajay Bhatt, BJP; Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, BJP; Sanjay Jaiswal, BJP; Kiritbhai Solanki, BJP; Arvind Dharmapuri, BJP; Dr. Heena Gavit, BJP; Uday Pratap Singh, BJP; Raving Ranjan Singh, JDU; Gaurav Gogoi, INC; Kanimozhi, DMK; PV Midhun Reddy, YSR Congress; Dr. Shrikant Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena; Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD; Ritesh Pandey, BSP and
  • 10 members from the Rajya Sabha: Bhupendra Yadav, BJP; Suresh Prabhu, BJP; Rajeev Chandrasekhar, BJP; Ashwini Vaishnaw, BJP; Jairam Ramesh, INC; Vivek K. Tankha, INC; Derek O’Brien, TMC; A. Navaneethakrishnan, AIADMK; Ram Gopal Yadav, TRS; Amar Patnaik, BJD.

Note that S. Jothi Mani (INC) and Prof. Saugata Roy (TMC) have resigned from the committee, and Manish Tewari (INC) and Mahua Moitra (TMC) are expected to join the committee.

If you need help

MediaNama has put together a guide for reference here, with FAQs, important texts for reference, as well as links to important comments and articles. In particular, in order to understand the implications of the Bill, please refer to our expert series, which illustrates how the bill will affect users and companies. You may also refer to the comments from our discussions covering:

  • User rights and companies:
    1. Looking at how well the Bill protects user rights [read]
    2. Impact of the Bill on companies [read]
  • Government access to data:
    1. Issues around surveillance in the Bill [read]
    2. Improving the Bill to safeguard against surveillance [read]
  • Data Protection Authority:
    1. Data Protection Authority’s independence and powers under the Bill [read]
    2. The Data Protection Authority’s capacity and composition, and recommendations on how the regulator should work [read]
  • Data localisation:
    1. Issues with classification of data in the Bill [read]
    2. Issues with data localisation norms in the Bill [read]
  • Non Personal Data:
    1. Is defining non-personal data possible? Is anonymising it a good idea? [read]
    2. Considering intellectual property rights over non-personal data [read]
    3. Why does the Indian government want to regulate non-personal data? [read]
    4. Data trusts and non personal data [read]

The announcement (via PIB)

Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 seeks views and suggestions
Posted On: 03 FEB 2020 2:03PM by PIB Delhi

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 as introduced in Lok Sabha has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses, under the Chairperson of Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi (New Delhi) M.P. for examination and Report.

It has been decided to seek views and suggestions on the Bill from individuals and associations/bodies concerned. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 has been uploaded on Lok Sabha Website (loksabha.nic.in>legislations>bills introduced>Bill No. 373)

Those desirous of submitting their views/suggestions to the Committee may send two copies of their written Memoranda/suggestions either in English or Hindi on the subject to the Director, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No. 152, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 or email at jpc-datalaw@sansad.nic.in and at mrs.mlekhi@sansad.nic.in within three weeks from the date of publication.

The Memoranda submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and would be treated as Confidential and would enjoy privilege of the Committee.

Those who wish to appear before the Committee, besides submitting Memoranda, are also requested to specifically indicate so. However, the Chairperson’s decision in this regard shall be final.