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JPC given extension till winter session for presenting report on Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, new Chair appointed

The PDP Bill was first drafted by the Justice Srikrishna committee in 2018 but it has been under review by a Joint Parliamentary Committee for nearly three years. The Lok Sabha on Friday approved a motion to extend the time given to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to present its report on the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019. The committee has now been given time till the Winter Session 2021. The motion for extension was submitted by Bharatiya Janata Party MP PP Chaudhary, the newly appointed Chairperson of the JPC, and Lok Sabha MP Bhartruhari Mahtab. This news comes despite Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla saying on July 13 that the JPC will not get any extensions to submit its report. “Most of the work of the Committee is over. Now, a new chairperson has to be nominated. I hope this will not affect submission of report. No further time will be given,” Birla reportedly said. These comments were made even though the PDP Bill wasn't in the bulletin issued by the Lok Sabha. Earlier this year during the Budget Session, the JPC had sought an extension until the current Monsoon Session to submit its report. The bill was first introduced in the Winter Session of 2019. Why it matters? Since the Puttaswamy judgement in 2017 at the Supreme Court of India, the government has been under an obligation to pass legislation to protect Indians’ personal data. Steps like a data protection regulator, localisation requirements for data, and other aspects of the bill…

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