The Registration of Birth and Death (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed by a voice vote at 10:30 PM in the Rajya Sabha on August 7, 2023. Although MPs Dr. John Brittas and Dr. Binoy Viswam had asked for certain amendments to the Bill, the motion was not moved as both individuals were “not present” in the Parliament at the time.
Request to send the Bill to a select committee: As per Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh, Brittas wanted to refer the Bill to a select committee consisting of RS members Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Manoj Kumar Jha, Elamaram Kareem, Jose K Mani, A Rahim, Tiruchi N Siva, Dr. V Sivadasan and himself, with instructions to report by the last day of the first week of the upcoming winter session of the Upper House. However, as the motion was not moved, the Bill was passed without any committee inspection.
MPs Sulata Deo from BJD, Seema Dwivedi from BJP, Dr. M Thambidurai from AIADMK, V Vijaysai Reddy and Subhas Chandra Bose Pilli from YSRCP supported the Bill. Of these, Pilli raised the following concerns regarding certain terms:
Ambiguity on data accessibility: Pilli pointed out that the Bill states that the national database can be made accessible to other authorities preparing, manufacturing, maintaining other databases like the National Population Register or electoral roll. However, it is not defined what type of authorities the national database can be made available to.
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“This ambiguity creates fear in the minds of the people who are vulnerable to having sensitive data misused and leaked. I request the government clarify and determine what they mean by other authorities and laid out down a set of steps, detailing how this data will be protected to prevent any misuse,” said Pilli.
No clarification on purpose of data usage: The MP also raised concern about the vague terms with which the Bill allowed the central government to decide the purpose of using the data relevant under this Bill. He asked the government “to record a concentrated list of users for such information.”
On August 1, AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi had opposed the Bill, particularly Section 3(3A), in the Lok Sabha for violating the right to privacy.
Opposed ''The Registration of Birth and Death (Amendment) Bill 2023''. Section 3(3A) violates the Fundamental Right to Privacy pic.twitter.com/XEcqTBvtUn
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) August 1, 2023
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