The new Indian Data Protection Bill was expected to be presented and passed before the Parliament of India during the Winter Session of the Parliament last December. However, this did not happen as the Government decided that the Act required a higher level of scrutiny and discussion before it was to be presented before the Lower House of the Parliament.
As a result, a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) consisting of 20 Lower House members and 10 Upper House members was formed and this committee is currently reviewing this document and the first meeting was held on January 16, 2020. The panel has opened doors to all stakeholders to express objections or to point out loopholes in the Bill. The Panel is also expected to invite the general public to send in their suggestions. There are a few areas for concern including the clauses for Government intervention with the data, ‘critical data’ and ‘significant fiduciary’ which is not explicitly defined etc.
The Committee will meet again in 4 weeks’ time after reviewing the opinions of the stakeholders and the Public. This Bill is now expected to pass in the Budget session of the Parliament which starts in the first week of February.