CPI(M) MP Writes to RS Chairperson, Lok Sabha Speaker Against Tabling of IT Panel Report
Image credit: PTI
CPI(M) MP John Brittas has urged the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairperson to disallow the tabling of a parliamentary committee report which contains comments on the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, noting that it was never referred to the panel.
Citing rules guiding the two Houses, he said in his letter to the chairs that parliamentary standing committees are explicitly prohibited from examining any bills that have not been referred to them by either the Rajya Sabha Chairperson or the Lok Sabha Speaker after their introduction.
"It is imperative to note that the said Digital Personal Data Protection Bill had neither been introduced before either of the Houses of Parliament till date nor was it referred to the Standing Committee by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker, as the case may be, for examination," Brittas said.
The Kerala MP is a member of the Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology headed by Shiv Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav.
Brittas added, "It is evident that the Report of the Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology, said to be adopted on July 26, 2023, is void ab initio (having no legal sanctity) and is ultra vires of the powers of the Standing Committee conferred by the rules."
The committee had adopted the report, which had favorably mentioned the bill recently cleared by the Union Cabinet, in its July 26 meeting amid a boycott by several opposition members, including Brittas, who also gave a dissent note.
BJP members in the committee had ruled out the objections raised by opposition MPs, insisting that the committee's action is in accordance with the rules.
In his letter on July 28, Brittas said, "It can be found beyond an iota of doubt that the impetuous action of the committee in including comments and recommendations on this Bill is far beyond its jurisdiction and as such, rendering the report liable to be nullified."
He urged them to "refrain from giving permission" to the presentation of the report in their respective House and sent it back to the standing committee, citing the "matter of jurisdictional ouster."
Parliament is likely to take up the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill during the ongoing Monsoon session.
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