August 1, 2019
Mahua Moitra makes Zero Hour mention on the Personal Data Protection Bill
Honourable Speaker Sir, again to reiterate what was discussed a few minutes ago, we had also got a Short Duration Discussion on the Personal Data Protection Bill, which was assured would be brought into the business of the House. However, even though it was agreed upon in the BAC, it has not come up. Hence I am bringing up the topic during my Zero Hour. It is a matter of vital public importance.
This Government had assured us of a comprehensive Data Protection Bill. The Aadhaar judgement which the Supreme Court had passed had issued a virtual mandamus to this Government to bring in a data protection law. You had assured us of a comprehensive Data Protection Bill which has not come.
I also want to bring up the fact that we have got to know that there are empanelled lawyers with various ministries, including the Ministry of IT and the Ministry of Justice, who may have private clients in the field of technology.
Hence there is a basic conflict of interest here. If a lawyer or a business consultant is working on the draft of the Data Protection Bill and who, on the other hand, has private clients in the field of technology, how can we be assured that the interest of these private clients are not being brought into the legislative draft of the Bill? We need to have complete transparency on this. We request all ministries, including the ones that are drafting the Data Protection Bill, to please make public to either the Standing Committee or to all of us as to who are the empanelled GR firms, who are the empanelled lawyers who are helping with drafting legislations, and on the other side, who their private clients are in the technology space, because we are unable to understand why there is a delay in bringing in this Data Protection Bill. Is it due to the vested interests of some particular technology companies that are putting pressure on the Government via empanelled law firms? This is my question.