New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023, amid noisy protests by the Opposition, which later staged a walk-out after their request for raising a point of order was disallowed.
The point of order was on the allegations levelled by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Congress party and Rahul Gandhi.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tried raising the point of order along with other party members, but Kirit Solanki, who was adjudicating the proceedings, did not allow it.
Even Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab could be seen expressing his displeasure over the lack of order in the House when the bill got passed.
He was heard saying that bills cannot be passed when there is no order in the House, and if this is the manner in which bills are to be passed, then the House should pass all the bills.
Once the Digital Personal Data Protection bill was passed after an hour-long discussion in the House, the Congress-led Opposition staged a walk out.
Minister for IT and electronics Ashwini Vaishnaw while piloting the bill, said that it has all the provisions to ensure protection of public’s data.
He said that it is framed in a simple language, is gender sensitive, and based on the principles of legality.
Vaishnaw further said that the bill also ensures data minimisation, accuracy of data and time limit on data storage.
During an almost hour-long discussion on the bill, in which eight MPs across parties participated, concerns were raised on lack of independent regulator, with Mahtab even saying that the bill was more about data processing rather than data protection.
Vaishnaw allayed the fears of the members, saying that the government has introduced certain “legitimate causes” where the government and private entities can process citizens’ data without explicit consent.
It will also impose restrictions on platforms on processing children’s data, he said.
The bill also mandates that India have its data protection regulator in the form of a Data Protection Board. The bill says the chairperson and members of the board will be appointed by the Union government.
Apart from that, the bill also has provisions that give wide exemptions to the government. The proposed law says its provisions will not apply in respect to the processing of personal data when notified by “instrumentality of the state as the central government may notify”.