Five BJP Members, One Each from DMK, SP Fill Vacant Positions in Data Protection Committee

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Replacements for vacant positions in the joint committee for data protection were announced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday by newly-appointed chairperson PP Chaudhary.

Seven positions had fallen vacant, five of them by the recent Cabinet reshuffle. While one MP had resigned from the committee, one had retired. DMK leader Kanimozhi had resigned from the committee. Earlier, the chairman of the committee Meenakshi Lekhi, became a minister as did other members of the committee, including Ashwini Vaishnaw, who is now the Minister for Railways and information technology; Bhupender Yadav, who is Labour and Environment Minister, Ajay Bhatt, MOS Defence and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MOS IT Ministry.

Out of the seven replacements announced, five are from the ruling BJP party and one from DMK and Samajwadi Party each. Lok Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu Dayanidhi Maran has been appointed to the committee by the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Professor Ram Gopal Yadav is a Rajya Sabha MP from the Samajwadi party and presently chairs the committee for health and family welfare.

Dr Satyapal Singh, who is an MP from Baghpat, has been the former Mumbai police commissioner and presently heads the joint committee for office of profit.

Rajya Sabha MPs Rakesh Sinha Sudhanshu Trivedi and Vinay Sahastrabuddhe have also been appointed to this committee, along with first-time MP Aparajita Sarangi.

This committee under the chairmanship of Meenakshi Lekhi, has held a mammoth 66 meetings since its appointment in December 2019 And was in the process of finalising its report before Lekhi was made a minister.

The committee has sought extension at least three times including the latest one which is valid up to the first week of the upcoming winter session of Parliament.

The bill, which was introduced as Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha by then Electronics and Information Technology Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad in December that year, underwent Parliamentary scrutiny upon insistence from members of the House.

The committee which has been discussing the bill clause by clause Since November 2019, had put in a total of 158 hours and 45 minutes into the discussion resulting in 89 amendments to the original bill out of which 86 are in 46 clauses and two in the schedule, while one more clause has been added.

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