Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw moved a motion in the Lok Sabha for the withdrawal of the Bill
The Bill was introduced in December 2019 and was then referred to a joint parliamentary committee for examination after it faced severe criticism from various opposition party leaders
Minister of State for Skill Development and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the Bill would be replaced by a comprehensive framework of global standard laws
The Indian government withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2021 on Wednesday (August 3) after 81 amendments were proposed by a joint parliamentary committee (JCP). After the withdrawal, the government is now planning to introduce a new Bill.
Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw moved a motion in the Lok Sabha to withdraw the Bill. Along with the amendments, the parliamentary committee had also made 12 recommendations for ‘a comprehensive legal framework’.
“Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework,” Vaishnaw said.
First drafted by a panel led by retired Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna in 2017, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in December 2019. It was then referred to the JCP for examination after it faced severe criticism from various opposition party leaders.
The report of the committee was presented to the Lok Sabha in December last year when a draft Data Protection Bill, 2021 was also submitted.
The new Bill was expected to be passed by the Parliament later this year.
Minister of State for Skill Development and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar took to Twitter to talk about the withdrawal of the Bill and introduction of a new Bill.
“This will soon be replaced by a comprehensive framework of Global std laws including Digital Privacy laws for contemporary & future challenges,” Chandrasekhar wrote.
The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2021 had a broad scope that applied to the processing of personal data, sensitive personal data, and non-personal data, along with recommendations about regulations on social media platforms and data localisation.
The development comes at a time when the country’s technology landscape is quickly evolving. Experts have called for a robust data protection law to protect private data of citizens.
While it is yet to be seen how the country’s legal and industry experts broadly react to the withdrawal of the draft, MP Manish Tewari took to Twitter to call this incident as “most unfortunate.”
“For full two years during height of wave 1 & 2 of COVID-19 MP’s across parties worked to better it. Big Tech never wanted this Law. Big Tech won. India lost,” he said.