January 9: A parliamentary committee examining the Personal Data Protection Bill has recommended 89 amendments to the proposed legislation, including changing its title and schedule, the panel’s chairperson Meenakshi Lekhi has said.

The draft of the bill, approved by the Cabinet in December 2019, proposes to put restriction on use of personal data without explicit consent of citizens. It proposes a penalty of up to Rs 15 crore and up to three-year jail term for company executives for violating privacy norms. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in February last year. Later, it was referred to the Joint Committee of Parliament headed by BJP MP Lekhi.

The bill was drafted following a Supreme Court judgement in August 2017 that declared ‘Right to Privacy’ a fundamental right. The need for a strong personal data protection regime was further highlighted by the apex court in its judgement in September 2018 in which it held Aadhaar as a constitutionally valid scheme but struck down some provisions in the Aadhaar Act.

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