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Shashi Tharoor Writes To Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla To Take Action Against Officers Who Denied To Participate In It Panel Meeting

News Desk, Amar Ujala, New Delhi

Published by: Gaurav Pandey
Updated Fri, 30 Jul 2021 07:15 PM IST

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Summary

Congress MP and head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on IT Shashi Tharoor has written a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker calling it contempt of the House.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor
– Photo : ANI (File)

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Congress leader and head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) Shashi Tharoor has urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to take action against officials who refused to attend the committee meeting at the last minute. Tharoor said, this is a breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House. This has undermined the power of the Parliamentary Committee. BJP MPs also refused to participate in it.

Tharoor said in a letter to Birla, “Just before the meeting of the committee, I received information from the committee’s branch of the Secretariat that on the afternoon of July 28, an e-mail from the Ministries/Departments of Electronics and Information Technology, Home and Communications (Department of Telecom) It had come that their representatives would not be able to appear before the committee. The Home Ministry sent the mail on 28 July at 2.33 am, Information Technology Ministry at 2.44 pm and DoT at 2.52 pm.

The Congress leader said, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, while seeking exemption from the appearance of its representative before the committee, had said that the head of the Joint Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 at 3.45 pm, the Secretary of the Ministry and other senior Expressed desire to have an immediate meeting with the officials. At the same time, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Telecommunications also expressed their inability to send their representatives before the committee, citing parliamentary work.

In fact, the committee was to meet on Wednesday to discuss several issues including the Pegasus espionage case, for which the officials of the three ministries were summoned for question-and-answer on the issue of privacy and security of citizens’ data. However, the meeting was adjourned as BJP MPs did not sign the attendance register. Due to insufficient numbers, the meeting could not take place despite the presence of BJP MPs in the hall.

Expansion

Congress leader and head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) Shashi Tharoor has urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to take action against officials who refused to attend the committee meeting at the last minute. Tharoor said, this is a breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House. This has undermined the power of the Parliamentary Committee. BJP MPs also refused to participate in it.

Tharoor said in a letter to Birla, “Just before the meeting of the committee, I received information from the committee’s branch of the Secretariat that on the afternoon of July 28, an e-mail from the Ministries/Departments of Electronics and Information Technology, Home and Communications (Department of Telecom) It had come that their representatives would not be able to appear before the committee. The Home Ministry sent the mail on 28 July at 2.33 am, Information Technology Ministry at 2.44 pm and DoT at 2.52 pm.

The Congress leader said, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, while seeking exemption from the appearance of its representative before the committee, had said that the head of the Joint Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 at 3.45 pm, the Secretary of the Ministry and other senior Expressed desire to have an immediate meeting with the officials. At the same time, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Telecommunications also expressed their inability to send their representatives before the committee, citing parliamentary work.

In fact, the committee was to meet on Wednesday to discuss several issues including the Pegasus espionage case, for which the officials of the three ministries were summoned for question-and-answer on the issue of privacy and security of citizens’ data. However, the meeting was adjourned as BJP MPs did not sign the attendance register. Due to insufficient numbers, the meeting could not take place despite the presence of BJP MPs in the hall.

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