On August 3, 2022, the Indian government withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill (the “Bill”), which was first introduced in Parliament on December 11, 2019, and had been thoroughly analysed by a Joint Committee of Parliament (“JCP”).
To a Bill which had 99 sections in all, the JCP had made 12 recommendations and proposed 81 amendments. The Bill was criticised for giving excessive powers to the Indian government, which had the potential to infringe the fundamental right to privacy.
The government has stated that a fresh legislation will be introduced to regulate data protection and the digital legal framework in India. As per a statement issued by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, the government has commenced drafting a new law, which will be presented for public and stakeholder consultations shortly. Accordingly, a new legislation may be introduced during the winter session of Parliament.
One hopes that the new law in the works is not merely old wine in a new bottle.