Joint Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection

Recently, representatives from micro blogging site Tweeter called for the explanations before the parliamentary panel on showing Ladakh (UT) as a part of China and were questioned by the members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection.

What is Joint Parliamentary Committee?

JPC is a type of ad hoc parliamentary committee formed by Indian Parliament. Ad hoc committees are established to accomplish a particular task and therefore are temporary. There are two ways for the formation of Joint Parliamentary Committee, they are as follows:

  1. When motion is adopted by one house and supported or agreed by another house.
  2. Two presiding chiefs of both the houses can write to each other, communicate with each other to form it.

The strength of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) varies, but the members from Lok Sabha are double compared to Rajya Sabha.

Powers of Joint Parliamentary Committee

  • JPC can obtain or summon evidence of experts, public bodies, associations or any individual suo motu or on requests made by them.
  • If a witness fails to appear before the JPC in response to summons, his conduct constitutes the contempt of the house.
  • It can take oral and written evidence or call for the documents in connection with the matter under JPC’s consideration.
  • Ministers are not generally called by the JPC, but in case of any irregularities in Securities and Banking Transactions probe, with the permission of the speaker of Lok Sabha, they can be called upon by the committee and seek information regarding certain issues.
  • The government may withhold or decline to produce a document if it considered prejudicial to the safety or in the interest of the state.
  • The speaker of the Lok Sabha is the final authority on any dispute over calling for any evidence against a person or production of a document.

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