Information Technology act 2000 amendment bill 2006-
An open letter to the President of India
The Parliament of India had a dubious record
on December 23rd of having passed 8 bills in 17 minutes. All Bills were
passed without debate marking it one of the lowest points in the history of
legislation in India. During this period, one section of the members were
protesting against Mr Antulay for his comments on Mumbai attacks and were
shouting slogans in the well of the house. There was so much noise that the
members were not able to hear and follow the proceedings. Hence they were
not in a position to understand which Bill was being put to vote and what
are the implications of their passage.
According to many experienced
Parliamentarians such a thing has never happened in the history of the
In the course of this unprecedented incidence,
the Information Technology Act 2000 amendment Bill 2006 was also passed.
This bill was pending since December 15 2006, was once returned by the
Standing Committee for substantial modifications and was re tabled on
December 15 2008 with corrections. The revised version of the Bill was kept
confidential through out. Though it is expected that the standing committee
recommendations must have been incorporated in the Bill, it was necessary
for the MPs to debate if the modifications were actually made and if they
were in order. No opportunity was given to the representatives of the
In this context, the undersigned considers it
necessary to make efforts to correct this irregularity as otherwise this
irregular process will get etched in the history of legislation in India as
a “Bill Passed without Debate”.
I have therefore sent the following e-mail
letter to the President of India which is reproduced here for public
The President of India
Digital Society of India, Bangalore
Through Digitally signed E-Mail dated
December 25, 2008
Sub: Information Technology Act 2000
Amendment Bill 2006 passed in the Parliament on December 22 and 23, 2008
As a concerned Citizen of India, I
would like to appeal to you to correct an irregularity that has happened
in the passage of the Information Technology Act 2000 Amendment Bill 2006
(ITAA 2006) in Loksabha on 22nd December 2008 and in Rajyasabha on 23rd
The said Bill was first presented in
the parliament on 15th December 2006. It was then referred to the
Standing Committee headed by Mr Nikhil Kumar. The Standing committee
suggested substantial changes to the proposed Bill. The draft
Bill therefore was returned for correction and re-submission to the
Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. (MCIT). Many of the
changes suggested were having far reaching consequences on the security
of the nation.
The Bill was then rectified
and re-presented in the present session and tabled on December 15th 2008.
The copy of this revised draft was held confidential and never shared
with the analysts like us despite specific request. Once it was tabled in
the Parliament, the public were keen to know the provisions and wanted to
take up with their representatives if any further changes were warranted.
However the dubious way in which the Bills were passed made a mockery of
the legislative process. According to many experienced parliamentarians,
never in the history of the Parliament, Bills were passed when no member
was in a position to hear the speaker since an agitation was in progress
in the well of the house. The way the speaker/deputy speaker was shouting
“The Ayes Have it and the Ayes have it” is recorded for posterity by the
TV news channels and marks an eternal shame on our democratic process of
It is an established process in law
that a consent on any document where there is “no meeting of the mind” is
invalid. The consent obtained by the speakers of Loksabha and Rajyashbha
on the said Bill did not fulfill this fundamental criteria since the
Members of the Parliament who were asked to give their consent and gave
did not understand which Bill was being proposed and passed at that time.
Hence the passage of the Bill is not legally tenable.
Now the said Bill namely Information
Technology Act 2000 Amendment Bill 2006 will come to your office for your
In the interest of holding up the best
traditions of Parliamentary democracy in India, I appeal that the said
Bill may kindly be returned to the Parliament for a proper debate before
the assent of the MPs are taken.
Digitally signed by Na.Vijayashankar
through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to a positive response
from the President of India in the interest of upholding the democratic
traditions of the Country.
December 25, 2008