With the entire world being disrupted with the outbreak of COVID 19, there is a diversion of Government attention to the immediate task of fighting the menace of the Virus. Since the Virus seems to have threatened even the Parliament members, it would not be surprising if the Government takes steps to curtail the Parliament session and defer some of the activities.
It was expected that the Joint Parliamentary Committee was to hold its consultations during the next two months and prepare the bill for final passing into an Act. One can expect that this activity might be delayed unless the JPC adopts a “Virtual Meeting” mode as the entire industry is doing.
If the JPC takes this step, it would be a path breaking decision in the history of the Indian legislative system.
I would urge the JPC to take this bold step so that passing of the PDPA does not get delayed on account of the Corona Virus. The Indian Corporate world already has access to the virtual meetings and it is time for the legislature also to move in this direction.
The proceedings can be recorded and even certified under Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act as suggested under www.odrglobal.in where a working model for such remote meetings has been presented.
What we need is an effective virtual conferencing platform, supported by identity verification system which can use the digital signature or e-Sign and a recording of the proceedings. The MeitY and NIC are more than capable of making such arrangements immediately.
What may be required is to include such “Virtual Meeting with identification of participants and Section 65B certified recording of the proceedings” as acceptable procedure for such meetings under the Parliamentary procedures/guidelines.
I request the Chairperson of the JPC Mrs Meenakshi Lekhi to take up the matter with the Government and the Speaker to initiate this progressive method of meeting which can come to use not only now with the Corona issue in the background but also in future for speeding up similar proceedings.
Indian law permits such meetings…What is required is for the Parliamentarians to show the will to defeat Corona with the power of the Internet…
The Chairperson of JPC could go down in history as a reformer who initiated this change in the Indian Parliamentary system… if…this becomes a reality.
…Who knows…this could be the forerunner for the Virtual parliamentary attendance in future…
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