Congress chief Shashi Tharoor, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, has urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to take motion over ministry officers’ “last-minute refusal” to attend a panel meet, which he stated constituted “contempt of the House”.
The panel was to carry a gathering on Wednesday to debate a number of points together with the Pegasus snooping allegations.
It had summoned officers from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Communications (Department of Telecommunications) on the topic ‘Citizens information safety and privateness’.
However, the assembly couldn’t happen because the BJP members of the panel didn’t signal the attendance register, despite the fact that they had been current within the assembly room, resulting in an absence of quorum.
In his letter to Mr Birla, Congress MP Tharoor stated simply earlier than the sitting, he was knowledgeable by the committee department of the secretariat that e-mail communications have been obtained on July 28 afternoon from the three ministries/division that their representatives wouldn’t be capable of seem earlier than the committee.
Mr Tharoor stated the Ministry of Home Affairs forwarded their mail at 2:33 pm, MeitY at 2:44 pm and the Department of Telecommunications at 2:52 pm.
Detailing the sequence of occasions, the parliamentary panel chief stated in his letter that MeitY had sought exemption from look stating the chairperson of the joint committee on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, has desired to have an pressing assembly with the secretary and different senior officers of MeitY for dialogue/clarification on Bill at 3:45 pm within the chairman’s chamber.
The Ministry of Home Affairs sought exemption on account of pressing and urgent commitments associated to the following Parliament Session, Mr Tharoor’s letter learn.
Similar communication was obtained from the Department of Telecommunications that it’s going to not be potential for the secretary to look earlier than the committee as a consequence of an pressing Parliament-related matter.
Shashi Tharoor stated that as chairperson of the panel he didn’t excuse these witnesses from attendance.
The discover informing the members of the committee for the sitting was issued on July 20 and the ministries/division involved had been additionally knowledgeable on that day, he stated, including all of the three ministries/division had confirmed their participation.
“The last-minute refusal of the ministries/department to appear before the committee has been unprecedented and clearly constitutes breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House. Besides, this has undermined the authority of a parliamentary committee,” Mr Tharoor stated.
He urged the Lok Sabha Speaker to take critical cognizance of this matter and undertake motion as deemed applicable below the foundations.
Mr Tharoor has reportedly circulated the letter dated July 29 to the members of the panel.
On Thursday, Mr Tharoor had taken a swipe on the BJP members of the parliamentary panel, saying “some elements” have chosen to cut back it to a “ping pong match” that’s not within the spirit of Parliament.
An worldwide media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian cell phone numbers had been on a listing of potential targets for surveillance utilizing Israeli agency NSO’s Pegasus spyware and adware.
Opposition leaders together with Rahul Gandhi, two union ministers – Prahlad Singh Patel and Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, businessman Anil Ambani, a former CBI chief, and a minimum of 40 journalists are on the checklist on the leaked database of NSO. It is, nevertheless, not established that each one the telephones had been hacked.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)