New Delhi, August 11
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is learnt to have summoned and met Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Information Technology Secretary Ajay Sawhney and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on a recent complaint that they did not appear for the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT the day a discussion on Citizen Data Security and Privacy was scheduled.
Committee chairman and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had formally complained to the Speaker about non-appearance of officials and sought action even though the IT Ministry maintained that the panel was informed well in time of the absence of officials in a communication sent ahead of the meeting. Sources said Birla had met the three secretaries on Tharoor’s complaint submitted on July 28 in which he said the officials did not come for deposition before the panel and this amounted to contempt of the standing committee.
The panel was to take up Pegasus but all BJP MPs absented from the said meeting, preventing quorum and the meeting had to be deferred. — TNS