IT panel meeting: Sashi Tharoor will be heard by Om Birla

NEW DELHI: According to reports, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla promised IT panel Chairman Shashi Tharoor that he would give him a hearing to express his concerns about what happened at the panel meeting earlier this week and that he would also personally investigate the complaints. Separately, Birla is also reported to have said that he would meet with all members of the House panel to try to address the chairman’s concerns. Earlier this week, a discussion on citizens’ data privacy and security took place. Three Union secretaries also declined to attend before the panel an hour before the meeting without first getting Tharoor’s approval, as is customary. Shashi Tharoor, chairman of the information technology panel, wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla requesting appropriate disciplinary action under the rules against the secretaries of home, information technology, and communications for failing to appear before the House Panel. Tharoor also stated that he did not excuse the witnesses from the proceedings and that the last-minute changes to the schedule constituted contempt of the House. The Punjab Government and the Home Ministry were requested to make sure the detainee appeared before the Committee. The detainee, who was at the time housed in Delhi’s Central Jail, was brought to Parliament House on the scheduled day and time while being escorted by police, and then led into the waiting area for witnesses. According to the book “Practice and Procedure of Parliament” by Kaul and Sakhder, “After his testimony before the Committee, he was conducted to the main gate by the Watch and Ward Officer and handed over to the waiting police escort for being taken back to jail.”

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