Published On: Thu, May 7th, 2015

Right to Privacy Bill: Govt mum on intel agencies demand for blanket

New Delhi: The government today said that the details of the proposed Right to Privacy Bill are yet to be finalised as it responded to a query in Parliament on a reported request by intelligence agencies that they be kept out of its purview.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh

“The drafting of the Bill is at the preliminary stage and the details are yet to be finalised,” Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

He was responding to a query whether it was a fact that the government had turned down a demand by intelligence agencies for a blanket exemption from the purview of the Bill and also if it endorses the existing rider that requires them to intrude on one’s privacy only in the interest of national sovereignty, security and integrity.

The Minister was also asked whether government has decided to back the provision extending the proposed law to all residents of India, unlike the 2011 draft Bill that covered only Indian citizens.

Intelligence agencies have reportedly sought a blanket exemption from the ambit of the Right to Privacy Bill, 2014, a proposed law which imposes heavy costs and punishment for intrusion into a citizen’s privacy or leakage of personal details.

The draft Bill, reports state, exempts security and intelligence agencies from its ambit if they can prove that their actions of intruding on a citizen’s privacy were in national interest.

PTI

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