The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that a new data protection bill is ready and will be introduced in the Monsoon session of Parliament. Attorney General R Venkatramani told a Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph that the bill is ready. The bench also comprising justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy, and C T Ravikumar took note of the submission.
They directed that the matter be placed before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud so that a new bench can be constituted as Justice Joseph is set to retire on June 16. The matter has been posted for hearing in the first week of August 2023.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the court should not link the court hearings to the legislative process.
The legislative process is complex and it may be again referred to some committees, he said. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by two students — Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi — challenging the contract entered into between WhatsApp and its parent Facebook to provide access to calls, photographs, texts, videos and documents shared by users, saying it is a violation of their privacy and free speech.