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What is a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)?

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

What is a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)?


Context:

The Joint Committee of Parliament on the Data Protection Bill sought an affidavit from Twitter Inc., the U.S.-based parent company of the social media platform, asking them to explain why it had shown Ladakh as a part of China.

What’s the issue?

  • Display of wrong map is not only a question of the sensitivity of India or Indians. It is a question about national integrity and sovereignty of the country, and not respecting that is a criminal offence.
  • And displaying Indian map improperly and incorrectly is an offence of treason and attracts imprisonment of seven years.

What is a JPC?

A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is set up to examine a particular bill presented before the Parliament, or for the purpose of investigating cases of financial irregularities in any government activity.

  • The JPC is an ad-hoc body.
  • It is set up for a given period of time and is aimed at addressing a specific issue.

Composition:

  • In order to set up a JPC, a motion is passed in one House and supported by the other House.
  • The committee’s members are decided by Parliament.
  • The number of members can vary. There are twice as many Lok Sabha members as the Rajya Sabha.

Powers and Functions:

  • A JPC is authorised to collect evidence in oral or written form or demand documents in connection with the matter.
  • The proceedings and findings of the committee are confidential, except in matters of public interest.
  • The government can take the decision to withhold a document if it is considered prejudicial to the safety or interest of the State.
  • The Speaker has the final word in case of a dispute over calling for evidence.
  • The committee can invite interested parties for inquiry and summon people to appear before it.
  • The committee gets disbanded following the submission of its report to Parliament.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About JPC.
  2. Composition.
  3. Powers.
  4. Functions.
  5. Previous JPCs.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and functions of joint parliamentary committees.

Sources: the Hindu.