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)?
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.
- 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.
- About JPC.
- Previous JPCs.
Discuss the significance and functions of joint parliamentary committees.
Sources: the Hindu.