New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was on Friday adjourned for the day amid ruckus over the government order to give central investigative agencies and the Delhi Police sweeping powers to intercept computers.
As soon as the House reassembled at 2.30 p.m after an earlier adjournment, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue of interception order issued by the Union Home Ministry on Thursday.
His party colleague Anand Sharma also joined in raising the issue.
Intervening amidst protests and slogan shouting by opposition members on the issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of playing with the security of the country and making “a mountain where even a mole hill does not exist.”
He said that the government had only “repeated” the same order of authorisation that was existing since 2009.
As per the Thursday’s order, 10 agencies including the Intelligence Bureau, RAW and the Delhi Police, can “intercept, monitor and decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource” under the Information and Technology Act, 2000.
To this Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he has a copy of the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs and added that “nowhere in the order national security has been mentioned”.
Jaitley replied: “It (national security) is mentioned in Section 69… And you are playing with the security of the country. That is what you have done just now.”
This led to a heated exchange between the opposition and treasury benches.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh pleaded to the members to restore order in the House. As both sides refused to relent, the Chair adjourned the House for the day.