More than 150 citizens have written to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleging that a committee, chaired by former Supreme Court judge Justice BN Srikrishna, formed to come up with a draft data protection bill, was neither transparent nor diverse.

The letter was sent after a report in Medianama said that the Information Technology Ministry has refused to share copies of submissions sent by members of the public to the committee. The ministry has also refused to hand over minutes of the committee’s meetings. Medianama had filed a query under the Right to Information Act.

Prasad heads the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology that had constituted the committee.

“The information should have all been proactively disclosed by the government as per the Pre-legislative Consultation Policy adopted by the Government of India in February 2014,” read the letter. “It is the function of the Ministry of Law and Justice, which is ironically also headed by the same Cabinet Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, to ensure that this pre-legislative process is followed and that all this information is in the public domain.”

Among the signatories of the letter are advocates Indira Jaising and Prashant Bhushan, the first Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah, and transparency activists.

The committee was set up in August when the Supreme Court started hearing petitions to decide if privacy was a fundamental right in the light of Aadhaar being made mandatory for a host of welfare schemes.

The challenges to Aadhaar come from various fronts, including concerns by citizens about storing and sharing their biometric information with the UIDAI. While UIDAI claims that user data in its repositories are safe and secure, the committee is supposed to design a broader framework that covers all other kinds of data and ensure that the ministry can deliberate on these issues as soon as possible.