Thursday, June 8, 2023

Finally, Centre accepts Twitter is in compliance with IT rules before Delhi High Court

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The Central government on Tuesday informed the Delhi High Court that microblogging site Twitter prima facie is in compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli granted time to the petitioner and the Central Government to file their respective affidavits in relation to Twitter’s compliance of IT Rules, 2021 till October 8, the next date of hearing.

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing on behalf of Twitter, informed the court that they have appointed employees with permanent status as Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), Grievance Officer (GO) and Nodal Contact Person (NCP), in accordance with the new IT Rules, 2021.

Mr Poovayya further informed the court that they have appointed Vinay Prakash as the permanent Resident Grievance Officer (RGO) and CCO, while Shahin Komath has been appointed as the NCP. 

ASG Mr. Sharma for the Centre said that the Twitter prima facie was in compliance with IT Rules 2021 as of today and appointments made now should not be withdrawn tomorrow.

The court on previous date had deferred the hearing after the Central Government’s request for time to verify whether Twitter has made appointments in accordance of the New IT Rules, 2021. 

The next date for hearing is October 8, 2021.

Also Read: Delhi High Court disposes of plea related to advertisement of liquor after hoardings removed by company

It is pertinent to note that the petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court alleging that Twitter has not complied with the Centre’s IT Rules to appoint a resident grievance officer, and sought directions to the social media platform to comply without any delay. Petitioner Amit Acharya stated that the IT Rules came into effect from February 25 and the Centre had given three months to every social media intermediary, including Twitter, to comply with them. In his plea, filed through advocate Akash Vajpai and Manish Kumar, Acharya said he came to know about the alleged non-compliance when he tried to lodge a complaint against a couple of tweets. Under the new digital rules, social media companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have been asked to identify within 36 hours the originator of a flagged message as well as conduct additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer. 

Previously, the court had granted time to Twitter India to come up with a ‘better affidavit’ clearly setting out the details of the person who have been stated to be appointed as Chief Compliance Officer cum Resident Grievance Officer in compliance with the Information Technology. 

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