Strive to Comply With Laws in India: Twitter After Delhi HC Notice

The court on Monday had said that the social media platform must comply with the rules if they have not been stayed.

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New IT rules effecting Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other social media giants came into effect from 26 May.

The Delhi High Court on Monday, 31 May, issued a notice in a plea seeking action against Twitter owing to its alleged non-compliance with the new IT Rules for digital media. The court said that the social media platform must comply with the rules if they have not been stayed.

Responding to the notice, a Twitter spokesperson said that the microblogging company "strives to comply" with applicable laws in India.

Justice Rekha Palli’s single judge bench stated that as per the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, Twitter is a “Significant Social Media Intermediary” (SSMI) and therefore must adhere too all required provisions in the order.

The petition, filed by HC lawyer Amir Acharya, alleges that Twitter India and Twitter have failed to comply with Rule 4(c) of the new legislation, which states that every SSMI has to ensure the appointment of a "Resident Grievance Officer", who will head the redressal and complaint mechanism.

The officer will be responsible for lodging complaints put forward by ‘victims’ of any transgression on the social media site.

However, senior advocate Sajan Poovaya, appearing for Twitter Inc. stated in court that it has already appointed Resident Grievance Officer on Friday, 28 May.

A Twitter spokesperson in a statement said, "As we have stated earlier, Twitter strives to comply with applicable laws in India. We continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the Indian law."

The Union government contested this claim. Subsequently, the Court has given Twitter three weeks to file a response and posted the matter for 6 July.

Lawyer Amit Acharya’s plea has been filed through advocate Akash Vajpai and Manish Kumar.

OTT Rules Take Effect

The central government on 26 May issued a notification saying that the deadline to comply with new legal IT rules, which were issued by the government three months ago, came to an end on 25 May.

The rules involve appointing officials such as a resident grievance officer, a chief compliance officer, and a nodal contact person, as well as complaint resolution, monitoring of objectionable content, compliance report, and removal of objectionable content.

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