IT Rules: Centre Files Plea for Transfer of Cases From HCs to SC
The Centre on Monday, 5 July, told the Delhi High Court that Twitter has failed to comply with IT Rules 2021.
The central government, on Tuesday, 6 July, filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of all petitions challenging the constitution of the Information Technology Rules, 2021, from various high courts to the apex court.
A number of petitions challenging the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, are either pending or presently being heard in different high courts across the country. The high courts include those at Delhi, Bombay, Madras, and Kerala.
THE NEW IT RULES
On 25 February 2021, the Indian government notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules).
The IT Rules comprehensively regulate different sets of intermediaries and lay down the requirements, which are to be adhered by them. They also regulate Digital Media, which includes regulating the dissemination of OTT and online news content.
The IT Rules have garnered criticism for stifling free speech, undermining encryption, and burdening intermediaries with harsh obligations.
MEANWHILE, CENTRE’S ROW WITH TWITTER
The Centre on Monday, 5 July, told the Delhi High Court that Twitter has failed to comply with IT Rules 2021 as on Thursday, 1 July, leading to a loss of its immunity as an "intermediary".
According to IANS, in a short affidavit, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said: "IT Rules, 2021 are the law of the land and Respondent No. 2 (Twitter) is mandatorily required to comply with the same. Any non-compliance amounts to breach of the provisions of the IT Rules, thereby leading to Respondent No. 2 losing its immunity conferred under Section 79(1) of the IT Act, 2000."
The affidavit further said that the immunity conferred on intermediaries under Section 79(1) is a conditional immunity subject to the intermediary satisfying the conditions under Sections 79(2) and 79(3).
(With inputs from Bar and Bench.)
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