Centre free to take action against Twitter for non-compliance with IT Rules 2021: Delhi HC

The court has given Twitter time till Thursday to clarify its stand

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 7, 2021 3:57 PM

The Delhi High Court has given a go-ahead to the central government to take action against microblogging site Twitter for non-compliance with the IT Rules 2021. The court also gave Twitter time till Thursday to clarify its stand with regard to compliance with the new IT Rules.

“We are not stopping you from taking action. The court has not granted any protection to Twitter. If they are in violation, you know what to do…I am not giving them any protection. I have already made it clear that they have to comply,” Justice Rekha Palli told Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma during a hearing on Tuesday.

ASG Sharma submitted that Twitter has failed to comply with the IT Rules 2021 despite being given a three-month window to do so. He added that Twitter remains non-compliant even after 40 days after the deadline to comply with the guidelines ended.

Justice Palli observed that non-appointment of resident grievance officer implies that Twitter is in defiance of Indian law. “If Twitter thinks it can take as long it wants in our country, I will not allow that…Come up with a clear response, otherwise you (Twitter) will be in trouble,” the bench warned senior counsel Sajan Poovayya, appearing for Twitter.

The HC also lambasted Twitter for misleading it vis-à-vis appointing an interim grievance officer. “You have misled the court and gave a wrong impression. Be that as it may, the least Twitter can do was appoint another officer after June 21. We are concerned with the compliance,” it said.

The ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) had on Monday informed the Delhi HC that Twitter has lost immunity under Section 79 of IT Act due to non-compliance with the IT Rules. Twitter has failed to comply with IT Rules on four counts including non-appointment of a chief compliance officer, resident grievance officer, and nodal contact person besides the physical contact address is also not available on its website.

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