Twitter has lost its immunity: Centre to Delhi HC

In a short affidavit, Meity notified the court that Twitter has failed to comply to the new IT rules on four counts

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 6, 2021 8:57 AM

Micro-blogging platform Twitter has failed to comply with IT Rules 2021 on four counts, the centre has informed the Delhi High Court. The centre argued that Twitter has not appointed a chief compliance officer and the position of the resident grievance officer is vacant. Further, the position of the nodal contact person is also vacant. It also said that the physical contact address, which was shown to be there on May 29, is not available on Twitter’s website.

In a short affidavit filed through N. Samaya Balan, a scientist in the Cyber Law Group with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), the centre said that the 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 government noted 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). “As provided in Rule 7, failure to observe the IT Rules, 2021 results in provisions of Section 79(1) of the IT Act, 2000 not being applicable to such an intermediary,” added the affidavit.

Last week, Twitter had informed the Delhi High Court that it is in the final stages of appointing a resident grievance officer in India. The platform had also said that even before steps were taken to formalise the appointment of a grievance officer in India, the interim grievance officer had withdrawn his candidature on June 21.

“The answering respondent is in the final stages of appointing a replacement while in the meanwhile the grievances of the Indian users are being addressed by the grievance officer,” the microblogging platform had said in its reply.

Delhi High Court bench of Justice Rekha Palli had issued a notice to the microblogging platform on May 31 giving it three weeks’ time to file its reply. The matter was posted for further hearing on July 6.

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