New Delhi [India], July 5 (ANI): Twitter Inc has failed to fully comply with the IT Rules 2021 in spite of the three months time granted to all Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs), the Central government told the Delhi High Court on Monday.
The deadline for complying with the new rules was May 26, 2021.
In an affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court, the Centre said Twitter Inc has failed to comply with the IT Rules, 2021 as on July 1, 2021.
Chief Compliance Officer has not been appointed, the position of the Resident Grievance Officer is vacant, the position of Nodal Contact Person,(even on an interim basis), is vacant, the physical contact address, which was shown to be there on 29th May 2021 is once again not available on Twitter's website, stated the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in its affidavit.
The Centre also stated any non-compliance amounts to a breach of the provisions of the IT Rules, 2021 thereby leading to Twitter inc losing its immunity conferred under section 79(1) of the IT Act, 2000. It said that the IT Rules, 2021 are the law of the land and Twitter Inc is mandatorily required to comply with the same.
"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," read the affidavit.
Any non-compliance amounts to a breach of the provisions of the IT Rules, 2021 thereby leading to Twitter Inc losing its immunity conferred under section 79(1) of the IT Act, 2000, it said.
Twitter Inc in its reply recently had told the Delhi High Court that the interim Resident Grievance Officer of the microblogging site withdrew his candidature on June 21 and it is in the final stages of appointing a new person for the post of Resident Grievance Officer.
The company said it is in the final stages of appointing a replacement while in the meanwhile the grievances of Indian users are being addressed by the Grievance Officer.
The Centre and Twitter's responses have been filed in a petition alleging non-compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, in which the Delhi High Court had issued notice.
A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli sought a response and listed the matter for July 6. However, petitioner advocate Akash Vajpai had argued that appointment is not as per rules.
Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for Twitter Inc, had told the High Court that they were not able to comply at the date of filing of the petition but now Twitter has complied with the rules and appointed Resident Grievance Officer.
The Court was hearing a petition seeking direction to the Central government to pass necessary instructions to Twitter Communication India Private Limited and Twitter Inc to appoint Resident Grievance Officer under Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules 2021 without any delay.
The petitioner has said that he has filed a petition against the non-compliance of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 by the Twitter Communication India Private Limited & Twitter Inc and seeking an appropriate Writ or instruction against Respondent Centre Government and Twitter to perform its statutory and executive duty under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
According to Rule 4(c) of the IT Rule, every Significant Social Media Intermediary has to appoint a Resident Grievance Officer, who shall, subject to clause (b), be responsible for the functions referred to in sub-rule (2) of rule 3, stated the petition. (ANI)