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Twitter Will Have To Comply With IT Rules Unless They Are Stayed

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 31, May 2021, 18:33 pm IST | UPDATED: 31, May 2021, 18:33 pm IST

Twitter Will Have To Comply With IT Rules Unless They Are Stayed

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued a notice in response to a petition against Twitter for not complying with India's Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).

A bench of Justice Rekha Palli said: "I am inclined to issue notice. If the rules have not been stayed, then they have to comply with the rules."

Advocate Amit Acharya moved the plea seeking the Delhi High Court's direction to the union government for passing necessary instructions to Twitter India 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 High Court has issued a notice to the Centre and social media platform Twitter asking to know their stand on the plea.

The counsel for Twitter submitted that the rules were not complied with at the time when the petition was filed, however, they have been complied with now. The resident grievance officer was appointed on May 28 and a reply will be filed in the matter, the counsel added.

On the other hand, Advocate Akash Vajpai, representing the petitioner, submitted that the appointment of resident grievance officer is not according to the IT Rules.

Another counsel for the petitioner contended that while Twitter states that a resident grievance officer has been appointed, they don't know if they've appointed it as per law.

The bench told the counsel to not interject, just for the sake of interjecting. "That's why I am issuing notice and not disposing the plea", said the court.

The court has listed for further hearing on July 6.

The plea had contended that Twitter is a "Significant Social Media Intermediary" (SSMI) as laid down under the IT Rules, 2021 and therefore must ensure compliance with the statutory duties imposed upon it by the provisions of these rules".

Earlier today, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad spoke exclusively to ABP News over the new IT rules and revealed that all social media platforms are ready to abide by the rules except Twitter.

The Union Minister said that Twitter will have to follow the new rules to operate in India. Ravi Shankar Prasad, "If you want to do business in India you will have to follow the constitutional laws, else you can go back to your own country and leave your userbase here."

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also clarified that the government is not going to interfere in anybody's private life and read their messages, but it wants to stop the terrorist attacks, harassment of women, violence, religious riots, and many other incidences which can hamper the national integrity.

Twitter has deputed the same person, a lawyer, as the grievance officer, compliance officer, and nodal officer

On being asked about the future of Twitter in India, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that what Twitter has done is against the rules as they should have deputed their employees in the three positions and not a lawyer. As Twitter has failed to abide by the rules, the Central government will ponder on the issue and make a decision, the IT minister added.

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