Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

'Prayers Are Satisfied': Delhi High Court Closes Plea Against Twitter For Non Compliance Of IT Rules, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal
5 Oct 2021 11:00 AM GMT
Prayers Are Satisfied: Delhi High Court Closes Plea Against Twitter For Non Compliance Of IT Rules, 2021
x

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of the plea filed against Twitter India and Twitter Inc for their non-compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).Justice Rekha Palli closed the plea after taking on record the affidavit filed on behalf of the Centre informing the Court that Twitter had appointed...

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of the plea filed against Twitter India and Twitter Inc for their non-compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).

Justice Rekha Palli closed the plea after taking on record the affidavit filed on behalf of the Centre informing the Court that Twitter had appointed Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Resident Grievance Officer in compliance of the IT Rules, 2021.

"Now there is nothing in this. Your prayers are satisfied. I'm not dealing with anything which is beyond the prayers," the Court said.

However, the Judge granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the appropriate forum in case of future grievances.

Previously, the Court had taken a strong objection over the Affidavits filed on behalf of Twitter stating that it has appointed Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer as 'contingent workers'.

Thereafter, Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya apprised the Court that Twitter has appointed permanent people to the said posts from August 4 onwards.

Subsequently, the Central Government made a statement in the Court that Twitter "seems" to be in compliance with the IT Rules 2021.

"Twitter has clearly acknowledged that the said personnel Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), Nodal Contact Person (NCO), and Resident Grievance Officer (RGO) are appointed as Twitter's employees and not as 'contingent workers'. Twitter has provided the names of the said appointed personnel and their respective positions," Centre had disclosed in its affidavit.

Significantly, Twitter had earlier told the High Court that it is striving to comply with the 2021 Rules, however, it reserves its right to challenge the legality, validity, and vires of the Rules.

This was after the Court lashed out on the social media giant, saying that it was not going to give Twitter any protection from consequences of non-compliance.

About the Petiton

The development comes in a petition filed by one Amit Acharya, a practicing advocate in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India, and a user of the platform, stating 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.

The petition alleged that according to Rule 4(c) of the aforesaid IT Rules, every SSMI has to appoint a "Resident Grievance Officer", who shall, amongst others, be responsible for the redressal and disposal of complaints made by a user or "victim" on the platform.

He contended that in non-compliance with the Rules, Twitter India and Twitter have failed to appoint any Resident Grievance Officer, Nodal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.

It is thus stated that as "a subscriber and user of Twitter" while "scrolling his Twitter on May 26, 2021," he found allegedly "defamatory, false and untrue tweets" by two individuals.

As per the Rules, he tried to look for the Resident Grievance Officer to lodge a complaint with, however, he found no details of the Resident Grievance Officer on the page of Twitter, "which is a clear violation of Sub-Rule 2(a) of Rule 3 which says that the intermediary shall prominently publish on its website, mobile based application or both, as the case may be, the name of the Grievance Officer and his contact details."

Therefore, it is stated that Twitter and Twitter India have "deprived him of his statutory right to lodge complaint before the Resident Grievance Officer".

The petitioner had thus prayed for the appointment of a Resident Grievance Officer and discharge of all other statutory and executive duties under the IT Rules by Twitter and Twitter India.

Case Title: Amit Acharya v. UOI & Ors.

Next Story