“I tabled this petition because Twitter was ignoring the country’s laws and preventing me from exercising my rights. The IT Rules 2021, which went into effect on May 25, stipulates that major social media intermediaries will appoint an India-based complaints officer who will respond to my complaints within 24 hours and resolve the issue within 15 should days, ”Amit Acharya, the attorney who filed a public interest litigation against the microblogging platform in the Delhi High Court, told MediaNama today.
Acharya’s petition alleges that Twitter failed to comply with the new IT rules in 2021 as it claims it cannot find details of a resident complaints officer on the microblogging platform’s website. The attorney, who practices in the Delhi HC and Supreme Court, asked the HC to instruct Twitter to appoint a resident complaints officer – as it claims to be required under IT rules 2021 – and to implement other sections of the new rules. Acharya named the Union of India (Department of Electronics and Information Technology), Twitter Inc and Twitter Communication India Private Limited (TCIPL) as respondents on the petition.
“They had 3 months to implement the rules, but Twitter ignored them. In place of an India-based Complaints Officer, Twitter currently has an office in the United States of America. I tried to voice my complaints, but I was unsuccessful. My request to the Delhi Supreme Court that Twitter should issue strict instructions on how to comply with IT rules in 2021, ”added Acharya.
On May 27, during a conversation about the IT rules 2021, Twitter said for the first time that the platform was concerned about the requirement to make the “compliance officer” criminally liable for content on the platform. The microblogging website also requested a three-month extension for the implementation of the rule, adding that it has complaints from users and laws according to its existing complaint channel.
Mention of the existing complaint channel and its official, Jeremy Kessel, based in San Francisco, California, is also mentioned in Amit Acharya’s petition. The PIL accessed by MediaNama read: “The petitioner has submitted that when the petitioner searched for the details of the Resident Grievance Officer on Respondent No. 3’s page, he found that he was a US citizen, ie Jeremy Kessel, who has been appointed Grievance Officer, is not actually the implementation of rule 4 of the information technology guidelines (broker guidelines and digital code of ethics) 2021. “
A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on the matter.
Acharya had complained about 2 tweets, one from a TMC politician
In the PIL copy received and verified by MediaNama, attorney Acharya, the Twitter user, said that on May 26th he came across two “defamatory, false and untrue tweets” made by two verified users. Acharya claimed that the tweets were from Mahua Moitra MP on Twitter notification to Delhi Police, and the journalist Swati Chaturvedi about former Chief Justice of India Sharav Arvind Bode were “obnoxious and obnoxious”.
The petition states: “It is submitted that the petitioner wanted to lodge a complaint against these abusive and indecent tweets to the appropriate forum, ie Resident Grievance Officer under the Information Technology Rules (Intermediary Policy and Digital Code of Ethics) 2021. The petitioner could not find anything the contact details of the Resident Grievance Officer on the website of Respondent No. 3 under the Rules for Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Code of Ethics) 2021 to make his complaint. ”
Prayer of the PIL
- Appointment of a complainant: The petitioner would like the Delhi Supreme Court to issue an order or order that the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Union of India issue the necessary instructional order to Twitter Communication India Private Limited (TCIPL) and Twitter Inc. to a resident complaints officer Appoint “under Rule 4 of” Information Technology Guidelines (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Code of Ethics) 3021. Acharya requested the court to direct an order to Twitter Communication India Private Limited and Twitter to appoint a resident complaints officer.
- Follow the IT rules 2021: The petitioner also wants the Delhi Supreme Court to bring any appropriate action against the Union of India and Twitter “in order to promptly comply with their executive, legal and all other obligations regarding the 2021 Information Technology Rules (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Code of Ethics)” .
MeitY urges Twitter to comply with Indian law
May, hours after Twitter announced that it was establishing provisions of the IT Rules 2021 – specifically that the chief compliance officer would be criminally liable for content on the platform, the Department of Electronics, Information and Technology said Twitter was the legal system in the country undermines. Twitter needs to stop messing around the bush and comply with the country’s laws. Legislation and policy formulation are the sole prerogative of the sovereign and Twitter is just a social media platform and has no place to dictate what the legal framework of India should look like, “the ministry said in a Press release.
Twitter had also said that the Delhi police visit their offices to deliver a notice related to the alleged congressional toolkit was intimidating. Delhi police responded in a detailed press release that the microblogging testimony was aimed at preventing a lawful investigation.
The Delhi police had previously sent a message to Twitter asking for clarification after the social media platform labeled tweets by BJP spokesman Sambit Patra and others as “manipulated media” in the alleged congressional toolkit. The Delhi Police, who are currently investigating the Toolkit case, reached out to Twitter to inform them that “Twitter appears to have some information we do not know on the basis of which they have classified it as such (compromised media)” a The Delhi police were quoted by ANI.