From Aihik Sur and Aroon Deep
During the hearing on a petition filed against Twitter alleging non-compliance with the information technology rules (intermediary guidelines and digital code of ethics) in 2021, the social media platform informed the Delhi Supreme Court on Monday that it had appointed an attorney to complain has in accordance with the new rules, reports the PTI, Cash and bank said. MediaNama was able to verify this from Twitter website that the company has appointed Dharmendra Chatur, a designated partner of the law firm that Twitter represents before the Delhi Supreme Court, as interim complaints officer. The help document on the Twitter website did not include Chatur’s name when the page was last archived by the Internet Archive on January 30th.
According to the Bar and Bench report, senior lawyer Sajan Poovayya, who appeared on Twitter, told the Rekha Palli judiciary that the company, which under the new IT rules falls under the category of Major Social Media Intermediary (SSMI), is nominating a GRO by letter Has. The new rules require SSMIs to adhere to additional due diligence obligations, such as appointing a chief compliance officer, a node contact person, or a resident complaints officer.
The non-compliance petition was filed Friday by attorney Amit Acharya, a Twitter user, who claimed he could not find details of a resident complaints officer on the microblogging platform’s website. “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 raise my complaints, but I was unsuccessful, ”Acharya told MediaNama.
On Monday, Twitter attorney Poovayya was quoted by Bar and Bench as saying, “On the day this petition was submitted, the rules were not being followed. Then (on May 28th) they were. I’ll file it on an affidavit. ”Although Palli said the court would settle the matter today if the rules were followed, Twitter indicated that it would file its position on an affidavit, as Twitter Inc. is a US -Business, the report added.
These developments come at a time when the social media platform is embroiled in a dispute with the Indian government and Delhi police. First, the Delhi police had visited Twitter’s offices to file a complaint related to an investigation into a toolkit allegedly created by the Indian National Congress. Twitter then issued a statement saying it was concerned about its employees in India and about “the potential threats to freedom of expression for the people we serve.”
The Indian government did not take these statements lightly and condemned them, but the conflagration with the administration is also due to compliance with the new IT rules. Twitter had previously expressed concerns about the need to make additional appointments, in particular with regard to the provisions on criminal liability of the Chief Compliance Officer for content on the platform.
On Monday, Judge Palli also made it clear that Twitter must comply with the new IT rules if they have not been blocked. The matter will next be heard on July 6th, with the court allowing Twitter Inc to file its response and the petitioner to file a rejoinder on the matter.