On 8 July, the Delhi High Court stated that as per the new IT rules, the central government can take action against Twitter for non-compliance. The court has directed the social media company to file an affidavit in two weeks pertaining to the appointment of the interim officers notarized in the United States.
The comments come after the newly elected Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, made remarks on his stance on Twitter and Central Government Tussle. He stated that whoever has lived in the territory of India or has worked for the Indian audience must obey the rules of the territory because the “law of the land is supreme.”
By stating this, he has not only clarified his viewpoints on the issues but also maintained a similar stance as his predecessor, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Justice Rekha Patil listed a plea in the Delhi High Court alleging that Twitter should comply with the IT rules by July 28.
She also stated that since the court has granted the microblogging site a certain period to file an affidavit that will denote its compliance with the IT rules till then, Twitter may not be provided with interim protection and the Union of India can take action against the platform in case of violation of the law.
On July 5, the Delhi High Court had informed the microblogging site to provide its stance on compliance with the new IT rules by Thursday. The microblogging site informed Twitter that it has appointed a resident of India as a Chief Compliance Officer.
However, the company said it will be needing further 8 weeks to appoint a resident grievance officer (RGO). It also stated that the company will be setting up a liaison office in India since it has been operating from a third party. The liaison office will be a physical address for further communications under the new IT act.
Twitter also notified the court that it will be sending its first physical compliance report by July 11. The scanned copies of the notarized affidavit are expected to be filed by July 13.
Justice Rekha Palli informed the court that the earlier appointed Resident Grievance Officer (RGO), Dharmendra Chatur, was appointed on an interim basis and the court was not informed about the interim basis of the appointment. The court in the previous hearing expressed displeasure with the delay in the appointment of the grievance officer.
Twitter Inc has informed the court that it has appointed a chief compliance officer (CCO), and it is expected to appoint an interim resident grievance officer and nodal contact officer by July 11.
Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya representing the microblogging site stated that the platform is in the process of recruiting a qualified individual for the position.
The US-based company has been in a storm over its failure to comply with the new IT rules, which have been mandated by the government of India across all social media platforms.
Failing to comply with the rules can result in the safety harbor threat to the social media platform acting as an intermediary. A loss of safety harbor can make the social media company vulnerable to an FIR for any objectionable content posted on the platform, in violation of the law of India.