Plea filed against Twitter in Delhi High Court over non-compliance of new rules

The plea says Twitter must perform their statutory and executive duties as a "significant social media intermediary".
Image courtesy: Reuters
Image courtesy: Reuters
Updated on May 28, 2021 12:00 PM IST
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ByRicha Banka, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A petition was filed in the Delhi high court on Friday against Twitter over its non-compliance with the new IT rules. The petition has been filed by Amit Acharya, a practising advocate at the Delhi high court and the Supreme Court, as described in the petition. The plea says Twitter must perform their statutory and executive duties as a "significant social media intermediary".

The new IT rules which were announced on February 25 and came into effect from May 26 (after a gap of three months) mandate social media intermediaries to disclose the first originator of one message, if flagged by the authorities. This is one of the many rules that the Centre wants social media platforms operating in India to abide by.

In reply, Twitter said it will continue to co-operate with the government but in the light of the recent developments, the company was concerned over the safety of its employees in India. This was in reference to the recent visit of a team of Delhi Police at Twitter's New Delhi office. The police team went to serve a notice to the India head after Twitter tagged BJP spokesperson's tweet as "manipulated media".

In its statement, issued on Thursday, Twitter also pointed out that some of the provisions in the new IT rules violate freedom of speech.

The Centre criticised Twitter's statement and said the rules were finalised after "widest possible consultations". "Twitter needs to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of the land. Law making and policy formulations is the sole prerogative of the sovereign and Twitter is just a social media platform and it has no locus in dictating what should India’s legal policy framework should be," it said.

Citing several recent examples of violations, the government said it is time that Twitter disabuses itself of this grandiosity and comply with the laws of India.


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