In a statement to Delhi High Court, Twitter notifies that it will be appointing a Grievance Officer within eight weeks per the new IT Rules of the country.
Twitter has been called to answer the Court’s decisions for not complying with the new IT Rules till now and even has been warned that it may soon lose its status in India.
What are the new rules for Twitter to follow?
Recently the Government released new Information Technology, 2021 (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code). These rules are secondary or subordinate legislation that suppresses India’s Intermediary Guidelines Rules of 2011, mainly dealing with social media and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
The authorities that have coordinated these rules are the Central Government of India, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). It aims to give more power to the hands of users so that any of their grievances could be efficiently dealt with within a fixed time limit and by proper authority.
For this, it asked every platform including Twitter to appoint a three-level grievance redressal mechanism, which would include a Resident Grievance Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and a Nodal Contact Officer.
Intermediaries had until May 25, 2021, to comply with rules, but it has exceeded farther than the limit bringing it under the direct eyes of the Government and Court for Twitter.
Twitter, as of now, has not appointed an official for which it was called to the Court. Earlier this week, on Monday, the Centre made it clear to the Court that by not abiding by the IT Rules of 2021, the site has lost its immunity granted to the intermediaries under the law.
“How long does it take? Suppose Twitter thinks that they can take as long as they want to take in our country. In that case, I will not permit that,” said Justice Palli while hearing a petition filed, alleging Twitter not appointing any Grievance Officer.
On Tuesday of this week, the Court recognising the facts and looking at the forever time Twitter was taking, gave a free pass to the Centre to act against the micro-blogging firm.
Yesterday in response to this warning by the High Court, Twitter assured the Court that it would appoint its Grievance Officer within eight weeks and set up a liaison office in India that will work as its permanent address for physical contact. It added that a resident of India has already been appointed as the Interim Chief on July 6 for the time being.
They are on the lookout for two other executives who will soon join the team. The company also agreed to submit its compliance report covering May 26 to June 25 under the IT rules no later than July 11.
The company had to go through this turmoil when its appointed Interim Chief, Dharmendra Chatur, suddenly stepped down from the post.
Only a day after, the company established California based Global Legal Policy Director Jeremy Kessel as the new Grievance Officer of India. Still, it did not please the Court as the rules call for the appointment of only an Indian resident to the post.
As of now, Twitter has publicly posted a job announcement for the Resident Grievance Officer. A document filed by Twitter says, “to make an offer of employment of a qualified individual to fill this position within eight weeks”.
In a statement made by Twitter Interim Officer, he said, “While Twitter is striving hard to comply with the 2021 IT Rules, Twitter reserves its right to challenge the legality, validity and vires of the rules, and Twitter’s submissions are filed without prejudice to its right to challenge the rules.” The statement clarifies that war may continue between the Centre and Twitter. However, meanwhile, it will abide by the rules.