NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that microblogging site Twitter has failed to comply with the country’s new IT rules, which is the law of the land and is mandatorily required to be complied with.
The deadline for complying with the new rules was May 26. “In spite of the three months’ time granted to all SSMIs to comply with the IT Rules 2021 having expired on 26.05.2021, Respondent No. 2 (Twitter) has failed to fully comply with the same,” the affidavit stated.
The government said any non-compliance amounts to a breach of provisions of the new digital rules, leading to Twitter losing its immunity conferred under the IT Act. Twitter has lost immunity from criminal prosecution for content on it since it hasn’t complied with the IT rules on the appointment of grievance redressal officers, the government told the HC.
“Rule 7 provides that when an intermediary fails to observe these Rules, the provisions of section 79 (1) will not be available and the intermediary shall be liable for any punishment under any law for the time being in force in respect of the offending content,” the affidavit said.
It went on to note how Twitter’s interim resident grievance officer and interim nodal contact person resigned from their positions, after which grievances raised in India were being dealt with by a person in the US. Twitter had recently appointed California-based Jeremy Kessel as the new grievance officer for India after interim officer Dharmendra Chatur stepped down.
The affidavit also made it clear that Twitter will not be protected under the safe harbour protections under the Information Technology Act if it continues to be in non-compliance with the IT Rules, 2021.