The Information Technology Rules, 2021, which were notified in February, impose several obligations on online entities including an obligation to take down contentious content quicker.
Bombay HC gives interim stay to part of IT Rules which mandate code of ethics for digital publishers
Compulsory adherence to code of ethics was in breach of the petitioners' right to free speech guaranteed under Art 19 of the Constitution, Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni said.
On July 28, the court had expressed displeasure over Twitter appointing a contingent worker as CCO and said that the social media platform was in non-compliance with the new IT Rules.
The new IT rules require large digital platforms - with over 5 million users - to publish monthly compliance reports, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon.
Twitter had told HC that the same person, Vinay Prakash, has been appointed to “two posts” and that it has been using the term “interim” because the appointees are not employees but contingent workers
Granting time to the Centre to file its counter affidavit, the court listed the plea for further hearing on September 13.
The new rules which came into effect from May 25 mandate social media companies to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for resolving complaints from the users or victims.
Justice Rekha Palli granted two weeks to Twitter to file hard copies of the notarised affidavit of a competent officer on compliance with the new rules.
Several petitions challenging the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, are pending adjudication in different high courts.
A Bench of Justice Rekha Palli while deferring the matter for July 8, asked Twitter Counsel Sr Sajan Poovayya to make a 'clear stand' from Twitter over compliance under the new IT rules.
The Centre, in an affidavit filed in the high court, said that any non-compliance amounts to breach of provisions of IT Rules, leading to Twitter losing its immunity conferred under the IT Act.
A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli sought a response and listed the matter for July 6.
Instagram took action against about two million pieces across nine categories during the same period.
Bengaluru headquartered micro-blogging site said that of the 5,502 Koos reported by the Community, 22.7% (1,253) were removed, while other action was taken against the rest – 4,249.
The panel secretariat will also be writing to Twitter for explanations about the basis on which the accounts of Tharoor and Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were suspended.