HC: Govt free to act against Twitter for IT rules violation

SourceTimes of India

Relevance: New IT rules aim to regulate social media, digital news media, and Over-The-Top (OTT) content providers.


The Delhi high court recently said that the government was “free to take action” against microblogging site Twitter for not following the new IT Rules and warned the platform it would be “in trouble” if it fails to comply.

About the case:

As per the New IT Rules, significant Social media intermediaries like Twitter, WhatsApp has to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person, and a Resident Grievance Officer (RGO) in India. All of them should be Indian Residents.

The HC was currently hearing a plea alleging failure by Twitter to comply with the Centre’s new Information Technology Rules. The Court also observed that the three-month window was given to the intermediaries to comply with the rules.

Despite the time window, the HC pointed out that only an interim RGO was appointed by Twitter. The Court observed this as a violation of Government rules.

The Government argument in the case:

The Central government has approached the SC seeking transfer of all petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2021, from various high courts to the top court. This is due to the following reasons,

  • The Centre has filed a transfer petition saying several HCs including Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Kerala, are seized of the issue, and the issue be adjudicated by the apex court.
  • Several pleas challenging the validity of the new IT rules are pending adjudication in various courts.
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