LE Desk

New Delhi, July 6, 2021: Twitter has misled the court by failing to clarify that the Grievance Officer appointed was merely interim in nature, Delhi High Court said on Tuesday. 

The High Court said the social media giant it cannot take “as long as it wants” in this country to appoint a grievance officer. The company has been given time till Thursday to tell the court when it will appoint an India-based officer.

Twitter, which is weeks past its deadline to comply with new IT rules requiring social media sites to appoint India-based officers, said it was in the process of appointing one and would need two more weeks.

“How long does your process take? If Twitter thinks it can take as long it wants in our country, I will not allow that,” Justice Rekha Palli said.

Appearing for Twitter, senior counsel Sajan Poovayya said it “might need two weeks’ time” to appoint a grievance officer.

The High Court asked Twitter why no new India-based grievance officer had been appointed after the resignation of Dharmendra Chatur on June 21.

The lawyer, asked by the court to take a proper timeline from Twitter, requested a day as the social media giant’s headquarters are in the US.

“You better come up with a clear response or you will be in trouble,” the High Court responded, posting the next hearing to Thursday.

The Centre argued that Twitter had already been given three months yet had not complied with the rules.

This comes a day after the Centre told the Delhi High Court that the social media giant has failed to comply with India’s new IT Rules, which could lead to losing its immunity conferred under the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The Centre, in an affidavit filed in the high court, said as per the details obtained from Twitter’s website or mobile application, as an interim, the grievances from India are being handled by the platform’s official located in the US which amounts to non-compliance of the IT Rules, 2021.

The IT Rules, 2021 are the law of the land and Twitter is mandatorily required to comply with the same, said the affidavit filed in response to a plea by lawyer Amit Acharya, in which he claimed non-compliance of the Centre’s new IT Rules by the microblogging platform.

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