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Delhi HC grants last opportunity to Twitter to file ‘better’ affidavit regarding interim officers

Wed, 28 Jul 2021   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up Twitter for not complying with the recently amended IT rules, expressed unhappiness with Twitter affidavits, and granted the last opportunity to file a better affidavit having the details of the person appointed as Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer.

“Are you serious about it,” asked Justice Rekha Palli and criticised Twitter after taking note of the affidavits filed by the company.

“The affidavits clearly show of total non-compliance of rules,” the Court said granting one week’s time as the last opportunity to file a better affidavit in terms of the earlier orders passed by the Court.

The Court made it clear that the affidavit must clearly set out details of persons who have been appointed as Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance officer and also furnish reasons why nodal contact person is not appointed till date and in what time will he be appointed.

The matter was adjourned for August 6, for further hearing.

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter, informed the Delhi High Court that two affidavits were filed as regards Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer. The affidavit of entity has clarified that appointments have been made and we will no more use the word ‘interim’.

But the Court pulled up Twitter for using the term “contingent worker” and asked what does it mean.

Advocate replied that Twitter Inc’s is situated outside and they do not have a physical office in India. But, the response could not convince the Court, which remarked that “you are still doing business in India.”

High Court said it is not happy with the affidavits filed by Twitter.

The Court said it is not acceptable that appointing Chief Compliance Officer and Resident Grievance Officer as contingent workers.

The Court remarked that if the company wanted to comply with IT rules, comply wholeheartedly.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for Centre, also said the Court is correct and if Twitter wants to comply, they should comply wholeheartedly.

Twitter has filed affidavits with its status of IT Rules Compliances on July 11, in accordance with HC’s July 8 order.

Twitter in the affidavit said that it won’t use the term “interim” anymore. The usage of the word was to denote the fact that employees have not been appointed to these positions, but contingent workers have been appointed, till the permanent offers are made.

Vinay Prakash has submitted a separate affidavit confirming he has been appointed as Chief Compliance Officer and Resident grievance officer by Twitter. (Interim basis)

He said he is not an employee but engaged as a contingent worker, and undertakes responsibilities as per law.

Twitter has told High Court that the same person, Vinay Prakash, has been appointed to two posts.

Twitter has told High Court it has been using the term interim because the appointees are not employees but contingent workers on a third party contract.

The complainant said appointments have no merit under the law because the appointees are not employees of Twitter and they are not entitled to carry out all obligations.

The Court was hearing a petition seeking direction to the Union of India to pass necessary instruction to Twitter Communication India Private Limited and Twitter Inc to appoint Resident Grievance Officer under Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules 2021 without any delay.

The petition has been filed by Amit Acharya a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court, through lawyers Akash Vajpai and Manish Kumar.

The petitioner has said that he has filed a petition against the non-compliance of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 by the Twitter Communication India Private Limited & Twitter Inc and seeking an appropriate Writ or instruction against Respondent Centre Govt and Twitter to perform its statutory and executive duty under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

According to Rule 4(c) of the IT Rule, every Significant Social Media Intermediary has to appoint a Resident Grievance Officer, who shall subject to clause (b), be responsible for the functions referred to in sub-rule (2) of rule 3, stated the petition. (ANI)


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