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Indian Government Informs Its Court That Twitter Has “Prima Facie” Appointed Officials 

The Delhi High Court has adjourned the matter to Oct. 5.

NEW DELHI — The Indian government on Aug. 10 informed the Delhi High Court that Twitter has, prima facie, appointed Chief Compliance Officer, Resident Grievance Officer, and Nodal Contact Person. 

The appointments comply with recently amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 of the country.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for Centre, informed Justice Rekha Palli regarding the developments in the case. Sharma also sought time to file an affidavit in this regard.

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for Twitter, told the Delhi High Court that permanent officers had been appointed by Twitter, who will report directly to the U.S. office.

Poovayya also informed the Court that Twitter did not have an office in India, and hence contingent officers were appointed earlier.

The court, after hearing the submission of the Centre, has adjourned the matter for Oct. 5.

Twitter Inc informed the Delhi High Court, on Aug. 6, that permanent appointments have been made for the posts of Chief Compliance Officer, Resident Grievance Officer, and Nodal contact person in compliance with certain provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

In its fresh affidavit, Twitter said that the firm appointed Vinay Prakash as its Chief Compliance Officer and its Resident Grievance Officer, and Shahin Komath for appointment as Nodal Contact Person.

Sharma had sought time to verify the new appointments made by Twitter.

The Delhi High Court had pulled up Twitter for not complying with the recently amended IT rules, expressing unhappiness with Twitter affidavits. The court granted the last opportunity to file a better affidavit containing the details of the person appointed as Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer.

The court was hearing a petition seeking direction to Centre 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.

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. 

Twitter had lost its intermediary status in India due to its non-compliance with the new rules. Several cases have been filed against Twitter in the country after it lost its intermediary status. 

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Praveen Pramod Tewari