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Cornered in court, Twitter takes steps to comply with India’s new IT law

Twitter is willing to comply with rules when cornered in the court

The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted two weeks' time to US social media giant Twitter to file an affidavit on compliance with India’s new Information Technology (IT) Rules.

The high court made it clear that the Central government was free to take action against Twitter Inc in case of any breach of the country’s new IT Rules.

The high court also directed that affidavits on compliance with the rules should also be filed by the officers appointed by Twitter in compliance with the law.

Twitter, on its part, informed the Delhi High Court that it has appointed an interim chief compliance officer, who is a resident of India, but requested for another eight weeks' time to appoint a grievance officer in the country. 

The social media giant also told the court that it will make its first compliance report public in three days on July 11.

Twitter said a full-time grievance officer will be appointed in eight weeks as it is accepting job applications for the position.

The Centre said in its affidavit that Twitter has failed to comply with India's new IT Rules, which could lead to its losing immunity conferred under the IT Act.

The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday pulled up Twitter for not complying with India’s new IT rules and had given the US social media giant time until Thursday to get back on when it will appoint a resident grievance officer. 

The high court made its displeasure very clear over Twitter giving a wrong impression to the court during the May 31 hearing as it was not informed that the resident grievance officer was appointed only on an interim basis.

The High Court also observed that if the interim officer left on June 21 there had been enough time for Twitter to appoint another officer in these 15 days since the matter was coming up for hearing on July 6.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation over Twitter not complying with the country’s IT law.