“If Twitter Thinks It Can Take As Long As It Wants…”: A Court Warning

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Twitter was today sternly told by the Delhi High Court that 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.

“We aren’t giving them any protection. We have already made it clear. They have to comply with the rules,” the High Court said.

On Monday, the government told the court that Twitter could lose its legal immunity to action over third party content for not complying with rules.

The Centre said according to details on the company’s website, grievances from India were being handled by an official in the US, which meant non-compliance of the new IT Rules.

The rules are the law of the land and Twitter had to comply, the Centre said in response to a petition by lawyer Amit Acharya accusing Twitter of violating rules.

After the resignation of Dharmendra Chatur, a partner at a law firm representing Twitter, Twitter appointed its US-bsaed Global Legal Policy Director Jeremy Kessel as grievance officer for India. The new rules, however, require an Indian resident for the role.

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