Twitter appointed Permanent Grievance Redressal Officer, Centre tells Delhi HC

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New Delhi, 24 September: The Central Government has informed the Delhi High Court through an affidavit that Twitter has appointed permanent Grievance Redressal Officers following the new IT rules. The High Court will hear the matter on October 5.

The court had on August 10 directed the Central Government to file an affidavit on whether Twitter has appointed grievance redressal officers.

During the hearing, advocate Sajjan Powaiya, appearing for Twitter, had said that the permanent grievance redressal officers appointed by Twitter will report directly to Twitter’s US office.

Then the court had asked Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, what the central government had to say. Then Sharma had said that prima facie he has appointed Chief Grievance Officer, Local Grievance Officer and Nodal Liaison Officer.

Chetan Sharma had said that the central government will file its affidavit in this regard. Thereafter, the court had directed the central government to file a counter-affidavit.

Twitter had told the High Court on October 6 that a permanent appointment of a local grievance redressal officer has been made.

During the hearing, senior advocate Sajjan Powaiya, appearing for Twitter, had said that the local Grievance Redressal Officer has been appointed on August 4. Along with this, Nodal Officer and Chief Grievance Redressal Officer have also been appointed. He had said that a fresh affidavit has been filed in this regard. Then the court said that it was not on record.

ASG Chetan Sharma, appearing for the central government, had said that he would verify the affidavit and inform the court.

On July 28, the High Court had expressed displeasure over Twitter’s response to the implementation of the new IT rules. The court had directed Twitter to file a better affidavit within a week, clearly mentioning the Chief Grievance Redressal Officer and the local Grievance Redressal Officer. The court directed Twitter to also state in the affidavit that by when the nodal officer would be appointed.

Advocate Amit Acharya has said in the petition that being an important social media company, Twitter should comply with the law without delay.

Advocate Akash Bajpai and Manish Kumar, appearing for the petitioner, have said in the petition that the Central Government should direct Twitter to appoint a grievance redressal officer under the IT Rules without delay. Under Rule 4(c) of the IT Rules, a social media platform has to appoint a local Grievance Redressal Officer.

It has been said in the petition that the IT Rules were brought on February 25 last. In the IT rules, social media platforms were instructed to comply with the instructions within three months, but Twitter did not follow the IT rules.

Twitter also did not appoint a local grievance redressal officer. On May 26, the petitioner noticed on Twitter that two persons had made such tweets which were defamatory and false. To complain about these, it traced the Grievance Redressal Officer but Twitter has not appointed any Grievance Redressal Officer at the local level, which is a violation of IT Rules. After that he approached the High Court.