Social media platform Twitter on Saturday told the Delhi High Court that it will soon appoint an interim resident grievance officer in India, reported NDTV. The company added that another officer would address the grievances and complaints till then.
“An interim resident grievance officer was appointed as per the new IT [Information Technology] Rules,” Twitter’s Director of Litigation Micah L Rubbo said in an affidavit. “However, even before steps could be taken to completely formalise the arrangement, the official withdrew his candidature on 21.6.2021.”
The company then appointed Global Legal Policy Director Jeremy Kessel as a grievance officer for India. However, this is not in line with the new IT rules, which mandate that all nodal officials should be based in India.
The affidavit was filed in response to a petition by a social media user, who had alleged he found certain “defamatory and false” posts while scrolling through the platform on May 26. The petitioner, Amit Acharya, added that when he tried to file a complaint, he could not find the resident grievance redressal officer’s details on Twitter’s page. On the petition, the Delhi High Court had asked Twitter to comply with the new IT rules.
The new rules are a sweeping set of regulations framed to regulate social media companies, streaming and digital news content, virtually bringing them, for the first time, under the ambit of government supervision.
In its affidavit, Twitter also sought the petition against it to be dismissed on the grounds that Acharya has no locus standi, or that the petitioner has no connection to be a party to the case. “The petition is not maintainable since Twitter is a corporation registered in [the] United States of America,” the company told the High Court.
Twitter also told the High Court that the petitioner’s grievances have been resolved, reported The Indian Express. “Petitioner claims to be aggrieved by tweets… However, the authors of those tweets have not impleaded as respondents,” the affidavit said. “Petitioner cannot seek any relief which directly or indirectly touches upon those tweets without impleading the authors of the tweets and for this reason alone, the writ petition deserves to be dismissed.”
Acharya had alleged that the “objectionable tweets” were made by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and journalist Swati Chaturvedi.
The development came amid a tussle between the Narendra Modi government and the social media company over complying with India’s new information technology rules.