We Are Neither Originator, Nor Publisher, Twitter Tells HC
New Delhi: Twitter continues to show its defiance to the Indian government’s new IT rules.
Even as the company told Delhi High Court that it was in the final stages of appointing a resident grievance officer in place of an interim officer who quit on June 21, Twitter also argued that it was neither the originator nor publisher.
Twitter was responding to a petition filed against it alleging that the micro-blogging site has not appointed a resident grievance officer in accordance with the IT Rules 2021.
The argument was that a writ petition was not maintainable against it under Article 226 since it is a corporation registered in the USA and that it was neither the originator nor the publisher of electronics records transmitted through its communication system or platform.
“The petitioner has instituted this writ petition in respect of his complaint dated 26.05.2021. The relationship between the petitioner and the answering respondent (Twitter) is contractual, as more particularly set out hereinabove. A writ petition is therefore not maintainable,” Twitter said in the reply.
The petition, filed by lawyer Amit Acharya through advocates Akash Vajpai and Manish Kumar, stated that on May 26, Acharya came across “defamatory, false and untrue” tweets on Twitter made by two verified users and wanted to raise a grievance against them before the resident grievance officer under the IT Rules 2021. The petition alleges that the “objectionable tweets” were made by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and journalist Swati Chaturvedi.
“However, the petitioner was unable to find the contact details of the resident grievance officer on the website of Twitter… for raising his grievance,” it was alleged in the petition.
Twitter’s reply stated that it had appointed an interim resident grievance officer in May and uploaded his details on the website, but even before steps could be taken to completely formalize the petition, he withdrew his candidature.