Centre slams Twitter in Parliament over non-compliance of IT rules
The Indian government said that Twitter's earlier statement expressing concerns over freedom of expression in India was a tactic to divert attention from its non-compliance with the country's laws at that time. Twitter had made such a statement in May about the new Information Technology rules, over which the social media company and the Indian government have been engaged in a months-long tussle.
'Right to speech and expression can't be infringed by anyone'
"The statement of Twitter was possibly an effort to divert the attention from the non-compliance to the Information Technology Rules, 2021 and Indian laws at that stage," Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Information Technology, said in a written reply in the Parliament. He said the fundamental right to speech and expression is constitutionally guaranteed and cannot be violated by anybody.
'No threat to Twitter officials in India'
"Government is committed to the growth of a vibrant technology and Internet ecosystem in the country. Government has also assured that representatives of social media platforms including Twitter remain safe in India and there is no threat to their personal safety and security," Chandrasekhar added.
Twitter and Indian government's months-long feud
Twitter and the Indian government have been involved in a months-long tussle over the compliance of the new IT rules. The rules, that were notified this February, require social media giants to appoint India-based grievance and compliance officers. The deadline to abide by those rules expired in May, after which Twitter lost its legal shield in India and is currently facing several police cases.
Twitter appoints officers, publishes compliance report
Following criticism from the government and court orders, Twitter has appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer and a Resident Grievance Officer. It has also published a compliance report for June 2021. Earlier, Dharmendra Chatur, an interim Grievance Officer appointed by Twitter, had quit within one month of his joining. Twitter, however, has also indicated it may challenge the IT rules in court.
'Twitter has informed IT Ministry about physical contact address'
"They (Twitter India) have appointed Chief Compliance Officer and a Resident Grievance Officer as a contingent arrangement and have also informed the Ministry about physical contact address in India. They have also published the compliance report of June 2021," Chandrasekhar informed the Parliament.