Appointed employees in compliance with new IT rules, Twitter to Delhi HC

New Delhi:- Twitter Inc on Friday informed the Delhi High Court that it has made appointments to the positions of Chief Compliance Officer and Resident Grievance Officer, and Nodal Contact Person, in compliance with provisions of new IT Rules.

Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing Twitter, submitted that renewed affidavits have been filed in the court.

“Twitter Inc initially hired Vinay Prakash through a third party contractor… the initial appointment was done this way to expedite it because Twitter Inc did not have a corporate presence in India. The appointment was considered contingent because Twitter Inc is expected to convert the position to a full-time employee as soon as practicable. Twitter Inc has since converted Prakash to a full-time employee effective August 4, 2021,” said Twitter in its affidavit.

The affidavit added Prakash is fully capable of performing the functions of Chief Compliance Officer and Resident Grievance Officer as per new IT rules. And, it added that Shahin Komath has been appointed as Nodal Contact Person.

Centre’s counsel submitted that the requirements under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) were seemingly complied with.

Justice Rekha Palli recorded that Twitter looks to have complied with the court’s orders and listed the matter for further hearing on August 10.

On July 28, the Delhi High Court took strong objection on the affidavits filed on behalf of Twitter stating that it has appointed chief compliance officer and grievance officer as “contingent workers”.

Justice Rekha Palli had objected to the use of word “contingent worker” in the appointments, asking: “What is this term contingent worker? What does this mean? This gives an impression that his duties are based on some contingencies.”

The court noted that it is not clear as to who is the third-party contractor? “This is not done. Tell me. I don’t understand, you are saying contingent, this is not compliance,” it added.

“Are you serious?” it asked Twitter, on replacing the word interim with contingent.

After hearing arguments, the high court had given one week as the final opportunity, to Twitter to file a better affidavit in terms of the earlier orders passed, and adjourned the matter to August 6.

The High Court was hearing a plea filed by Amit Acharya, through advocate Akash Vajpai, against the non-compliance by Twitter India and Twitter Inc with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).