Twitter approaches court against Centre's orders to take down content
Bengaluru/IBNS: Micro-blogging site Twitter has approached the court, challenging the Centre's orders to take down content amid a heightened face-off with the government.
Calling some orders arbitrary, Twitter sought a judicial review of the orders.
Meanwhile, the Centre reiterated that the law must be obeyed.
"In India, all including foreign Internet intermediaries/platforms have right to court n judicial review. But equally ALL intermediary/platforms operating here, have unambiguous obligation to comply with our laws n rules (sic)," tweeted Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
In its plea to the Karnataka High Court Tuesday, Twitter said the government ordered a block on some content posted by political parties' handles.
According to Twitter, such orders amount to a violation of Freedom of speech.
In others cases, the user was not notified, said Twitter, which has more than 24 million users in India.
The US-based micro-blogging site's attempt to get a judicial review of disputed content is seen as a direct confrontation with the government.
Twitter has largely not complied with government orders to take down content.
On June 28, the government wrote to Twitter asking it to comply with the orders by July 4, saying it will otherwise lose its legal shield as an intermediary.
Losing the legal shield would mean that Twitter executives could be fined and jailed for upto seven years in cases of IT law violation by users.
Hence, Twitter responded by challenging some of the blocking orders in court.
The new IT rules make social media platforms more accountable for third-party content.
The tweets the government wanted to be blocked are linked to farmers' protests and the handling of the Covid pandemic.
The government alleged the posts were spreading misinformation.