A month-long bitter standoff between the center and Twitter officially came to an end when the government officially notified a Supreme Court on Friday that the microblogging platform had appointed a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Officer and Resident Grievance Officer for India in line with the new one Social media rules.
In an affidavit filed with the Delhi High Court, the government said Twitter made these appointments as its employees rather than “temporary workers,” a term that initially angered both the Supreme Court and the Center. The government also received a copy of these people’s contacts, the affidavit said.
The affidavit was submitted by N. Samaya Balan, who works as Researcher-E, in the Cyber Law Group of the IT Department. Trickypedia saw a copy of it. The affidavit came from a case by attorney Amit Acharya alleging Twitter’s non-compliance with the new social media rules.
Last month we had reported that Twitter had made these appointments. Vinay Prakash has been named Chief Compliance and Grievance Officer while former Bytedance Manager Shahin Komath has been named Node Contact Person.
Twitter had previously arranged appointments for these posts on an “interim basis” and later informed the court that they were “temporary workers” who had been appointed by a third party. However, the court had informed the company about the use of the term “contingent” and given Twitter one last chance to comply with the rules.
This ends a hotly contested battle between the government and Twitter.
Twitter initially had appointed an interim complaints officer, Dharmendra Chatur, who resigned and refused to commit within weeks of his appointment because of the “pounding rainfall” between the microblogging website and the Indian government.
Tensions between the two peaked after government sources announced that the company had lost its legal immunity from third-party content posted on its website for complying with the rules – a controversial position that the government would later also take formally in court.
Before that, however, a number of events had occurred. Former IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Twitter were involved in a public battle of words for a long time. And Prasad’s successor, Ashwini Vaishnaw, said Twitter was not above the law of the country on his first day he took over the IT ministry.
In May, the Delhi Police’s counter-terrorism wing boarded the Delhi and Gurugram Twitter offices to deliver a notification to the company. Twitter called it “intimidation” but it was a “routine process” according to police.