Rule of land supreme, not your policy: Parliamentary panel on information technology to Twitter

Rule of land supreme, not your policy: Parliamentary panel on information technology to Twitter

New Delhi: Amid a tussle between the Union government and Twitter over the new IT rules, members of a parliamentary panel on Friday strongly objected to Twitter India officials’ observations that they abide by their policy and categorically told them that the rule of the land is supreme.

According to sources, members of the Parliamentary Panel on Information Technology also asked Twitter why it should not be fined as it has been found “violating” the rules of the country.

Earlier this month, the Centre issued a notice to Twitter giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules and warned that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, had last week summoned Twitter over issues related to misuse of the platform and protection of citizens’ rights.

Twitter India’s public policy manager Shagufta Kamran and legal counsel Ayushi Kapoor deposed before the panel on Friday.

Members of the panel asked some tough and searching questions to Twitter India officials but there answers lacked clarity and were ambiguous, sources said.

They strongly objected to the observation of Twitter India officials that its policy is on par with the rule of land and categorically told them “rule of land is supreme, not your policy”, sources said.

Twitter and the Centre have been at loggerheads over several issues for the last few months.

The microblogging site had faced backlash when it briefly removed the ‘blue tick’ verification badge from the personal account of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and of several senior RSS functionaries, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Earlier, Delhi Police had sent a notice to Twitter, seeking an explanation of how it described an alleged “Congress toolkit” against the Central government as manipulated media.

The police reportedly had also questioned Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari on May 31 and visited the Twitter India offices in Delhi and Gurgaon on May 24 over the toolkit issue.


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