Parliamentary committee’s blunt ultimatum: Rule of law supreme in India, not Twitter policy

New Delhi: Amid the standoff between the central government and Twitter over the new IT rules, officials of the microblogging site presented their stand before a parliamentary committee on Friday on the steps taken to prevent misuse of social media.

A parliamentary committee headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had last week summoned Twitter on issues related to misuse of the platform.

Twitter India’s Public Policy Manager Shagufta Kamran and legal counsel Ayushi Kapoor presented their stand before the committee on Friday. According to sources, the members of the parliamentary panel strongly objected to the statement of Twitter India officials that they follow their policies. The parliamentary committee bluntly told the Twitter officials that the rule of law is supreme.

Members of the Parliamentary Panel on Information Technology also asked Twitter why he should not be fined as he has been found to be violating the rules. Sources said the panel members asked tough questions to Twitter India officials but their answers lacked clarity. If sources are to be believed, Twitter officials were unclear in front of the parliamentary committee.

 Significantly, for the past few days, a standoff has arisen between the central government and Twitter on many issues. The central government had earlier this month issued a notice to Twitter asking it to comply with the new IT laws immediately. 

Also, giving a last chance, warned that if the rules were not followed, this platform would not be exempted from liability under the IT Act.

Earlier, the central government had taken a tough stand against Twitter for not following the new rules for social media. However, Twitter’s attitude also seems to be softening a bit.

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On the new guidelines of social media, Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that these guidelines have not come suddenly, this work was going on for the last 3-4 years. 

“These guidelines are not concerned with the use of social media, but with the misuse of social media, so that when they are misused, people can complain,” he said.

“The period of 3 months was completed on May 25. I still said one more final notice to Twitter. What’s wrong with Twitter when others can follow these rules? You have to organize a huge exam for the appointment of three office bearers? Do business, your users are welcome to ask questions, but the constitution and laws of India have to be followed,” Ravi Shankar Prasad added.

‘When Indian companies go to the US or other countries to do IT business, do they follow the laws of the US or other countries or not? You have to do business in India, you are welcome to criticize the Prime Minister and all of us. But the Constitution of India, the rules have to be followed.”

There is a lot of ruckus these days over a video from Ghaziabad. Twitter has also been questioned in this regard. A case has also been registered against some people. 

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