The Karnataka High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Twitter Inc, challenging several blocking and take-down orders issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, saying the company’s plea was devoid of merits. The High Court simultaneously imposed a cost of ₹50 lakh on the company which is to be paid to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority within 45 days.
“The court upholds our stand. Law of the land must be followed,” said Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics & Information Technology.
Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the order reinforces the Centre’s stance that all platforms have to abide by Indian laws. The Minister hoped that there would be a learning from this experience.
‘Compliance with law’
“I hope there is a learning from this experience of Twitter and this behaviour of Twitter that platforms working with the Government of India, working with the citizens and consumers of India, work with the compliance of the Indian law... There is ample room to grow lawfully and in compliance with the Indian law. I hope there is a learning from this for Jack Dorsey that the Government of India’s expectation previously, today, and in the future, will always be in compliance with the law,” Chandrasekhar added.
He said Twitter’s strategy against Indian laws and rules was “part of the fiction” that the company’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey, had put out. The “fiction” the Minister was pointing to was a reference to Dorsey’s recent claim that the Indian government “pressured” the company with threats of a shutdown and raids on employees’ homes if it did not comply with requests to take down posts and restrict accounts that were critical of the government.