On Monday, the High Court of Karnataka heard a petition by microblogging business Twitter against the Central Government''s orders requiring the company to block certain accounts, URLs, and tweets. Twitter had been challenged by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on August 1. A 101-page statement of objection to Twitter''s petition was filed, arguing that the company was following the information technology regulations.
The Centre accused Twitter of being a disruptor of requiring it to take down accounts without advising the accused violators.
According to him, the Centre was demanding a wholesale ban of accounts, which would have an impact on its business.
A third of Datar''s points were that instead of blocking the tweet that was incorrect, it was being told to block the account itself because of political content.
He cited the example of a farmers'' protest in Delhi and claimed that content that was telecast in the news media was to be blocked on Twitter.
"During a farmers'' protest, I was told to block accounts. TV and print media are reporting. Why should I ask to block accounts?," he said.
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Datar cited the Supreme Court in the ''Shreya Singhal'' case, where the IT Act Blocking Rules were upheld, and said it was mandatory for notice to be issued to several organizations, including Twitter, before blocking orders to be passed.
The MeitY''s ruling arose against the SC judgment and the IT Act blocking rules 6 and 8. Datar argued that the government did not inform users of the particular blocking order. One Tweet was also banned, but Twitter was also forbidden to inform them.
Twitter has blocked 50 to 60% of tweets that are demanded to be blocked. And, according to Datar, it was also responsible for establishing that the account was to be blocked, which was followed by posting notices before responding to the court. The Centre was also forced by a party in which said the removal of the entire account was unlawful.
The hearing has been postponed until October 17 after the High Court.