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HC rejects Twitter plea against govt blocking orders, fines it Rs 50 lakh

HC Rejects Twitter: The Karnataka High Court on Friday dismissed Twitter’s petition against the Centre’s order. Twitter challenged the central government’s order to block the accounts, tweets, and URLs of some people in the court.

During the hearing, Justice Krishna S Dixit said that Twitter should have followed the orders of the government. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Twitter(HC Rejects Twitter).

High Court’s 5 comments, condition along with fine(HC Rejects Twitter)

  1. The fine has to be paid within 45 days. If not filled then after this period 5 thousand more will have to be given every day.
  2. Didn’t even tell the reason to the court why the order to block the tweet of the Center was not accepted.
  3. You are a multi-billionaire company, not a farmer or a common man, who does not know the law.
  4. Knowing that for disobeying the order, imprisonment of up to 7 years and a fine can be imposed. Twitter did not follow the orders of the government.
  5. Tell the reason for whose tweet you are blocking. Also whether this ban is for some time or for an indefinite period.

What did Twitter argue in the petition?

Twitter had told the High Court – The Center does not have the right to issue a general order to block accounts on social media. The reason for such orders should also be mentioned so that we can communicate it to the users. If the reason is not given at the time of issuing the order, then there is a possibility that reasons can be made later(HC rejects Twitter).

Twitter had claimed that the government orders violate section 69A. Under section 69A, account users have to give information about their tweets and account being blocked. But the ministry did not give him any notice(HC rejects Twitter).

What did the central government say about Twitter’s plea?

The central government told the court – Twitter cannot speak on behalf of its users. In this case, he has no right to file an appeal in the court. The order to block the tweet was not taken without discretion or unilaterally. Keeping in mind the national interest, orders were given to block Twitter, so that incidents of lynching and mob violence could be prevented.

Twitter is a foreign company and cannot file an appeal on the grounds of rights to equality and freedom of speech.

Know what is the whole matter…

The government ordered Twitter to block 1,474 accounts, 175 tweets, 256 URLs, and one hashtag between February 2021 and February 2022. The government had given this order under section 69A of the Information Technology Act(HC rejects Twitter).

The government had issued notices to Twitter on June 4 and 6 last year, asking why the orders related to the blocking had not been complied with. Twitter replied on June 9 that the content against which the orders of the government have not been complied with, Twitter feels that they do not violate section 69A.

On June 27, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology sent a notice to Twitter saying that legal action would be taken against the company for not following the orders of the central government.

Twitter challenges 10 government orders to block 39 URLs in court. On July 26, 2022, the single-judge bench of Justice Krishna S. Dixit heard it for the first time. After this, both the Central Government and Twitter presented their stand before the court(HC rejects Twitter).

The High Court reserved its judgment on April 21 this year. The verdict was pronounced on June 30 and asked to deposit the fine within 45 days.

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