Twitter moving to a court against the government notice to block some accounts was “part of the fiction” that company’s former CEO Jack Dorsey had put out, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Monday.
Dorsey, who had quit as Twitter CEO, has claimed that the Indian government “pressured” the company with threats of a shutdown and raids on employees if it did not comply with requests to take down posts and restrict accounts that were critical of the government over the protest by farmers against new agri laws in 2020 and 2021.
In response to views on the Karnataka High Court order rejecting Twitter’s appeal, the minister said that the order clearly lays down non-compliance to government order is not an option and all platforms, big or small, need to comply with Indian laws.
“In this particular case as you remember they (Twitter) were given a large number of directions under the law which they did not comply with and then when they were sent a legal notice they chose to go to the courts. This is part of the fiction that Mr Dorsey had also put out,” Chandrasekhar told PTI on the sidelines of a Broadband India Forum event.
Karnataka High Court dismissed a petition filed by Twitter last year in which the social media firm challenged several blocking and take-down orders issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The court ruled that the company’s plea was “devoid of merits”.
The single-judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit which dictated the operative portion of the judgement also imposed a whopping cost of Rs 50 lakh on Twitter and ordered it to be paid to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority within 45 days.
“I am very glad that the court has today laid down very clearly that non-compliance is not an option regardless of where your jurisdiction is, or who you think your owner is. The platforms in India, all platforms big or small, Indian or foreign have to comply with the Indian law and the rules that are enacted under the law,” Chandrasekhar said.
He said that the government’s relationship with the platforms is not adversarial and Meity only insisted that the laws be followed and laws be complied with.