Twitter vs High Court: Challenging the microblogging platform’s plea against the IT ministry’s blocking orders, Karnataka High Court on Friday imposed a penalty of Rs 50 lakh on Twitter, citing its conduct. According to LiveLaw, the court has refused Twitter’s request to stay the Centre’s order.
Centre had asked Twitter to take down some accounts with tweets related to farmers’ protests and coronavirus. Twitter said that the orders to block some tweets were “procedurally and substantially deficient of the provision” and “demonstrate excessive use of powers”.
Twitter vs High Court / Twitter got a big blow
Justice Krishna S Dixit also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Twitter and said it did not give reasons for not complying with the demands of the central government to block on time. Referring to the operative parts of the judgement, Justice Dixit said that he was convinced by the stand of the central government that it not only has the power to block tweets but can also block accounts(Twitter vs High Court).
In April, the Karnataka High Court reserved order on a petition by Twitter challenging ten orders issued by the central government to remove 39 URLs between February 2021 and February 2022. On which, while giving its verdict today i.e. on Friday, dismissed the petition and imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Twitter itself.
What were the arguments of Twitter-
Twitter had argued that the central government did not have the authority to issue general orders to block social media accounts and the orders should contain reasons that were communicated to users. The central government had argued before the court that the government would intervene only when there is a threat to India’s sovereignty or public order. The orders of the Government to ban the sending of sealed envelopes were also submitted to the High Court(Twitter vs High Court).