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Micro-blogging site Twitter on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it will need eight weeks to appoint a chief compliance officer, in line with the new IT rules.

The company further said that it has hired a resident of India as its interim compliance officer, effective 6 July and has communicated the development to the ministry of information technology.

The development came after the HC warned Twitter earlier this week that it cannot take "as long as it wants" in this country to comply with the IT rules. It said that the social media platform "will be in trouble" if it does not appoint a resident grievance officer without any delay.

The court had granted time till 8 July and said, “it is expected that on the next date of hearing, Twitter’s counsel will be ready with its stand regarding compliance with all other requirements."

A day before the previous hearing, the Centre had told the Delhi HC that as per the details obtained from Twitter's website or mobile application, as an interim, the grievances from India are being handled by the platform's official located in the US which amounts to non-compliance of the IT Rules, 2021.

It said that Twitter is in violation of the government's rules for not appointing a chief compliance officer; the position of the RGO is vacant; the position of nodal contact person (even on an interim basis) is vacant, and the physical contact address, which was shown to be there on 29 May, is not available again on Twitter website.

“I submit any non-compliance amounts to breach of the provisions of the IT Rules, 2021 thereby leading to respondent no. 2 losing its immunity conferred under section 79(1) of the IT Act, 2000," the affidavit read.

It added that the immunity conferred on intermediaries under the provision of law is a conditional immunity subject to the intermediary satisfying the conditions under the Act.

Twitter had on 3 July filed its affidavit stating that it was in the "final stages" of appointing an interim chief compliance officer and an interim resident grievance officer.

What the new IT rules say

The new digital rules require significant social media intermediaries -- providing services primarily in the nature of messaging -- to enable identification of the "first originator" of the information that undermines the sovereignty of India, the security of the state, or public order.

It say that significant social media intermediaries, those with more than 50 lakh users, are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. The personnel have to be residents in India.

Social media firms will also have to take down flagged content within 36 hours, and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for issues such as nudity and pornography.

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