A single-judge bench headed by Justice Krishna Dixit issued an order to Twitter to release the documents with counsel for the government.
We will be accountable to owners of the accounts (as to) what is causing their accounts to be blocked. Should this continue, the entire operation will cease the counsel of Twitter.
The court complied with the government’s request for in-camera proceedings and set the date of the date for hearings to be on August 25, which was set as the following date of hearing.
The Karnataka High Court (HC) on Tuesday (July 26) permitted the microblogging site Twitter to issue a range of “blocking orders” issued by the Union government within sealed envelope.
A single-judge bench headed by Justice Krishna Dixit ordain Twitter to make available the documents with counsel for the government.
The instructions were given during review of the writ complaint submitted by Twitter contesting legitimacy of a string of “blocking orders” handed down by officials under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Arguments for Twitter Advocate Mukul Rohatgi claimed that the government was unable to document the reasons behind directing the shutting down of accounts.
In reply, the counsel of the government requested that the hearing be delayed and claiming Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who was scheduled to attend the hearing, was infected with coronavirus.
In accordance with the request of the government In response to the government’s request, the HC was able to adjourn the matter until the 25th of August.
Additionally the counsel for the government demanded in-camera hearings, which was also approved in the Karnataka HC. In essence, in-camera hearings are conducted in a private setting with no presence of media and the public.
Twitter vs. the Government Twitter
This month Twitter made a motion to into the High Court seeking quashing of 39 “blocking orders” that were issued through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) under Section 69A of the IT Act.
The 39 orders comprised of a series of directives given by the authorities Twitter from February 2021 and February 2022 . They were aimed at removing 175 tweets and 1400 accounts.
In its appeal, Twitter claimed that the government was increasingly directing the platform to shut down accounts, without informing it of specific tweets that merited the action.
The plea also stated that a number of URLs the government wanted to block contained ‘political as well as journalistic content’. It also stated that blocking such information is (was) an egregious violation of the freedom to speak that is guaranteed to users of this platform’.
According to an report in the report, the legal requests made by the Indian government as well as Indian courts to have content removed from Twitter was an increase of 48,000% from 2014 between 2014 and 2020.
It isn’t the first time two sides have competed with each other. The Centre has repeatedly criticized Twitter for not complying in accordance with new IT regulations. This month, the Minister of IT Ashwini Vaishnaw noted that the government was involved in an course of holding the social media companies accountable.
This month it was said that the government of the union demanded the removal of a number of tweets from last year which claimed to criticize internet censorship in the country.