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Twitter's statements designed to impede lawful probe by private enterprise: Delhi Police

Hours after Twitter said that it is concerned by the recent events regarding its employees in India, Delhi Police on Thursday rubbished its claims and termed

Twitter

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2021-05-28T09:45:38+05:30

NEW DELHI: Hours after Twitter said that it is concerned by the recent events regarding its employees in India, Delhi Police on Thursday rubbished its claims and termed the statements of the microblogging giant as not only "mendacious", but also designed to impede a lawful inquiry by a private enterprise.

The Delhi Police also said that Twitter has taken upon itself, in the garb of terms of service, to adjudicate the truth or otherwise of documents in the public space.

"We have come across press reports that quote Twitter making statements pertaining to the ongoing inquiry by Delhi Police. Prima facie, these statements are not only mendacious, but also designed to impede a lawful inquiry by a private enterprise. Twitter Inc. has taken upon itself, in the garb of terms of service, to adjudicate the truth or otherwise of documents in public space," Delhi Police said in a statement.

The Delhi Police further said that Twitter is purporting to be both an investigating authority as well as an adjudicating judicial authority.

"It has no legal sanction to be either. The only legal entity, so empowered by the duly laid down law, to investigate is the police and to adjudicate is the courts," the statement said.

"However, since Twitter claims to have material information the basis of which it not only 'investigated' but arrived at a 'conclusion', it must share that information with the police. There should not be any confusion about this logical course," it added.

The Delhi Police's statement came after Twitter on Thursday requested the Information & Technology Ministry to consider a minimum of three months' extension in order for the company to implement the new intermediary guidelines issued by the Centre, the deadline for which expired on May 25.

The microblogging major, which saw the police land up at its offices in Delhi and Gurugram earlier this week related to the alleged Congress 'toolkit' controversy, said that it reaffirms that Twitter continues to accept grievances from the users and law enforcement via its existing grievance redressal channel available under the new IT Rules.

Stressing that it will strive to comply with the applicable law in India, a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement that right now, "we are concerned by the recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve".

"We, alongside many in the civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global terms of service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules," Twitter said in its first reaction after the police visits.

On Monday, Delhi Police visited Twitter India's local offices in south Delhi's Lado Sarai and Gurugram to serve a notice after the social media platform had marked one of the tweets of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as "manipulated media".

Patra had shared the alleged toolkit of the Congress over Covid, accusing it of defaming the Prime Minister and the government.

The Delhi Police said that the entire conduct by Twitter, including its Indian entity, in the last few days has been "obfuscatory, diversionary and tendentious".

"There is one simple thing to do which Twitter refuses to do. That is, cooperate with the law enforcement and reveal to the legal authority the information it has," the police said.

The police also said that Twitter, being a public platform, must lead by example in demonstrating transparency in its functioning, which has a bearing on public discourse and should proactively bring clarity into what are subject matters of public domain. The Delhi Police said that since the matter has been put in public domain, it is important to set the record straight on the tendentious statements made by Twitter. (IANS)

Also Read: Twitter Expresses Concerns Over Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Police Intimidation Tactics

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