The Electronics and Information Technology Ministry has sent a notice to Twitter over the latter's reported unilateral decision to unblock over 250 twitter accounts which were withheld in India following a legal request, Hindustan Times has reported.
The notice states that Twitter by unblocking these accounts is violating the Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, which carries a jail term of up to seven years.
"This a is motivated campaign to abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds. Incitement to Genocide is Not Freedom of Speech; It is Threat to Law and Order", says the report.
The report adds that after studying Twitter's submissions in the matter, it is still of the view that it is necessary to suspend the said accounts in public interest. While terming Twitter's actions as "disobedience", the Ministry has asked the social media giant to reinstate its block on the Twitter handles and the controversial hashtag falsely accusing the Modi government of planning a farmer genocide.
"Having considered in totality, the contents of the interim order, the oral submissions of the advocate/representative of Twitter at the Committee meeting, and also the mail from Twitter expressing its disobedience of the legal blocking orders, the competent authority is satisfied that it is necessary and also expedient in the interest of public order and also for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to public order that Twitter, as an intermediary under section 2[w] of the act is once again directed to block for access by the public, the said Twitter handles and also the said hashtag with immediate effect...", the notice adds.
The notice goes on to say that Twitter has no "constitutional, statutory or any legal basis whatsoever to comment upon the interplay of statutory provisions with constitutional principles or to unilaterally read down the scope of statutory provisions as per its own limited private understanding of the constitutional and statutory laws of India".
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) had directed Twitter to block around 250 Tweets and Twitter accounts which were making fake, intimidatory, and provocative Tweets on 30 January using 'Modi Planning Farmer Genocide' hashtag.
Just hours after the block was implemented, Twitter proceeded to revoke it, amid allegations that the social media giant had taken an unilateral decision after calling the controversial tweets "newsworthy".
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