India amends IT Rules: What is Grievance Appellate Committee that Centre has introduced?


The Centre on Friday amended IT (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics) Rules and made it mandatory for intermediaries like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc to comply with the Constitution of India provisions and India’s sovereign laws.

The government also notified rules under which it will set up appellate committees to redress grievances that users may have against decisions of social media platforms. According to the gazette notification issued by the IT ministry, the three-member Grievance Appellate Committee(s) will be set in three months.

What is Grievance Appellate Committee?

According to the new amendments, social media platforms should acknowledge users’ complaints within 24 hours and a resolution should be found within 15 days. Social media platforms should also take down certain contentious content within 72 hours of reporting, the notification said.

The appellate committees will be able to examine content moderation and other decisions by platforms such as Twitter and Meta.

“The central government shall, by notification, establish one or more grievance appellate committees within three months from the date of commencement of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022,” the notification said.

The 3-member grievance appellate committee (GAC) will consist of a chairperson and two full-time members appointed by the union government. One member will be ex-officio and two will be independent members.

GAC has been introduced for hearing appeals against decisions of the Grievance Officer appointed by the intermediary. The appeal can be filed within 30 days of receiving a reply from the grievance officer.

Besides this, the amended IT rules also bat for Privacy policy and user agreements of social media platforms to be made available in the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.


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