Sun, 26 Mar 2023

New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): The Centre has established three Grievance Appellate Committees based on the recently amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 ("IT Rules 2021").

As per the notification issued on Saturday, three Grievance Appellate Committees have been constituted with three members each.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) is a critical piece of overall policy and legal framework to ensure that the internet in India is open, safe and trusted and accountable.

"The need for GAC was created due to large numbers of grievances being left unaddressed or unsatisfactorily addressed by Internet Intermediaries. GAC is expected to create a culture of responsiveness amongst all Internet Platforms and Intermediaries towards their consumers," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the GAC will be a virtual Digital platform that will operate only online and digitally - wherein the entire appeal process, from the filing of an appeal to the decision thereof, shall be conducted digitally.

The appeals can be made at will have the option to appeal against the decision of the grievance officer of the social media intermediaries and other online intermediaries before this new appellate body. The Committee will endeavour to address the user's appeal within a period of 30 days.

The Government had earlier interacted with major social media intermediaries. Keeping in view of the transition period required for the intermediaries as per their requests and technical requirement, the online platform will be operational within one month of this notification of the Grievance Appellate Committee, i.e. from 1st March 2023. Periodic reviews of GACs and reporting and disclosures of GAC orders will also be part of the process.

According to the Ministry, the IT rules 2021 create avenues for grievance redressal apart from Courts and ensure that any Big-tech Platform does not contravene the Constitutional rights of Indian citizens by ensuring new accountability standards for SSMIs.

During the extensive public consultations on the IT Rules, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar had articulated the stand of the Government that - the safety and trust of every Digital "Nagrik", and robust grievance redressal system to ensure accountability of all Internet platforms offering a service or product, was an unambiguous goal and that all grievances must be 100% addressed. (ANI)

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