The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has written to industry organizations to nominate members for the inter-departmental committee (IDC) to be formed as per the 2021 IT rules., according to documents accessed by Hindustan Times. Further, the committee will include members from industry organizations for the first time. A person familiar with the matter disclosed to HT:
This is a confidence-building move and will silence the critics of the Oversight Mechanism that assumed that the committee will only comprise of bureaucrats.
As confirmed by Medianama, CII and FICCI have to send their nomination within 10 days.
The Three-tier Framework
The 2021 IT rules propose a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism. At the first level of the, a digital media platform appoints a grievance officer and establishes a grievance redressal mechanism.
At level II, an association of such platforms creates a self-regulatory body, registered with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The body hears grievances that a platform could not resolve at level-I. It can also refer issues related to blocking under Section 69A of the IT Act, to the inter-departmental committee (level-III).
The Central Government recently told the Bombay High Court that it is yet to constitute the level-III inter-departmental committee as laid down under the IT Rules. As per the reports, the new committee will include one member each from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Confederation of Indian Indistry (media & entertainment sector), one member from the Bar Council of India (legal sector) and a member from the Press Council of India (journalism).
At present, a Central government authorized official heads an inter-departmental committee under Information Technology Act. The Committee comprises officials from the Ministries of Law and Justice, Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, who issues the order to block a post/account on social media (CERT-In).
The committee considers requests from a variety of parties, including states and federal agencies. It also gives the intermediary a hearing. Pronab Mohanty is the designated officer at present. The orders issued are according to Section 69A of the IT Act.