The Centre on Friday told the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp has already violated the fundamental rights of users in the country by denying dispute resolution rights while opposing a plea filed by WhatsApp and Facebook against the new IT rules.
Through an affidavit, the Ministry of Electronics and IT stated that the US-based tech giants’ challenge is not maintainable.
In an affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court, the Centre said being a foreign national entity, WhatsApp cannot challenge the constitutionality of Indian law, adding that the company doesn’t have a place of business in and is engaged in the business of propagating information created by its users.
WhatsApp had moved the High Court, challenging the new IT rules on the grounds that they violate the right to privacy and are unconstitutional. Objecting to the new IT rules, WhatsApp claimed that they are forced to ‘track’ the origin of messages received through the network.
According to reports, the Mark Zuckerberg-owned platform filed the petition on May 25, the last day to comply with the new criteria.
WhatsApp had previously stated that it would not breach encryption because it jeopardizes the privacy of its users.
According to the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, it is mandatory for social media intermediaries like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp to trace chats and make provisions to identify the first originator of the information.
(With IANS inputs)