The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology have notified three Grievance Appellate Committees under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Rules”). The Grievance Appellate Committees as envisaged under Rule 3A of the Rules were introduced vide an amendment notification dated October 28, 2022.
The Rule 3A introduced a mechanism for people aggrieved to appeal the resolution of their grievances by the grievance officers appointed by intermediaries under the Rules. Under the statute, a user aggrieved by the resolution of their grievance (by the intermediary) can approach the Grievance Appellate Committee under Rule 3A within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the communication from the officer. The Committee under the Rules have been further directed to dispose of such appeals within thirty days of their receipt. The Rules further direct the Committees to adopt an online dispute resolution mechanism wherein the entire process, from filing of an appeal to its decision shall be conducted purely through a digital mode.
The constitution of the Committee has been mandated to consist of three personnel viz. one chairperson and two whole time members. All of the members of the Committee are to be appointed by the Central Government and one member of the Committee shall be an ex-officio while the remaining two shall be independent members.
The Ministry has appointed the following Grievance Appellate Committees:
Grievance Appellate Committee 1:
Chairperson (ex-officio): Chief Executive Officer, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center (I4C), Ministry of Home Affairs
Member 1: Shri Ashutosh Shukla, Indian Police Service (Retired)
Member 2: Shri Sunil Soni, former Chief General Manager and Chief Information Officer, Punjab National Bank
Grievance Appellate Committee 2:
Chairperson (ex-officio): Joint Secretary in charge of Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Member 1: Commodore Sunil Kumar Gupta (Retired), former Director (Personnel Services), Naval Head Quarters, Indian Navy
Member 2: Shri Kavindra Sharma, former Vice President (Consulting), L&T Infotech Limited
Grievance Appellate Committee 3:
Chairperson (ex-officio): Ms Kavita Bhatia, Scientist G in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
Member 1: Shri Sanjay Goel, Indian Railway Traffic Service (Retired)
Member 2: Shri Krishnagiri Ragothamarao Murali Mohan, former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IDBI Intech Limited
The Committee and its functioning shall have direct bearing upon intermediaries (and the manner in which they handle redressal of grievances raised by users).