Grievance Appellate Committees (GAC)

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    In News

    • Recently, Centre established three Grievance Appellate Committees based on the recently amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).

    About

    • The IT rules 2021 provide for: 
      • Creating avenues for grievance redressal apart from Courts and 
      • Ensure that the Constitutional rights of Indian citizens are not contravened by any Big-tech Platform by ensuring new accountability standards for SSMIs.
    • Objective: 
      • Safety and trust of every Digital Nagrik
      • Robust grievance redressal system to ensure accountability of all Internet platforms offering a service or product

     

    Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC)

    • About: 
      • It is a critical piece of overall policy and legal framework to ensure that the Internet in India is Open, Safe & Trusted and Accountable. 
      • The GAC will be a virtual Digital platform that will operate only online and digitally – wherein the entire appeal process, from filing of appeal to the decision thereof, shall be conducted digitally.
    • Need: 
      • The need for GAC was created due to large numbers of grievances being left unaddressed or unsatisfactorily addressed by Internet Intermediaries. 
    • What is expected of it? 
      • To create a culture of responsiveness amongst all Internet Platforms and Intermediaries towards their consumers. 
    • Appeal:
      • Users will have the option to appeal against 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.
    • In action: 
      • The online platform will be operational in 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.

    Source: PIB