The Central government on Thursday condemned the statement issued by the microblogging platform Twitter as baseless, false and an attempt to defame India.
The IT ministry asserted that representatives of social media companies, including Twitter, "are and will always remain safe in India", and that there is "no threat to their personal safety and security".
The ministry slammed Twitter's statement as an attempt to dictate terms to the world's largest democracy. Through its actions and deliberate defiance, Twitter seeks to undermine India's legal system, the ministry added.
"Government condemns the unfortunate statement issued by Twitter as totally baseless, false and an attempt to defame India to hide their own follies," the IT ministry said.
Earlier today, Delhi police also refuted the allegations made by Twitter that an FIR was filed against the microblogging platform at behest of the Central government.
Delhi police added that preliminary inquiry was registered against Twitter at the complaint filed by the representative of the Indian National Congress.
“Delhi police registered preliminary inquiry at the complaint filed by the representative of the Indian National Congress. Hence, efforts by Twitter that portray it as an FIR filed at the behest of the Government of India is wholly and completely incorrect,” Delhi police said in a statement.
“Twitter is purporting to be both an investigating as well as adjudicating judicial authority. It has no legal sanction to be either. The only legal entity, so empowered by the duly laid down law, to investigate is the Police and to adjudicate is the Courts,” the statement added.
It added that the statements by Twitter are not only mendacious but designed to impede a lawful inquiry by a private enterprise.
Microblogging platform Twitter called the visit by Delhi Police to its offices a form of "intimidation" and said it was concerned about its employees and the potential threat to freedom of expression.
In its first official statement after the Delhi Police visited the company's offices in Delhi and in Gurugram to serve notice to its country managing director about an investigation into the 'manipulated media' tag, Twitter said it will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency and protecting freedom of expression. The company said it will "strive" to comply with applicable law in India to keep its service available in the country but will "advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation." "Right now, we are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve," Twitter said in a statement.
(With inputs from PTI)