US-based Google LLC has told the Delhi High Court that names and identities of its designated officers in India cannot be disclosed publicly as they have been appointed to coordinate with government authorities with regard to removal of illegal content as per law or disclosure of user information.
Google said that disclosing names and identity of the designated officers would defeat the purpose of appointing them as they would be "distracted and encumbered" by pubic dealing which in turn would "diminish" their ability to timely and effectively respond to urgent government requests.
The submissions were made in its affidavit filed in response to a PIL by former RSS idealogue KN Govindacharya seeking directions to Google, Facebook and Twitter to disclose information about their designated officers in India as required under the Information Technology (IT) Rules.
The petition, filed through advocate Virag Gupta, has claimed that in the absence of details of designated officers, there is "no clear mechanism to enforce justice".
Opposing the contention, Google has said that neither the IT Act nor the rules framed under it direct notifying the designated officers.
They only provide that such designated officers be put in place for coordinating with the government authorities, it added.
It has said that for addressing grievances of the users of its services, it has appointed a grievance officer whose details are publicly available at --https://www.google.co.in/intl/en/contact/grievance-officer.html.
Govindacharya has also sought directions to the Centre to ensure removal of fake news and hate speech circulated on the three social media and online platforms.
Google, which provides a variety of internet related services like a search engine and an online video streaming platform (YouTube), has denied the petitioner's claims of arbitrary regulation of content and said that it has a set of policies which regulate content that are clearly objectionable and inappropriate.