“Service of Notice” through WhatsApp accepted by the Hon’ble High Court The Hon;ble Bombay High Court groundbreaking ruling has held that sending “Service of Notice” via WhatsApp is valid. The Hon;ble High Court Bench observed that a credit card defaulter who had been avoiding the bank had not only received the Notice in a PDF file on WhatsApp but also opened it and read the Notice.
The Application was filed by the SBI Cards and Payment Services to execute an arbitration award against a Mumbai resident, Rohidas Jadhav, in relation to the payment of credit card dues of Rs. 1.17 lakh.
The Hon;ble High Court Bench stated that the defaulter was served the Notice by an authorized official by sending a PDF as well as a text message on his mobile number as a WhatsApp message.
The Hon;ble High Court Bench further added that for the purpose of “Service of Notice”, the service will be considered valid. This was observed since the icon indicators also proved that not only was the text-message and the PDF delivered but were even opened and read.
The advocate from the side of company while explaining service of notice via WhatsApp said that they were unable to serve the notice to the defaulter since he had relocated. However, his mobile number was available and working, which the Hon;ble Bombay High Court took on record. The bank representative sent the defaulter a message notifying him about the next date of hearing along with the lawyer’s notice in a PDF. The blue ticks on the message revealed that the defaulter had received the message, opened it and read it.
However, the Rules state that a Notice is served in person or through a registered post only. But, after the enactment of the Information Technology Act, it started recognizing e-communication as evidence; courts have, therefore, allowed parties in litigation to serve notice through email, in addition to traditional methods.
Earlier, a Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate had allowed a woman to Serve the Summons in a Domestic Violence case on her estranged Husband in Australia via WhatsApp. The court had stated that the “double tick” on WhatsApp proved that the summons had been delivered.
Article By – Ankur Singhal