oppn parties Supreme Court Allows, In Principle, Delivery Of Court Notices And Summons Over IMAs Like WhatsApp And Telegram

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  • India conducts a record 6.4 lakh coronavirus tests in a single day on Friday, 31st August
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  • The US says that China's incursions in several countries were to see the world's reaction
  • The scheme calling for local manufacturing of mobile phones receives applications from Apple vendors like Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron, along with Samsung and some Indian players
  • The Enforcement Directorate has started an investigation into money laundering in the Sushant Singh Rajput case after reports of missing funds from his accounts and the FIR in Patna
  • 38 persons were killed after consuming spurious liquor in Punjab's Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur districts
  • Mehbooba Mufti to spend three more months in detention as the J&K administration extends its order under the Public Safety Act
  • The J&K administration has released Sajad Lone, the chairman of J&K People's Conference after about a year in detention
  • The defence ministry has written to the CBFC to say that web series on the army must seek approval without knowing that the CBFC has no mandate to regulate such content
  • Google and Facebook will now have to pay to carry news from mainstream media in Australia, the first country to enact such a legislation
  • Centre says herd immunity cannot be a strategic option for a country with a huge population density like India
  • Sushant Singh Rajput's father and the Bihar government move the SC in order to prevent his ex-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty from getting the case transferred from Patna to Mumbai
  • ED seeks a copy of the FIR from Bihar police as rumours float about a Rs 15-crore illegal transaction in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case
  • Several Western Naval Command officers, including a captain, booked by the CBI in a Rs 7-crore fraud case
  • Hardik Shah, a 2010-batch IAS officer, is to be the next private secretary to the Prime Minister
Home Minister Amit Shah tests Covid+, admitted to hospital. He had attended a cabinet meeting on Wednesday
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Supreme Court Allows, In Principle, Delivery Of Court Notices And Summons Over IMAs Like WhatsApp And Telegram

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-07-11 13:52:03

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The Supreme Court has, in principle, agreed to allow the service of notices and summons via instant messaging apps (IMAs) like WhatsApp and Telegram. A bench of CJI S A Bobde and justices R S Reddy and A S Bopanna heard the suggestions made by AG K K Venugopal and solicitor general Tushar Mehta before making the observation. The bench was of the view that this innovation was needed because physical delivery of notices, summons and inquiries from courts has been made difficult due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The bench first said that confirmation of receipt and reading, as denoted by blue ticks in WhatsApp, would be enough to prove that the document had been delivered and read by the recipient. But when SG drew the attention of the court to a function in the app that allowed users to hide the blue ticks, the court was of the view that instant messaging apps delivery could be in addition to notices sent through email. Let alone the blue ticks that confirm that a message has been read, for privacy reasons WhatsApp even allows users to disable the second tick that confirms delivery. Hence, the sender can never know whether his message was delivered if the recipient has disabled the feature.

Although this is a welcome decision by the apex court, technology often throws up newer challenges while solving old ones. Hence, it is advisable that before admitting anything sent through instant messaging apps as proof, a clear cut policy is decided, if need be then in consultation with such app makers, as to what will confirm the delivery and access of such messages in a manner that they can be held up as proof in court. Otherwise, the courts will be flooded with unnecessary cases due to parties contesting sending of messages via this route.

Emails are different as they are delivered in the box of the recipient and constitute valid proof of delivery. If an email is not delivered, it bounces bank to the sender. The very fact that the sent mail did not bounce back confirms that it was delivered to the box of the registered email id. The recipient of an email message cannot take the plea that he did not read it as then he can also take the plea that although he received the physical envelope containing the notice, he did not open and read what was inside.