Supreme Court Allows WhatsApp, Fax And Emails For Serving Summons And Legal Notices Amid Covid-19 Situation
On the 10th of July, the Supreme Court allowed the issue of summons and notices through email, fax and instant messaging application WhatsApp.
The decision was taken by a bench of the Supreme Court judges comprising of Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A. Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice R. Subhash Reddy.
The approval to send all legal proceedings information, summons and notices through WhatsApp was given considering the situation due to the pandemic.
Since it is not feasible to post offices for service of notices, summons, and pleadings, WhatsApp, emails and fax would be used for such notices.
The Apex Court said, “For services of notices and summons, pleadings it has been seen that it was not possible during lockdown to visits postal offices … we direct that such service (of notices and summons) may be done by email, fax, or through an instant messenger service.”
The Court said the “blue tick” feature of the messaging application could be a prove the service of the court’s notices under the Evidence Act and if the application is deactivated then it cannot be proven and hence such services can be used.
The bench said, “Two blue ticks would convey that the receiver has seen the notice.”
However, the bench refused to accept the request of the Attorney General representing the Government of India for specifically naming WhatsApp as a mode of effectuating service.
The Apex Court recently took a suo motu (on its own) cognizance of the matter.
In regard to this, a hearing was conducted on the 7th of July, followed by the second hearing on the 10th of July.
Stay tuned for further updates.