Supreme Court Instant Messenger WhatsApp
Supreme Court Instant Messenger WhatsApp
Litigation News

Supreme Court allows service of summons through Email, Fax, and Instant Messaging Apps; specifies when limitation periods will extend till

Regarding extending the limitation period for validity of cheques under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the Court refused to intervene in the domain of the RBI.

Debayan Roy

While hearing the suo motu case on extending limitation of statutes due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the Supreme Court today allowed for summons and notices to be served through email, fax and instant messaging applications.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna passed the order after hearing submissions by Attorney General KK Venugopal. The AG stated that the government was "not comfortable" with service of summons and notices through WhatsApp because it was "a completely encrypted platform".

However, allaying his concerns, CJI Bobde noted that the "blue tick" feature of the messaging application could prove whether message was delivered or not.

"If the two blue ticks are there then it can be proved under Evidence Act, but if the person has turned it off, then it cannot be proven. So WhatsApp can be used (for summons)."

CJI Bobde

The Bench thus ordered that notices and summons, which are an "integral part of court proceedings", can be served through email, fax and instant messaging application.

When Attorney General Venugopal urged the Bench to use the phrase "namely WhatsApp" to specify the messaging apps in its order, the Bench refused, stating it would not commit the mistake that was done when a company name like 'Xerox' replaced the word "photo copying".

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