Lawstreet Journal

Admin of WhatsApp Group Not Vicariously Liable For Objectionable Post by Group Member: Kerala High Court

Lawstreet Journal 24 Feb 2022 11:49pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Admin of WhatsApp Group Not Vicariously Liable For Objectionable Post by Group Member: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court on 23rd February 2022 observed in the case Manual v State of Kerala that creators or admins of a WhatsApp group cannot be vicariously held liable for any objectionable content posted by a member of the group.

Justice Kauser Edappagath noted that both the Bombay and Delhi High Courts have held that the only privilege of an admin is that he can add or delete members to a group. He doesn't actually have control over what they post and therefore, cannot be held vicariously liable for any posts put up by other members.

"As has been held by both the Bombay and Delhi High Courts, the only privilege enjoyed by the Admin of a WhatsApp group over other members is that, he can either add or delete any of the members from the group. He does not have physical or any control otherwise over what a member of a group is posting thereon. He cannot moderate or censor messages in a group. Thus, Creator or Administrator of a WhatsApp group, merely acting in that capacity, cannot be vicariously held liable for any objectionable content posted by a member of the group," the Court ruled.

In this case, the petitioner has been charged for offences under the Information Technology Act (IT Act) 2000 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO Act). None of these provisions provide for vicarious liability and therefore, holding an admin liable for posts on a WhatsApp group would go against basic principles… Continue Reading...


Tagged: WhatsApp   Whatsapp.  
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