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The High Court of Delhi recently passed an order allowing the plaintiffs to serve the summons on one of the defendants through Whatsapp, text message and email.
The Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw allowed the use of social network in the matter of Tata Sons Ltd. and Ors. vs. John Doe(s) and Ors. The Court in its order said, “The plaintiffs are permitted to serve the defendant No.9 Ashok Kumar Agarwal by text message as well as through Whatsapp as well as by email and to file affidavit of service.”
The subject pertains to offensive emails being sent from thirty five emails with respect to the educational qualifications of Tarun Samant, one of the officials working with the Tata Group. The emails state that Samant did not possess the requisite qualifications and the documents submitted by him claiming such qualifications were fictitious and fabricated. The emails were largely addressed to the executives of the Tata Group only.
Recently, several judicial bodies of the country have been in the news for using unconventional methods for service of order particularly when the defendants are hard to catch.
In Haryana, a quasi judicial body headed by Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, while ordering that summons in a partition suit be served through WhatsApp, observed that an email address or a mobile phone number is also the address of a person in the present times.
The Bombay High Court, in a matter pertaining to copyright infringement, also held that notice of motion to the defendants through Whatsapp as valid.
The Bench of Justice Gautam Patel said, “The purpose of service is put the other party to notice and to give him a copy of the papers. The mode is surely irrelevant. We have not formally approved of email and other modes as acceptable simply because there are inherent limitation to proving service. Where an alternative mode is used, however, and service is shown to be effected, and is acknowledged, then surely it cannot be suggested that the Defendants had ‘no notice’.”
Read the Order Here
Delhi High Court Summons Via WhatsApp
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