Is it legal to send a Whatsapp notice? The Delhi High Court on May 4 allowed the use of WhatsApp, emails and messages for judicial proceedings. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi High Court gave the plaintiff (petitioner) the right to serve summons to the defendant with the help of WhatsApp texts or even emails. An official statement by the High Court said, “Plaintiffs are permitted to serve the defendant… by text message as well as through WhatsApp as well as by email and to file an affidavit of the service,” as quoted in an Indian Express report. To understand this whole process in a better manner you need to understand the following case-
In a family dispute case, father-in-law sent a notice to his daughter-in-law, her parents and her friends through WhatsApp and took the ‘blue double tick’ on the chat window as the confirmation of the judicial notice having been received.
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In this case, a resident of Model Town on May 6 filed a petition in the civil court regarding a restraining order against his son, daughter-in-law, her parents and her friend from ‘trespassing into the suit property. To which the man responded by saying that the process is time taking and the suspects in the case by that time could barge into his home. It was then that the court informed him that he could serve them a notice over WhatsApp and once he saw the ‘blue double tick’ on the chat, he needs to take a colored printout of the same and submit it to the court. After the notice was served the civil court judge gave his order.
Senior Civil Judge cum Rent Controller (North) Sidharth Mathur in Rohini court in his order stated, “I have gone through the record. The conveyance deed… of the suit property is in the name of plaintiff which makes him the exclusive owner… The defendants are restrained from trespassing into the suit property without due process of law till the next date of hearing. Though the defendants No. 1 to 4 have been served via WhatsApp, but still I deem it appropriate that they be served once again. Accordingly, issue fresh summons to the defendants No. 1 to 4 on filing PF/RC returnable for 24.05.2017”.