The Delhi High Court was the first court to allow service of summons in May 2017 through WhatsApp in the matter of Tata Sons Limited & Ors Vs John Does after the Defendants evaded service though regular modes. Similarly in the matter of SBI Cards and Payments Services Pvt Ltd Versus Rohidas Jadhav, the Bombay High Court accepted the service of notice in an execution application after finding that the PDF file containing the notice had not only ben served but the file had also been opened.
Justice GS Patel was hearing an execution application filed by the Applicant Bank as the Respondent therein was evading service of notice under Order XXI Rule 22 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. He was subsequently served a notice by an authorized officer of the Claimant by sending a PDF and message to his mobile number on WhatsApp.
Justice Patel observed that “For the purposes of service of Notice under Order XXI Rule 22, I will accept this. I do so because the icon indicators clearly show that not only was the message and its attachment delivered to the Respondent’s number but that both were opened.”
Justice Patel had earlier set a precedent in April 2017, in the case of Kross Television India Pvt. Ltd. v. Vikhyat Chitra Production (2017) in which he held that – “Indian Judiciary system is flexible enough to consider a notice issued through WhatsApp’ or through email admissible in the court of law. It is not necessary for the plaintiff to go through extreme measures like that of a bailiff or through the ‘beat of a drum’ for the notice to be considered as properly served. The defendants were duly notified in the eyes of the court.”
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