Senior Civil Judge cum Rent Controller (North) Sidharth Mathur in Rohini Court recently accepted Whatsapp blue double-tick as receipt proof of notice on the Respondents.
The case concerned an Appeal filed by a Model Town resident, seeking an injunction against his son and daughter-in-law, her parents and her friend from “trespassing into the suit property”. During the hearing, the Court had asked the Appellant to send a notice to all five Respondents, and had clarified that the notices can be served via Whatsapp, considering the urgency of the situation.
The Appellant had thereafter taken color printouts of the chats, with the blue-ticks visible. These were then submitted to the Court, which was quoted as saying, “These defendants, thus, certainly have acquired knowledge of the summons and the hearing today.”
The Judge however ordered that the Respondents be served again and observed, “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.”
The Delhi High Court had recently joined ranks several Courts around the country that are experimenting with the usage of technology in judicial proceedings. In a first, the Court had ordered service of summons on one of the defendants through Whatsapp, text message and email.
Last month, the High Court of Bombay had also served summons via Whatsapp, after one of the defendants in a copyright infringement case was being particularly evasive. The case concerned allegations of copyright infringement against Producers of the Kannada movie ‘Pushpaka Vimana’ that was released earlier this year.