In a notable development, the High Court of Kerala has allowed an Advocate Commissioner to serve notice on the parties through Whatsapp/E-mail, Fax whichever is practicable.
This happened in a case relating to alleged poor living conditions in the hostel of a medical college.
To get a status report regarding the state-of-affairs, Justice S V Bhatti appointed an Advocate Commissioner.
The Advocate Commissioner was asked to inspect the hostel within 12 hours from the date of receipt of the order. The Commissioner was also asked to serve notice on the Medical College by Fax, Email/Whatsapp which is practicable before making the inspection.
Of late, Courts have started to recognize Whatsapp/Email as valid modes of service of summons.
Some of the recent examples are cited below :
(i) Kross Television India Pvt. Ltd & Anr. v. Vikhyat Chithra Productions & Ors. where the Bombay High Court directed service of notice to be done via Whatsapp.
(ii) SBI Cards & Payment Services Pvt. Ltd where the Bombay High Court accepted the Bombay High Court said that a notice in PDF format which is delivered through Whatsapp is valid.
(iii) Meena Prints Pvt. Ltd. v. Vahini Enterprises & Anr. where the Bombay High Court directed to serve a copy of the order via Whatsapp/Email.
(iv) Jotindra Steel and Tubes Ltd v. M.V. Khalija & Ors. here also, the Bombay High Court directed to serve a copy of the order by Email or Whatsapp.
(v) Monika Rani & Anr. v. State of Haryana & Ors. the Punjab-Haryana High Court directed to send the copy of the FDRs through 'Whatsapp message'.
(vi) Dr. Madhav Vishwanath v. M/s. Bendale Brothers the Bombay High Court asked to consider Email/Whatsapp for substituted service of summons.
For more on this, refer to this article.