In a first-of-its-kind move, the Supreme Court on Friday (11 July) gave in-principle approval for serving of notices and summons to people through instant messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram, in addition to emails, Times of India.
The decision to provide legal backing to the process was taken by a bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Reddy and AS Bopanna and comes as a major boost for such messaging platforms.
The bench opined that notices and summons are integral to the interaction between the judiciary, and the citizens and entities of India and extending the services via digital channels would only strengthen the process.
The bench further added that the innovation was a need, given physical delivery of notices and summons had become an onerous task in the light of the nationwide lockdown which had been imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that the suggestion for giving legal backing to the delivery of notices and summons via emails had come from Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
Venugopal had however expressed reservations over the use of WhatsApp for the same, given the platform claims end-to-end encryption of the messages which would make it difficult to prove the legitimacy of the summons and notices sent.
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