WhatsApp messages are legal evidence: Bombay High Court

By Rohit Sharma

MUMBAI

In a world of technology often Real Estate professionals start their day with social media, sending offers through WhatsApp to different groups, individuals, broadcasting the message, etc and if a message is worth it is been forwarded by others. If careful measures are not taken while sending a message to someone, which may be proof for him or her that can land you up in the legal notice.

This is the first time that Bombay High Court has adopted the process of service of notice via WhatsApp, to be legally tenable.

Justice GS Patel was hearing the complainant filed by SBI Cards & Payments Services Pvt Ltd (Applicant) against Rohit Jadhav (Respondent) on the Execution Application wherein he was evading service of this Notice under Order XXI Rule 22 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. He was served by an authorized officer of the Claimant, Fatema Kalyanwala by sending a PDF and message to his mobile number as a WhatsApp message.

Justice Patel said, “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.”

The Claimants have also learnt that the Respondent resides at Nalasopara in a place which he seems to have taken on rent. The Claimant will furnish the particulars of address so that a warrant, if necessary can be issued against him, the Justice read.

A print-out of the WhatsApp message is taken on record and marked “N” for identification with today’s date. The second print out is of the WhatsApp contact number of the Respondent. This shows his contact number. This is also taken on record and marked “N2” for identification with today’s date. “This is sufficient for the purposes of service of Notice under Order XXI Rule 22”, Justice Patel said.

 

 





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