New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday permitted serving of notices and summons through instant messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp, apart from email and fax, in what seemed to be yet another step to deal with the exigencies presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though court notices have been served through fax and email earlier, use of such technology has been intermittent so far.
Both the Supreme Court and high courts have rules that govern use of such technologies for serving notices and summons electronically.
Today’s order paves the way for more frequent use of such means of communication. A bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde also allowed the use of instant messaging platforms. In doing so, the bench shrugged off opposition from Attorney General KK Venugopal on use of whatsapp over security concerns.
The AG, speaking for the government, had expressed his reservations over whether these applications were secure despite their claims to be encrypted end-to-end.
The bench observed that use of new online tools would ease the serving notices and summons .
The bench passed these orders while considering petitions on further extending limitation periods in several commercial statutes to tide over the problems posed by the pandemic.
The bench though did not pass any orders on the issue of extending the validity of cheques, an issue the court left to the discretion of the apex banking regulator, the RBI.