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Bombay High Court orders Legal notice acknowledged on WhatsApp is valid

The Bombay High Court recently said that serving of a notice in an execution application sent as a PDF file through WhatsApp that further shows that the respondent has received it and opened it on his message is “sufficient for the purpose of service of notice.”

Advocate Murlidhar Kale, appearing for SBI Cards & Payments Services Pvt Ltd, told the court that Rohidas Jadhav, a customer with the bank, had been evading service of notice in an execution application. He was served by an authorised officer, Fatema Kalyanwala, who sent a PDF and message to his mobile number on WhatsApp.

Kale told the court that Jadhav resides at Nallasopara in a place which he seems to have taken on rent. Kale told the court that they had to approach the court with the execution application after Jadhav refused to take their calls or meet their officers. Kale told The Indian Express, “On the previous hearing, we sought permission from the court to serve notice through WhatsApp, stating that he was very much available on his phone. The court permitted us to do so, provided we submit an affidavit stating the execution of notice.”

Justice Gautum S Patel, in his order, said, “For the purpose 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 (Jadhav) number but that both were opened.”

Justice Patel further states, “…the present notice is made absolute.” A printout of the WhatApp message is taken on record for identification and the second printout is of the WhatsApp contact number of Jadhav which shows his contact number for identification, the court noted. The court further said, “This is sufficient for the purpose of service of notice under Order XXI, Rule

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