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HC accepts firm’s service of notice on WhatsApp

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The Bombay High Court has accepted service of notice in an execution application through WhatsApp after observing that the notice, served as a PDF file, was not only delivered but opened as well by the receiver.

Justice Gautam Patel, earlier this week, was hearing an execution application filed by the SBI Cards and Payments Services Pvt Ltd (the claimant), saying that the respondent — city resident Rohit Jadhav — was evading service of notice.

According to the claimant company, on June 8, the respondent was served notice by an authorised officer of the company, who had sent it in the portable document format (PDF) and a message informing him about the next date of hearing, on WhatsApp.

The company approached the high court with the execution application after Jadhav refused to take their calls or meet their officers.

“For the purposes of service of notice under Order XXI Rule 22 of the Code of Civil Procedure, I will accept this. I do so because the icon indicators clearly show that not only were the message and its attachment delivered to the respondent’s number, but that both were opened,” Justice Patel said in his order.

The court has asked the claimant company to furnish the residential address of the respondent on the next date of hearing so that a warrant, if necessary, can be issued against him.

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