Banks, Courts new address to issue legal notice is WhatsApp

WhatsApp

In May this year, the Delhi High Court approved the use of WhatsApp and email in judicial proceedings. Hearing a petition, the Court allowed the plaintiff to serve summons on one of the defendants through WhatsApp, text or email.

In a latest development, banks are issuing notices to defaulters via WhatsApp and email. The move aims to inform defaulters through the technological means such as WhatsApp IDs and email addresses which are more constant.

Earlier, cases had been getting delayed simply because defaulters managed to evade receipt of summons. Now, the banks believe that the new method is highly effective.

HDFC Bank has already got 214 court summonses served through WhatsApp and email in the last two months, according to officials. These were served through courts in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and others. And a majority of them pertained to cheque bounce cases.

The development comes after the Bombay High Court ruled in June that banks can send legal notices to defaulters through WhatsApp.

Besides, in various other cases, Courts have issues similar rulings and approved the use of WhatsApp and emails as the new way of sending information, besides the traditional way of sending letter to physical addresses.

However, when the reliability on the chat platform for sending information has reached to this level, the Facebook-owned company is also entangled in a legal battle over the appointment of a grievance officer in India.

Late last month, the Supreme Court issued notice to the chat platform and the Indian government asking them why the messaging app has not appointed grievance officer in India.

The notice was issued after a plea sought direction to stop WhatsApp from proceeding with its payments systems unless it fully complies with RBI’s provisions. It’s worth noting that Google payments service Tez has appointed grievance executive to look after customers issue.

Petitioner advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for the Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change, said WhatsApp Pay, the payment platform of messaging platform does not comply with a provision of mandating a Grievance Officer and other laws of India including Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.

WhatsApp Payment was launched in beta in February. It is supported by some major banks in India including ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank while support for State Bank of India users will be added soon.

The development was first reported by ET.

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