Decided by – Metropolitan Magistrate Surabhi Sharma Vats
Facts Of The Case
Earlier in March, the court had allowed the woman to summon her husband via WhatsApp, text messages and e-mail, after her counsel Debopriya Pal and Kunal Kumar told to the court that two previous attempts to serve summons to him have been failed.
In consent with the court’s direction, the woman petitioner also submitted an affidavit to the court stating that the mobile number and the e-mail address on which summons had been sent, belong to her estranged husband only.
However, despite the summons been served, the respondent did not appear before the court. At this, the magistrate noted that the respondent is ‘very well aware of his summoning in the present matter.”
In March, Pal and Kumar had suggested to the magistrate that the summons can be served via WhatsApp etc since summons sent from past eight months being returned, as the man is not staying at the last known address in Delhi. Advocate Kumar also remarked that it takes over two weeks for summons to be served to anyone outside India and the Ministry had raised objections, as the summons sent to the man in Australia has changed his address, and therefore they are left with no other option but to request the court to allow him to summon through WhatsApp, SMS and e-mail.
In a unique case, the Delhi Metropolitan court has allowed a woman to serve summons to her estranged husband in Australia through WhatsApp. The court also noted that the ‘double tick’ showed on WhatsApp means that the summons was delivered to the recipient.
The Metropolitan Magistrate Surabhi Sharma Vats while perusal of the copy of the document filed on record stated, “Prima facie shows that the copy of the summons has been delivered on the mobile number of the estranged husband.
As for the instant summons, the Court held,
“Perusal of copy of documents which are filed on record reveals “Double Tick” on the printout of the Whatsapp messages, which prima facie shows that the copy of the summons has been delivered to the mobile number of the respondent no.1. However, none has appeared on behalf of the respondent no. 1.”