Blue ticks on WhatsApp is a thing for legal notices as well now

Any notices or messages sent via Whatsapp will now be considered as a valid piece of evidence under the law, according to the Bombay High Court. If the ticks on the messaging app are blue - meaning read - then it is considered as proof that the physical copies of the messages have been accepted the respondent.

Recently Bombay High Court was hearing an application filed by SBI Cards and Payments Services Pvt Ltd against Rohit Jadhav, a defaulter who has been evading the bank.

Jadhav not only received the notice in a PDF file but the blue ticks also confirmed that he had seen and read its contents. SBI cards had filed the case against Jadhav, a Mumbai resident for the recovery of credit card dues worth Rs 1.17 lakh. He had credit card dues of Rs 85,000 in 2010. In 2011 after arbitration proceedings he was asked to pay back the dues along with 8 per cent interest. However, he still could not clear his dues following which a complaint was filed in 2015 in order to enforce an arbitration award. At that time the total due amount was Rs 1.17 lakh.

Jadhav however, was not accepting any notice from the company or its legal representatives. The bank had been trying to serve the notice about litigation on Jadhav for over two years but was not able to do so as he kept shifting his rental accommodation. Since the bank had his contact number, a bank representative sent the PDF file of the legal notice on WhatsApp informing him about the next date of hearing. Lawyer's notice was also sent in a PDF. Advocate Murlidhar Kale, counsel for SBI Cards, informed the court that the blue ticks on the message proved that Jadhav had not only received the message but also read it.

Justice Gautam S Patel said in his order, "(Jadhav) was served by an authorised officer by sending a PDF and message to his mobile number as a WhatsApp message,". Justice Patel further said in the order, "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."