Social media, mail can be used to serve summons: SC


The Supreme Court has allowed instant messaging application like whatsapp to be used to serve summons and notices as well as via email and fax.

The top court said, “It has been brought to our notice that it was not possible to visit post offices for services of notices, summons, and pleadings. Such service of all the above may be done through email, fax and other instant messenger services and other telephone messenger services.”

A bench headed by the Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice R Subhash Reddy & Justice AS Bopanna said all methods to be employed to prove a valid service on a party.

The Court also permitted RBI to extend the validity of cheques due to the Coronavirus induced lockdown.

On the previous hearing, “Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General and Shri V. Giri, learned senior counsel, appearing for the Reserve Bank of India, seek permission to file a short note on the various aspects of the limitation involved in the matter.”

The Court by its order dated 06/05/2020 had ordered that all periods of limitation prescribed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 shall be extended with effect from 15.03.2020 till further orders to be passed by the Court in present matter.

On 23rd March, 2020, the Supreme Court had took Suo Motu cognizance of the situation arising out of the challenge faced by the country on account of Covid-19 Virus and resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/applications/suits/ appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State). To obviate such difficulties and to ensure that lawyers/litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective Courts/Tribunals across the country including this Court, it was ordered that a period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended with effect from 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by the Court in present proceedings.

The Court while exercising the power under Article 142 read with Article 141 of the Constitution of India declared that this order is a binding order within the meaning of Article 141 on all Courts/Tribunals and authorities.

This order of Supreme Court may be brought to the notice of all High Courts for being communicated to all subordinate Courts/Tribunals within their respective jurisdiction. Also notice is to be issued to all the Registrars General of the High Courts in respect of the same, and it is returnable in four weeks from today”, Said Apex Court.

-India Legal Bureau

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