Delhi Trial Court allows summons through WhatsApp

A woman complainant has been allowed by the Delhi Trial Court to serve summons to her estranged husband in a Domestic Violence Case who is residing in Australia through WhatsApp, text message and e-mail considering the time taken by ordinary service and the fact that 2 prior attempts to serve the summons on him have already failed.

The Metropolitan Magistrate (Mahila Court) Surbhi Sharma Vats allowed the complainant’s woman’s advocate Debopriyo Pal and Kunal Kumar to serve the summons on the estranged husband through WhatsApp, Text messages and e-mail.

Further, Pal recommended to the Magistrate that the service summons be served via WhatsApp etc. since service could not be affected in the past 8 months and the summons was being returned as the man was not staying at the last known address in Delhi.

Moreover, while allowing the request, the court directed the complainant woman to file an affidavit stating that the phone numbers on which the summons would be sent via WhatsApp and text message and also the e-mail ID belong to her husband and that the service of the summons has been sent to him only.

Apart from this, Advocate Kumar had also shared that it generally takes over 2 weeks for summons to be served upon anyone outside India and the Ministry had raised objections when the summons was sent to the man in Australia as he had changed his local address there and therefore, they were left with no option but to request the court to allow service through WhatsApp, SMS, and e-mail.

In the present case, the husband had left for Australia in the year 2015 for pursuing further studies leaving behind the complainant (a homemaker), and their minor daughter, who was 2 years old then. The complainant continued to stay in their rented accommodation in Noida but soon went to her parents in Delhi after the husband completely stopped paying rent for the house. After a few months, he shut-off all contacts with the complainant and never replied to her calls/ texts. Further, the complainant even got to know through sources that he had visited India late 2017 but did not even make any attempts to meet her or their daughter.

The woman has thus, filed a case of domestic violence and also sought maintenance for her daughter and herself.