A three-judge Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy ruled that the author of WhatsApp messages cannot be linked to them, particularly in business partnerships governed by agreements.

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that messages communicated on the social media platform WhatsApp could not be used as evidence.

The ruling pertains to a Concession Agreement signed on December 2, 2016, between South Delhi Municipal Corporation and a consortium of A2Z Infraservices and another entity for the collection and transportation of waste materials.

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy questioned the evidential value of WhatsApp messages. “Anything can be created and deleted on social media these days. We don’t attach any value to the WhatsApp messages,” the bench said, as reported by Times of India.

Dead Heat with Central Govt. of India

WhatsApp advertises on some of the “business conversations” hosted with Facebook. The social media company, which is currently at odds with the government over the new privacy policy, has stated that it will not limit how the app works in the coming weeks. Instead, it will remind users of the most recent updates and will continue to do so until the forthcoming Personal Data Protection Act.

Senior advocate Harish Salve stated in a submission on behalf of WhatsApp, “The government has asked to shut down the policy.” We have stated that we will not enforce it until the Data Protection Bill is passed. That is open-ended because we don’t know when the Bill will be released… We have stated that we will not do this for a while. If the Bill allows me to do it, the consequences will be very different.

By Ranjeet Pawar

Legal Intern, WCSF

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