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SC favors serving of court summons through SMS, WhatsApp, and email in place of physical delivery

By Arundhuti Deshmukh      29 October, 2020 12:13 PM      0 Comments
SC Court Summons Physical Delivery

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (October 27,2020) favored serving court summons through SMS, WhatsApp, and email in contrast to the present system of physical delivery to the accused and sought response from high courts and state DGPs on adopting such digital means.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, in examining various measures to remove deficiencies in a criminal trial and to ensure expeditious trial in criminal cases, directed the high courts and DGPs to give suggestions within four weeks on a report of senior advocate Siddharth Luthra and lawyer K Parameshwar, who as amicus curiae, recommended serving summons through digital platforms in cases of bounced cheques.

Embracing technology keeps us in tune with the times. Since the virus outbreak, this view has gathered further relevance. India has about 448 million mobile phone internet users according to statista.com. The apex court’s move will lessen physical contact in the delivery of the summons and increase quicker public outreach in many cases.

Embracing technology keeps us in tune with the times. Since the virus outbreak, this view has gathered further relevance. India has about 448 million mobile phone internet users according to statista.com. The apex court’s move will lessen physical contact in the delivery of the summons and increase quicker public outreach in many cases.

Luthra and Parameshwar, in their report, suggested that magistrates should be empowered to order attachment of bank accounts of an accused to the extent of the cheque amount if he refuses to appear before the court for trial.

“The high courts must also be directed to formulate a scheme for online mediation of pending cases at the trial/appeal/ revisional stages so that pending cases could be effectively disposed of. In fact, this scheme may act as a guide for pre-summons mediation to be adopted through an online platform rather than summon the accused physically, for the purposes of mediation. The high courts must be directed to identify the technical platform and other resources required in this regard,” the report said.



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