oppn parties WhatsApp Group Admin Not Vicariously Liable For Action of Members

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court sentences Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu to one year rigorous imprisonment in the 1988 road rage case
  • Home Minister Amit Shah says rights should not be demanded before fulfilling responsibilities and that universities are no place to wage ideological battles
  • NIA court convicts JKLF chief Yasin Malik in terror funding case after he pleads guilty of all charges
  • A study backed by PM-EAC has recommended universal basic income and urban job guarantee and greater spend on social sector schemes
  • Supreme Court rules that the decisions of the GST Council are not binding on the Centre and the states, leaving the door open for states to levy further taxes
  • After sustained campaign by BJP MP Arjun Singh, the Centre today withdrew the jute price cap order, industry welcomes move
  • Akasa Air might postpone its July launch due to late arrival of aircrafts
  • Metro Cash & Carry decides to sell Indian operations. All major players, including Reliance retail and Amazon, are likely to bid
  • Local and global cues spook the markets on Friday - Sensex crashes 1416 points to 52792 and Nifty by 430 points to 15809
  • IPL: RCB crushes GT by 8 wickets as Virat Kohli returns to form with a well-made half century
  • Nikhat Zareen is world champion in flyweight category. Wins gold at Women's World Championships at Instanbul
  • Supreme Court uses its special powers under Article 124 to release A G Perarivalan, a Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict
  • Indrani Mukherjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, gets bail from Supreme Court after 6.5 years in jail
  • Hardik Patel quits Congress, says top leaders distracted by mobile phones and state leadership busy arranging 'chicken sandwiches' for them
  • Anil Baijal resigns as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi citing "personal reasons"
Nikhat Zareen is crowned world champion in the flyweight (52Kg) category at the Women's World Championships in Istanbul /////// Supreme Court sentences Navjot Singh Sidhu to rigorous imprisonment of one year in the road rage case /////// Sunil Jakhar, who quit the Congress a few days ago, joins the BJP
oppn parties
WhatsApp Group Admin Not Vicariously Liable For Action of Members

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2021-12-28 08:27:39

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The Madras High Court has confirmed that the admins of a WhatsApp group cannot be held vicariously liable for the actions of the members in the group due to the very nature of the application and the limited powers the app allows to them. The court cited the Bombay HC judgment on this issue in the case Kishor versus The State of Maharashtra to reiterate that since the administrator does not have the powers to regulate, moderate or censor the content posted by other members of the group, he or she cannot be held liable for their actions.

The case was about a WhatsApp group of lawyers in Tamil Nadu, called Karur Lawyers, a member of which filed a criminal case against the admin and a member over a "highly offensive" post by the latter. The admin approached the HC pleading innocence as it was not in his power to prevent some members from posting content found offensive by other members.

In the Bombay HC order cited by the court, the learned judges had ruled that the admin cannot be held for vicarious liability for the act of other members unless it was proved that "there was the common intention or pre-arranged plan acting in concert pursuant to such plan by such member of a WhatsApp group and the administrator."

This is the right legal interpretation. For, any WhatsApp administrator is only allowed by the makers of the app to admit new members or remove existing one, apart from changing the name, status and profile picture of the group or including other members as co-administrators. It is not in the hands of the admin to moderate, delete or censor any offending post which can only be done by one who originally posted. Hence, they cannot be held liable for something which is not in their power.