Court embraces technology, issues summons via e-mail

While courts in USA, UK and Australia have been extensively availing of Information Technology (IT) for several years, for aspects like issuing summons and monitoring the service of the summons, the Madras High Court also seems to be finally embracing technology, by agreeing to serve summons via e-mail.
Court embraces technology, issues summons via e-mail
Madras High Court


The order relates to a couple booked in a criminal case under the Emigration Act, seeking to travel to Oman. Justice CT Selvam, who allowed such issue of summons via e-mail in a bid to make sure that they would not dispute the service of summons by such means, directed them to swear to affidavits furnishing their e-mail addresses and that the communication of summons to the said e-mail IDs would be sufficient service on them.
The petitioners, Premkumar Thangadurai and Hanna Vanitha Kumari Joseph, had earlier moved a magisterial court in Tambaram seeking permission to travel abroad and that they be permitted to appear before court on receipt of summons. 
However, the magistrate restricted their period of stay in Oman up to December 1, 2018. Following this, the couple moved a revision petition before the High Court, saying being engaged in business, they are required to frequently travel abroad, and restrictions placed thereon by particularly requiring them to return on a specific date, would put them to severe difficulty. 
Now, with the couple adhering to the High Court’s direction and filing their affidavits with their e-mail address and also giving an undertaking to appear before the Judicial Magistrate, Tambaram, in the event of a charge sheet being filed, Justice Selvan said, “In the light of the undertakings informed in the affidavits, this Court would modify the order of the Court below to one permitting petitioners to travel abroad.”
It may be noted that the Delhi High Court in May 2017, even went to the extent of allowing service of summons through WhatsApp, text message and e-mail, in a case initiated by Tata Sons in a defamation case. 
Also, in April 20 the Bombay High Court had accepted service of notice via WhatsApp, after one of the defendants in a copyright infringement case failed to appear.

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