Bombay High Court Decision: A division bench of Justices ZA Haq and Justice AB Borkar said, “Group administrators cannot be held responsible for the work of members posting objectionable material”.
Bombay High Court order: Whatsapp group administrator cannot be prosecuted for obscene post of group member
Often, we form a WhatsApp group for some small or big purpose. Whatsapp group is a better way to share laughter, conversation, information with family, friends, jobmates, etc. But many times it happens that a member of your group posts an objectionable message in the group. If you are the administrator of the group, then all other members complain to you. Even when it comes to legal action, the sword is seen hanging on the group administrator. But is the group administrator really to blame for this?
In this regard, you should know about the decision of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court. Yes, if you are also the administrator of any WhatsApp group, then know about this. In fact, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has said in a decision that the posting of a member in the WhatsApp group will not be considered as the responsibility of the group’s administrator. Criminal action cannot be taken against a group administrator for any objectionable post in the group.
What did the High Court say in this regard?
According to the livelaw report, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has held that the WhatsApp group administrator cannot be held accountable for any objectionable messages or posts made by the group member, if not the general intention. The court said that acting as the administrator of only one group on the messaging app ‘WhatsApp’ will not be considered as a ‘general intention’. The reason is that the administrator cannot regulate the text / photo / video before posting on the group.
A division bench of Justice ZA Haq and Justice AB Borkar said, “A group administrator cannot be held responsible for any act of a member posting objectionable material unless it is suggested that the members and administrators of the WhatsApp group This work was equally intended by or was part of a pre-arranged plan. In the case of WhatsApp users, simply acting as a group administrator does not establish a general intent. “
Action can be taken against the members of the group
This court order came last month, but its copy became available on 22 April. The High Court bench said that the administrator of the WhatsApp group only has the authority to add or remove members, not to control or block any post added to the group. There is no provision in the IPC regarding the representative liability of the Group Administrator.
The court said “The administrator of the WhatsApp group does not have the power to regulate, limit or censor any group before it posts. But, if a member of the group posts something that is legally wrong, then that member can be held liable under the section of law.
In which case did the High Court pronounce this decision
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court gave this decision on the petition of Kishore Tarone (33), the administrator of a WhatsApp group. In the year 2016 on Kishore Tarone, a woman filed in Gondia district Section 354-A (1) (4) (making obscene remarks), 509 (violating the dignity of woman), 107 (abetment) and section 67 (electronic format of IT law) The case was registered under) (publication of objectionable material).
The woman alleged that dirty language was used against her in the group. But the administration did not take any action against that member, nor was that member removed from the WhatsApp group. The administrator did not even ask the accused to apologize, on the contrary, he had expressed his helplessness in this case.
Kishore Tarone requested the court to dismiss these cases. The High Court dismissed the FIR and the charge sheet filed against Tarone. Tarone has got a big relief from this decision of the High Court. With this, it has become clear that a group administrator cannot be directly held responsible for objectionable posts by a member in the WhatsApp group.
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