Is WhatsApp Admins Liable For Messages By Group Member ? | WhatsApp Group | The National TV
- by Aditi-Harshraj
- Apr 20, 2020 15:51
Whatsapp admins have limited power to add or remove the members from the group. Office of Special Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber issued an advisory warning that Whatsapp admin will be held liable for the act done by its group member under Sec 153 A, 245 A, 505,188 of Indian Penal Code, Sec 54 if Disaster Management Act, Sec 68 of Bombay Police Act, 1951 and Sec 144, 144(3) of CrPc, 1973. Sec 153 A of Indian Penal Code states that any person who is trying to create problems between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, caste or any other group or hampers the Harmony between the groups.
The punishment for committing such offense under this section is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years or with fine or with both. Sec 245 of IPC states that if any person does something without lawful authority then he will be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 7 years and fine. Sec 505 of IPC states that if any person does something to create fear among the public shall be punished with imprisonment may extend to 3 years. Sec 188 of IPC states that it is not compulsory for the person to do something wrong he will be punished if he knows he disobeyed the order. Sec 54 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 states that if any person circulates information about false alarm or warning then he will be punished with imprisonment may extend to 1 year or with fine.
The court through its various judgment states that admins are not liable as they are not having much power as admins can add or remove them then how could they be held liable for group members' activities. In Sham Sunder & Ors v. the State of Haryana (1989) 4 SCC 630 The court held that there is no vicarious liability of Admins in criminal Law. The same judgment was followed in the case R. Kalyani v. Janak C. Mehta(2009) 1 SCC 516 In recent Judgement of Delhi High court in Ashish Bhalla v. Suresh Chawdhary, the court held that group admin wasn't liable for the messages sent by its group members. There is no law for group admin which held him though he acts like an intermediary but while adding any person in the group he wasn't aware that the person may send any such messages then how could he be liable for any such activity?
Therefore, court through its various judgments held that Admins won't be liable for messages by group members.
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