Madras High Court judge conducts case via Whatsapp

18th May 2022
Madras High Court judge conducts case via Whatsapp

WhatsApp innovations in India- 2
Chennai, May 18, 2022: In a first such application of a social media communication tool, a judge of the  Madras High Court  conducted a case earlier this week  through WhatsApp – on a Sunday.
The Press Trust of India reported that on May 15, Justice G.R. Swaminathan agreed to hear a case while he was in Nagercoil, where he had gone to attend a marriage function.
The case pertained to a temple in Dharmapuri district.  P.R. Srinivasan, the hereditary trustee of Shri Abheeshta Varadaraja Swamy temple,  submitted that his village will face “divine wrath” if the proposed rath (car) festival was not held on Monday, May 16. With  just one day to go for the proposed festival, the judge decided to hold a hearing via WhatsApp video call.
"This fervent prayer of the writ petitioner made me hold an emergency sitting from Nagercoil and conduct the case through Whatsapp," the judge said in the opening sentence of his order.
It was a triangular session, with the judge hearing the case from Nagercoil, petitioner's counsel V Raghavachari at one place and Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram, at another place in the city.
Holding that the Inspector attached to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Department does not have the jurisdiction to issue an order directing the temple Thakkar and the hereditary trustee to stop the car festival, the judge quashed the order and permitted the festival to go on.