The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the centre and messaging app WhatsApp after a plea had questioned the messaging app for not having a grievance officer.
Responding to the plea that sought direction to restrain WhatsApp from proceeding with its payments systems unless it fully complies with RBI's provisions, a bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra sought a response from WhatsApp, Law and Justice Ministry, Finance Ministry and Information Technology Ministry within a period of four weeks.
The plea had been filed by the Centre for Accountability and Systematic Change. Advocate Virag Gupta who was appearing for the petitioner asked why the messaging app had no provision of appointing a Grievance Officer on the lines of companies like Facebook and Google.
The petition said that WhatsApp does not comply with laws of India including Know your Customer (KYC) which has been laid by the Reserve Bank of India. The petition added that the apex court must direct the messaging app to comply with Indian laws and appoint a Grievance Officer who could address grievances of the consumers and coordinate with investigating agencies.
The plea added that since WhatsApp was a foreign company and does not have any offices or servers in India, it is obligated to have its office and payments in India in order to be allowed to run payments service in the country.
WhatsApp is used by over 200 million users in India and nearly one million are testing its payments service in India according to the petition. It added that the messaging platform does not have a number through which users can contact the company for grievance redressal.
The court's notice comes days after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had met with WhatsApp chief Chris Daniels amid anger over fake messages that cost more than 20 lives over the last months.
(With IANS inputs)