Viablity of service demand notice u/s 138 of NI Act – Court seek the advice of Attorney General

An application seeking service of demand notice in “dishonour of cheque” cases through Email and Whatsapp u/s 138 of the NI Act, 1881 seek the response of AG KK Venuogopal.

A bench led by CJI sought the AG’s response on the viability of alternative means of service, and ways to ensure that the said service through these alternative modes are not misused.

The interlocutory application was filed in the suo moto case taken by the SC for extending the limitation period for filing of cases in the wake of COVID-19.

Justice Bobde said that, we have been told by some experts that people try to misuse service through email and whatsapp. So AG may reply as to how can this be done without abusing such liberties. Let him tell us what his advice is, so it can be considered. We are not experts on this”.

Bench had passed a general order extending Limitation with effect from March 15, invoking special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India on March 23.

That order had been passed with the objective of reducing physical filings in courts and tribunals across the countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Supreme Court had ordered,

“To obviate such difficulties and to ensure that lawyers/litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective Courts/Tribunals across the country including this Court, it is hereby ordered that a period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended w.e.f.15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by this Court in present proceedings and would be also binding on all courts under article 141.

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