Kochi: The Kerala High Court has said that no administrator (manager) or creator of a WhatsApp group can be held indirectly responsible for any objectionable content posted by any of its members. The High Court has given this decision while dismissing the POCSO case against the administrator of a WhatsApp group. A member of this group had put up pornographic material.
The court said that as has been held by the Bombay and Delhi High Courts, that “the prerogative of an admin with respect to other members of a WhatsApp group is to add or to add any member to the group”. may remove the member. The Kerala High Court said, “The admin has no physical or any other kind of control over what any member is posting in that group. He cannot modify or censor (block) any message in the group.”
“Therefore, the creator or manager of a WhatsApp group acting in that capacity cannot be held indirectly liable for any objectionable content posted by any member of the group,” it said. In the present case the petitioner had created a WhatsApp group named ‘Friends’ and had also made two other persons admin along with him, one of the same two had uploaded a video of child pornography.
As a result, the police registered a case against the person under the Information Technology Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act and made accused number one and made this petitioner as accused number two. After the completion of the investigation, the final report was presented in the lower court. The petitioner had sought quashing of the legal proceedings against him and contended that a prima facie perusal of the entire allegation and the evidence gathered together does not indicate that he has committed any offence. The court found merit in his point. (agency)