WhatsApp Assures Not to Start Payment Services Until RBI Approves

WhatsApp Inc. has assured the Supreme Court that it would not start its payment services in India without fulfilling all the regulations in India. It submitted an undertaking with regard to this; During the hearing of a petition seeking a ban on its payment service, for not being in line with data localization rules.

Petitioner’s Contentions

Advocate Gaurav Sharma filed the Public Interest Litigation on behalf of an NGO, Good Governance Chambers (G2 Chambers). Senior Counsel Krishnan Venugopal represented the NGO.

The plea states that WhatsApp was permitted for beta testing to launch a “dedicated application” for UPI transactions in 2018. Instead of developing a separate application, WhatsApp added in its messaging service, the tool of UPI transactions. The petition alleges it as an intentional violation of regulatory regulations. Thus, its payment service operations should be suspended until the change is made.

Additionally, the petitioner asked for not granting any relaxations to WhatsApp. The petition prays for an order to initiate penal action against WhatsApp; for its “blatant non-compliance of Directives/Guidelines issued in regard to securing financial data of the Users”. Moreover, the petitioner asserted that the WhatsApp’s “serious, blatant, and willful violation” of the mandatory guidelines and regulatory norms of the UPI Scheme; poses a serious threat to the monetary policy of India. That this can affect the safety and privacy of the Indian citizens

Also, despite WhatsApp’s claims of having a safe technological system, the messaging app has problems relating to securing sensitive user data in the past; the petitioner informed the Apex Court.

Assurance By Whatsapp

The counsel for the Whatsapp, senior Advocate Kapil Sibal assured the court that Whatsapp shall not expand or start its payments service; without receiving clearance from Reserve Bank of India. Notably, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar represented Facebook Inc.

 Decision By the Apex Court

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy heard the matter. The CJI Bench took note of the assurance from the Whatsapp. The Court has asked the Central government, Facebook, and WhatsApp to file their replies within three weeks. Thereafter, the next hearing will be scheduled. The Bench also clarified that the government may process Whatsapp’s applications as per law and there is no stay on the same.

Notably, the Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) also filed a petition before the Supreme Court on the same matter.

Ishan Harlalka
Ishan Harlalkahttp://lexinsider.com
I am a 3rd year law aspirant pursuing BA LLB. I am deeply interested in learning and am always looking forward to gain knowledge about new subjects. In my leisure time, I try to read books of various genres and by different authors. As people from non-law background may find it difficult to understand legal provisions and jargons, I try to write in a way that my articles are easy to comprehend and after reading them, one can discuss them with others.


The case of Aruna Shanbaug that changed the Euthanasia laws...

It is my Belief that death is a friend to whom we should be grateful, for it frees us from the manifold ills which are our lot - Mahatma Gandhi. As human beings, out the umpteen desires that we have, one of them is definitely to have a peaceful death....

Justice D Y Chandrachud’s path-breaking Verdict in the Sabarimala Case of...

“Will the quest for equality and fraternity be denuded of its content where women continue to be treated as children of a lesser god in exercising their liberties in matters of belief, faith and worship? Will the pursuit of individual dignity be capable of being achieved if we deny...

After repealing section 377, its time to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage in...

A draconian, archaic law that criminalized homosexuality was struck down in a historic judgment given by the Supreme Court in 2018. Two years after the judgment, the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community has now sought legal recognition of their relationships. As the social stigmas surrounding the LGBTQ...

Modern Day Book Burning a.k.a Internet Shutdowns

The internet has become an indispensable element in our society for all the obvious reasons. For the majority of users, not a single day goes by where we don't 'need' the internet and the lack of a reliable and fast connection can feel paralyzing. An internet shutdown refers to...

Letter to UNHRC – Dr Kafeel Khan, Punished Because He’s Muslim

Kafeel Khan, a doctor by profession and a social activist has been targeted by Yogi Government since 2017, in 3 years he had been maliciously arrested 3 times & imprisoned for around 14 months on the false charges set up against him at many instances. Now he is absolved...

Prison Life In India and its Aftermath

Everyone prays to never see the bars of prison in their lifetime. Yet, as fickle as life is, it is quite hard to predict the future. It is in everyone’s benefit to know a little bit about prison life; for movies and cinemas do not do justice to the...