On Friday, the instant messaging giant WhatsApp assured Jharkhand High Court of full cooperation in the investigation into the murder of Dhanbad’s extra district judge. The Supreme Court last week ordered the CBI to make WhatsApp’s manager a party to the case and issued a notice to it.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibbal, who worked for WhatsApp, told a division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad that the Facebook-owned company is keen to help the investigation into Judge Uttam Anand’s murder. Sibbal told the court that all chat information required for investigative purposes can be obtained from the company.
The bench has decided to hear the case again after a week. The bench heard a suo moto lawsuit of general interest initiated by the Supreme Court after the death of the judge who was run over by an autorickshaw while out jogging on July 28, 2021.
The court was informed by CBI’s lawyer last week that it had sought WhatsApp chat details about the two accused persons arrested in the case, but was denied access due to security and privacy policies. The bench had then ordered that the company be added as a defendant in the case.
Judge Anand’s death had upset a hornet’s nest with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court, which took a strict view of the incident and supervised the investigation. Two people – Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma – have been arrested in the case and a prosecution has been filed.
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