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Service of Summons of Suits through Email and Mobile

The advent of the digital age has revolutionized various aspects of human life, including the way legal procedures are conducted. One such significant development is the service of summons through email and mobile numbers, as exemplified by the case of the Plaintiff seeking to enforce their rights in the mark 'DREAM 11.' In this analytical legal article, we delve into the intricacies of this case and discuss the legal implications of serving summons and notices through email and mobile numbers.

The 'DREAM 11' Case:
The Plaintiff in this case sought to protect their rights in the mark 'DREAM 11,' claiming that it was a well-known fantasy sports platform launched in 2012. To safeguard their rights, the Plaintiff approached the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi, which issued an ex-parte ad-interim injunction on 26th May 2023.

However, the Defendants in this case were operating in a clandestine manner, making it difficult to effect the service of summons. Traditional methods of serving summons, such as personal delivery or through postal services, were rendered ineffective due to the elusive nature of the Defendants' identities.

The Role of Email and Mobile Numbers:
In a remarkable development, the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi permitted the Plaintiff to serve the summons and notices on the email address and mobile number associated with the impugned domain names of the Defendants. This decision highlights the court's recognition of the need to adapt to the digital age and utilize modern communication channels for effective legal procedures.

The court's decision to allow service through email and mobile numbers is not only a pragmatic approach but also a step towards ensuring that justice is not hampered by technological challenges. This decision is of paramount importance, as it enables access to justice, especially in cases where Defendants choose to operate in anonymity, often exploiting the veils of domain names for infringing activities.

Legal Implications:
Accessibility and Convenience:
The court's decision recognizes the practicality of serving summons through email and mobile numbers. This approach facilitates access to justice for Plaintiffs and ensures that legal proceedings are not impeded by the evasive tactics of Defendants.

Technological Challenges:
While the use of email and mobile numbers for serving summons is progressive, it raises questions about technological accessibility and validity. Courts must ensure that the chosen means of communication are reliable, and they should provide clear guidelines on how to serve summons via these digital channels.

Privacy and Data Protection:
Serving summons through email and mobile numbers necessitates attention to privacy and data protection concerns. Courts must establish mechanisms to protect the personal information of both parties involved in the legal proceedings, ensuring that sensitive data is handled securely.

Evidentiary Considerations:
The admissibility of evidence related to service through email and mobile numbers may require legal scrutiny. The court should establish a framework to authenticate the delivery and receipt of summons and notices, ensuring that the process is transparent and verifiable.

Compliance with International Standards:
The use of email and mobile numbers for serving summons may involve cross-border implications, particularly when Defendants are located in different jurisdictions. Courts should consider international standards and agreements for service of legal documents to ensure that the procedure is legally sound.

The Concluding Note:
The 'DREAM 11' case and the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi's decision to permit the service of summons and notices through email and mobile numbers exemplify the legal system's ability to adapt to the challenges posed by the digital age. This decision highlights the importance of accessibility, practicality, and efficiency in legal proceedings while raising questions about technological challenges, privacy, and evidentiary considerations.

As the legal landscape continues to evolve in the digital era, courts and legal practitioners must establish clear guidelines and procedures for serving summons and notices through email and mobile numbers, ensuring that justice remains accessible and that due process is upheld. The 'DREAM 11' case serves as a compelling example of how the law can adapt to modern technological advancements, ultimately enhancing the administration of justice.

The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Vs John Doe
Date of Judgement/Order:30/10/2023
Case No.CS(COMM) 351/2023
Neutral Citation No: N.A.
Name of Hon'ble Court: Hon'ble High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Prathiba M Singh

Information and discussion contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for expert advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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