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SC asks Centre to reply on plea for appointment of Grievance Officer at WhatsApp

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Monday asked the Centre to file its reply on a plea alleging that does not comply with the Indian laws, including the provision for appointing a

A bench of Justices R F and granted time to the Centre to file the reply after said that various issues have been raised in the petition and it needs time to file the response.

The top court had issued notice to the Centre and on a plea filed by an NGO, (CASC), which also sought to restrain the platform from proceeding with its payment service unless it fully complies with the (RBI) provisions.

reportedly has over 200 million users in and almost one million people are "testing" its payments service. is one of the largest bases for the Facebook-owned company that has over 1.5 billion users globally.

In its plea, the CASC said that to open a bank account, a customer needs to comply with KYC norms laid down by the RBI and various other formalities.

"WhatsApp is a foreign company with no office or servers in India. To run Payments Service in India, WhatsApp is obligated to have its office and payments in India. Moreover, it is also required to have a for users in India. Yet, it is being allowed to continue with its Payments and other services, without any check," the plea claimed.

It also alleged that the giant does not comply with tax and other laws of India, but its reach was such that it is used by everyone, be it a commoner or even the judges of the apex court.

The plea, filed through Virag Gupta, said that every user has a number on WhatsApp but the messaging platform has no number through which its user can contact it for any grievance redressal.

Pointing to various internet-based crimes, it claimed that the growth of such incidents was directly proportional to the growth of the user base of messaging services like WhatsApp.

"Companies like and have appointed for users in India, but WhatsApp has not. However, the Grievance Officer of Facebook sits in and the Grievance Officer of Google sits in USA and are thus rendered ineffective.

"In order to make Respondent No. 6 (WhatsApp) accountable, it must be directed to comply with Indian Law and appoint Grievance Officer, who shall be the person to address grievance of consumers, as well as co-ordinate with investigating agencies," the petition said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 08 2018. 17:25 IST